News: Hellboy 3 “Very Unlikely”, says Guillermo del Toro

Hellboy (film)

Hellboy (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a recent interview with Collider, Guillermo del Toro broke fanboy hearts saying that a Hellboy 3 is likely not going to happen in the near future.

“It’s very unlikely it’ll happen because you need things to converge so strongly.  [Producer] Larry Gordon, Universal, the rights, Ron[Perlman’s] and mine’s availability, [comic creator] Mike [Mingola’s] blessing; we have pieces of that, but we don’t have all of that.  You need so many things to confluence and then you need about $150 million.”

At least one of those pieces may have just fallen into place, however. Universal Studios currently owns the rights to all Hellboy projects, but since del Toro and Ron Perlman, the titular Hellboy, were working with Legendary Pictures on his new Pacific Rim, he said the following:

“Not just anybody can make this movie. I loved working for Legendary and I know for Guillermo working on Pacific Rim was one of his greatest experiences.  The reason I loved working for them is because Guillermo was so happy.  I came in six months into the shoot and he seemed as fresh as a daisy, simply because he was working for someone who appreciated and supported his outlandish visions of what he wanted to put on the screen.  My immediate, silent wish was, wouldn’t it be great if these guys came in and helped resolve the Hellboy series.”

Legendary had an exclusive contract with Warner Brothers at the time, so them getting to work on a Universal-owned franchise was very unlikely. Here is what the Legendary’s founder Thomas Tull had to say about the rumors in a recent io9 interview:

“Seeing how we don’t own the rights to Hellboy, there may be lawyers that would get upset about that. But you know, in Guillermo’s world, maybe he can make that go away. I don’t know. [Laughs]”

It seems since that interview, however, Mr. Tull made the problem go away himself. How? By ending his contract with Warner Brothers, which was coming to an end regardless, and signing a deal with Universal earlier today! That certainly makes it seem like it might remove at least one of the hurdles del Toro spoke about.

That may also make funding less of  an issue. Del Toro spoke about financing the picture in an interview with digital spy, saying he would not want to do a crowd funding campaign to pay for it.

“I’m not in favour of an established franchise, established director coming in and crowd-funding. That’s great for first, second-time directors, young guys.”

That point of view has already been expressed by filmmaker Kevin Smith, and many others. “I think I’ve missed the window based on the fact that I do have access to materials, I do have access to money. I don’t know, I feel like I should leave that for the cats that really need it at this point, ” said Kevin Smith to the Hollywood Reporter about funding the finale of his own trilogy, Clerks.

As for the other hurdles, Mike Mignola himself has always been positive, at least publicly, about the movie, and the possibility of a third one, though he did state as recently as April that the movie does not seem to be happening.

Honestly, however, the biggest obstacle I see, is the availability of the director and cast. Del Toro himself has been notorious for having more film projects than he can possibly handle, being attached to the Hobbit for a long time, and talking about his dream project “At the Mountains of Madness” for nearly a decade now (the script was apparently written by 2006). the cast have definitely expressed interest, however, despite the star’s advancing age and the physical demands for the role (Perlman is 63). Perlman said the following to Empire:

“Both Guillermo and I want to do it. Selma [Blair] and Doug [Jones] too, it’s just a question of finding someone who thinks there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

So, is Hellboy 3 officially in development hell? Guillermo’s prediction seems grim, but could the new Legendary deal get the ball rolling? I certainly hope so. What do you think?

Drive

Directed by Danish Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive a film of a very specific sort of beauty. The aesthetic is very detached, but it is that very detachment that manages to help us identify with the protagonist of the film, because he himself is coldly detached. The movie follows a man whose major characterization is driving around and listening to pop music.

We never learn the name of the protagonist driver, played by Ryan Gosling. Like the stereotypical western Man with No Name, the driver is more an archetype than an actual character. We aren’t meant to identify with the driver so much as watch him in a way that is as detached as the way he no doubt experiences the world. He is almost always calm and collected. What we learn throughout the course of the movie is that when that self-control is lost, the man is a beast, willing to perform any act to get revenge or justice.

All this is filmed with transcendent beauty and style. If one is to simply describe the plot of Drive, it may be possible to sell the movie, but to entirely the wrong audience. The movie transcends its genre of heist-movie-turned-revenge-thriller completely, the same way that Ryan Gosling’s character transcends that of a common criminal (which he is, talented though he may be). Certain scenes, which would be nothing short of disgusting, are instead breathtakingly beautiful. This isn’t because they are filmed in slow motion, which they sometimes are. Slow motion is typically done to be cool, to show masterful precision on the part of the characters, to show their straining muscles in great detail. One gets the impression that when this is used in Drive, it is rather to show that time really does seem to slow in intense moments.

The soundtrack, which consists largely of slow, deliberate pop songs, fits perfectly with the setting and the characterization. The music, also, transcends the confines of its genre when coming into play with the images on the screen, creating very memorable sequences where the music and the visuals are inseparable.

The supporting actors are worth noting as well – Carey Mulligan plays the love interest for the protagonist in a way that appropriately expresses a genuine fragility. The part is tough because in truth she isn’t given very much to do in the film, she needs to play in a fairly confined role of a very confined woman. However, the character comes off as very real in her portrayal, which is certainly commendable. The other characters are similarly confined in their roles, but none come off as unconvincing. Ron Perlman is, as usual, very enjoyable in his role as a gangster who was never accepted the way he wanted to be due to his ethnicity.