Hellboy creator Mike Mignola thinks the upcoming movie reboot could lay the foundation for a new shared cinematic universe.
"It’s a very loose adaptation of one of the Hellboy graphic novels," he told TheVerge. "When you have more books out there, you have a lot more to sift through. You can look around at how big the world is, and borrow pieces from here and there."
Directed by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, Game of Thrones), the planned 2018 release stars David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Hellboy and Ian McShane (Deadwood) as his adoptive father Professor Broom. The R-rated action-horror film was announced in May, bringing to an end efforts by actor Ron Perlman and writer/director Guillermo del Toro to move forward with a long-discussed sequel to 2008's Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
"You want to sell a larger world, but you have to pick and choose what goes in there," Mignola explained of the reboot. "The challenge for us has been to not lose sight of the specific story, but suggest the elements of a larger story. My hope is that this introduces a lot of stuff that then expands into a Hellboy Cinematic Universe."
There's a lot of material to fill out that world, as Hellboy's comic book adventures span decades (although his backstory stretches back centuries), and incorporate elements of mythology, folklore and supernatural horror. The are also stories involving related characters, like the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense and the 1930s vigilante Lobster Johnson.
The film, which this week dropped its announced subtitle "Rise of the Blood Queen," is expected to begin principal photography this fall.