Hellboy fans divided over reboot; actor Jeffrey Tambor blasts comic creator Mike Mignola

Ben Bussey
·UK Movies Writer
Jeffrey Tambor (right) with Selma Blair and Ron Perlman in 'Hellboy II: The Golden Army' (credit: Universal)
Jeffrey Tambor (right) with Selma Blair and Ron Perlman in ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’ (credit: Universal)

After almost nine years of broken dreams for fans of the ‘Hellboy’ series, yesterday’s announcement of a third film starring Mike Mignola’s supernatural comic book hero hasn’t gone down well with everyone – because, once again, it’s a reboot.

Writer-director Guillermo del Toro brought the Dark Horse Comics character to the big screen in 2004’s ‘Hellboy’ and 2008’s ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army,’ and the plan had originally been for a third film to wrap up the story.

However, through a combination of del Toro’s busy schedule and a lack of studio interest after the moderate box office success of the first two films, it eventually became clear that a trilogy closer was not going to be made. Del Toro himself declared “100% the sequel will not happen” earlier this year, following talks with Mignola, Hellboy actor Ron Perlman and other key figures involved in the franchise.

Now, it has been announced that a fresh take on the franchise is coming. Entitled ‘Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen,’ it will reportedly be a darker, R-rated film, with director Neil Marshall set to call the shots, and actor David Harbour in talks for the lead role.

Given Del Toro has officially declared his third film dead, it can easily be said that Hellboy creator Mignola is fully within his rights to start anew with the character on the big screen. However, not everyone has seen it that way, one very notable critic being Jeffrey Tambor, who starred in the ‘Hellboy’ movies as the cantankerous Agent Tom Manning.

The 72-year old actor, now best known for his role on TV’s ‘Transparent,’ took to Twitter to accuse Mignola of disloyalty to Del Toro and actor Perlman, who he says “made the franchise:”

Naturally, there has been no shortage of other anti-Hellboy reboot tweets:

Neither Del Toro nor Perlman have said a word against the reboot, but have thanked fans for their support (although we might note Perlman retweeted Tambor’s criticism). Meanwhile, ‘Hellboy’ actress Selma Blair, who played the firestarter Liz Sherman in the two existing films, congratulated David Harbour on his casting as the new Hellboy.

Nor is Blair the only one expressing a combination of sadness for the loss of ‘Hellboy 3,’ but optimism for what may lie ahead:

British director Marshall was one of the most celebrated newcomers of horror cinema in the 2000s, thanks to his work on ‘Dog Soldiers,’ ‘The Descent’ and ‘Doomsday.’ His last film was 2010’s ‘Centurion,’ and in the years since he has worked extensively in television, including two of the most epic battle episodes of ‘Game of Thrones.’

Meanwhile, actor David Harbour rose to prominence with his role in Netflix series ‘Stranger Things,’ and was recently rumoured to be among the contenders for the role of Cable in ‘Deadpool 2’ before Josh Brolin landed the role.

No release date for ‘Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen’ has been announced at present.

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