Are we ever going to see a third Hellboy movie? Ron Perlman is in, Guillermo del Toro is in, …but what about Mike Mignola? It seems it will be a cold day in hell before we see a third installment (…wait, isn’t Hellboy residing in the deep south at the moment?!), but never say never. With the new release of comic book series Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. (out today), creator Mike Mignola is doing the rounds promoting Hellboy’s latest adventures (or should’t that be earlier adventures…) and rest assured, you will not be disappointed with the antihero’s origin story, which essentially covers the unexplored 50 years from his first missions with the B.P.R.D. up until the start of the original comic.
As the franchise became deeply submerged in apocalyptic mythology, concluding with the death of Hellboy and confining him to depths of hell, Mignola wanted to get back to the basics; back to those “classic” Hellboy stories that we have all come to love – the dread-filled, darkly mythological, pulpy action-adventure stories – and what better way to do get back to the roots of the original comics, than to introduce a prequel.
This gives us the opportunity to explore a younger Hellboy whilst uncovering the 50 year period between his early missions/adventures with the B.P.R.D. and the beginning of the original comic. Mignola recently sat down and had a chat with ComicBook.com to discuss the new comic book series:
“It’s something we’ve been talking about for a while, and probably, if we had really focused a little bit earlier, it would have been the perfect book for the 20-year anniversary. It was a matter of finding the right artist, and that’s why we did it now, because we found the right artist. With Hellboy getting weirder and weirder, with the Hellboy in Hell stuff, it just felt like we were really missing classic, old school Hellboy, and there’s a real pleasure to writing Hellboy when he was a much simpler character, before the whole apocalypse nonsense and death. Also, we’d done the BPRD 1946, ’47, ’48. John [Arcudi] did a little sequence, a flashback sequence, in BPRD. It was Hellboy in ’49, and it just felt like a logical progression of those things.
We didn’t plan this thing as far back as when we started BPRD ’46, ’47, but the beauty of what we’ve done with Hellboy is there’s this gigantic chunk of years where we’ve seen almost nothing with him, except a few short stories here and there. We don’t have to reboot the book to be old school Hellboy, because there’s so much untold material out there. The idea of, as a companion to Hellboy in Hell, having this book will really – and then we’ll start in ’52 and then we’ll keep going – every five or six issues will be a different year. A lot of ground to cover…
That was probably the toughest thing to bear in mind when I wrote this, is this is Hellboy’s first outing with the guys. He’s actually not a full blown agent yet, he’s just kind of being allowed along with the guys, for the very first time. So, my tendency is always to have Hellboy take the lead on stuff, and here he’s the junior member. There was even a moment, I think in the first issue, where Alex drew Hellboy – as the guys are going up a flight of stairs or something – and Hellboy is kind of leading the way, and I had to say “no, no, no, he wouldn’t be that guy.”
He’s, I think, a little bit champing at the bit to get out there and do stuff. He’s eager, but he’s young. Visually, he looks like the Hellboy we know now, but to play him a little bit more insecure, and realize – unlike the Hellboy I do, where he’s done everything – this is where he’s doing certain things for the first time. It’s always very strange to go back and deal with the younger version of characters, especially when you’ve been writing them for 20 years. Yeah, I had to do a couple of little things.
Mike Mignola also discussed the possibility of seeing Hellboy on the big screen again. It’s an inevitable question that always comes up in interviews with del Toro, Perlman and Mignola, and it seems that they all want to finish the trilogy, which is a nice sentiment. Here is what Mignola had to say about a third installment:
“There’s talk every once in a while, but nothing concrete, nothing solid, nothing anybody should be jumping up and down about “oh boy, its coming.” It’s not entirely dead, some days it seems like there’s a spark of life there, but most days it’s just a matter of most studios, or our studio, Universal, seems totally uninterested in doing anything. So, you know, wait and see. Anything’s possible. I never thought they’d make the first one, and I never thought they’d make the second one, so maybe they’ll make the third, I don’t know, but nothing worth talking about is being discussed. At least not to me, and you would think that if anything was happening I would know.”
For those of us who are hoping to see Hellboy up on the big screen one last time, this is pretty depressing news coming from the Eisner award winner, Mignola himself. However, like Mignola said, he didn’t expect the first or the second film to get made, and anything is possible right? Also, the fact that the three big boys of the franchise – del Toro, Perlman and Mignola – want to see a third outing, can only facilitate in bolstering the project out of developmental hell (see what I did there).
For now, to whet you appetite, be sure to pic up a copy of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #1 which is released today.