After the 2019 Hellboy reboot starring David Harbour failed to make a splash at the box office, Millennium Films announced a new take on the comic book title. The Hellboy reboot, which will be scripted by original comic book creator Mike Mignola, will feature an R-rated folk horror movie. Director Brian Taylor recently offered some insight into his vision for the film, which he plans to shoot in Bulgaria and Greece starting in April.
Taylor’s pitch for the reboot is based on Hellboy: The Crooked Man, a comic book storyline that sees the titular character confront a devilish entity in rural Appalachia during the 1950s. The setting makes The Crooked Man feel more in line with folk horror, a genre that includes classic films such as The Wicker Man and The Witch. Taylor sees Hellboy as a paranormal investigator and night stalker, with a much leaner and meaner feel compared to Guillermo Del Toro’s massive-scale space operas that defined the previous Hellboy movies.
Taylor acknowledged the differences between his vision for the film and Del Toro’s take on the character, which many fans see as the definitive interpretation of Hellboy. While Del Toro’s films focused on the character’s superheroic qualities and a grander scale, Taylor is leaning toward the darker, more eerie aspects of the comic books. The Hellboy reboot promises to be a horror movie first and foremost, and Taylor is excited to be working with a team that “loves horror” and has been nothing but supportive of his R-rated vision.
The decision to go for an R-rating is also significant. While the 2019 Hellboy reboot was rated R, the movie failed to connect with audiences. However, Taylor and Millennium are betting that the film’s R-rating will allow them to bring in as much mayhem and violence as possible, while also telling a story that does justice to a particular era of the comics. Despite the challenges of rebooting a beloved character like Hellboy, Taylor seems to be up for the task. His enthusiasm for the project and the support he’s received from Millennium Films bode well for the future of the franchise.
While there are still many unanswered questions about the new Hellboy reboot, it’s clear that the movie is aiming to be a fresh take on the character, with a darker, more horror-focused tone. Only time will tell whether audiences will be on board for this new vision of Hellboy, but the fact that Taylor and the company are willing to take a risk on a different approach is certainly promising.
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