The fate of Hellboy has long been trapped in development hell (boy). Franchise director Guillermo del Toro and star Ron Perlman were both interested in another installment, but legal complications made that tricky, then there was scheduling stuff, then the studio was being uncooperative, you name it. Del Toro said it was definitely gonna happen, then that it wouldn’t happen, then that it might happen, then that it probably wouldn’t but hey you never know, then that yes, there absolutely 100% will not be a Hellboy 3. And he’s holding true to those final words, because there won’t be a third chapter of his Hellboy franchise — as the new one’s gonna be a [deep breath] reboot.

Variety reports today that Hellboy may not be nearly as dead and done-with as we had been previously made to believe. Everyone’s favorite gun-slinging, cigar-chomping demon may very well get another shot onscreen, but not as we know him; in the planned reboot, Del Toro and Perlman would both get replaced. Variety’s item cites Stranger Things star David Harbour (he who says loud things as Winona Ryder makes funny faces) as the likely new face of Hellboy, with The Descent and Game of Thrones helmer Neil Marshall in the director’s chair. There are a lot of snippy things I could say about that switch-up in personnel, but I shall keep myself to the diplomatic statement that there is only one Guillermo del Toro.

How the branding of ‘reboot’ might alter the fabric of the property has yet to be seen, though it would suggest that audience should expect a change in tone and look for the films, moving away from G.D.T.’s earthy comic-book naturalism. As long as nothing happens to my precious Abe Sapien, things should be alright, though.

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