Hellboy reboot director Brian Taylor offers new details about his R-rated folk horror take on the comic book title. The last movie version of Hellboy, 2019’s reboot starring David Harbour, flopped at the box office by taking just $55 million. So it was somewhat surprising when, last week, news emerged that Millennium Films is taking another stab at Hellboy, with a reboot to be scripted by original comic book creator Mike Mignola.
But this new reboot is indeed happening, and it sounds like producers are going for a whole new take on the Hellboy character. Speaking to Collider, reboot director Taylor offered up new details about the angle he plans to take on the story, saying he views Hellboy: The Crooked Man – the specific title the film is set to adapt – as something not necessarily in line with prior movie versions of Hellboy. Check out what Taylor had to say in the space below:
“I pitched an R-rated folk horror movie and the team here at Millennium have been nothing but supportive. It’s a great group of people, and they love horror.”
How Brian Taylor’s Hellboy Will Be Different From Guillermo Del Toro’s
Oscar-winner Guillermo Del Toro famously wrote and directed the first two Hellboy movies, creating a legacy that, at least according to former Hellboy star Harbour, was impossible for the 2019 reboot to match. But in his new talk with Collider, Taylor addressed how his film, which begins shooting in April in Bulgaria and Greece, will specifically differ from Del Toro’s vision of Hellboy:
The GDT movies were massive scale space operas and just pure Del Toro through and through. But some of the comics Mike (Mignola) was doing at the time had a very different feeling. More lean and mean, creepy folk horror. A younger Hellboy, wandering the dark corners of the world… Paranormal investigator, night stalker…
The comic book Hellboy: The Crooked Man actually came out in conjunction with 2008’s Hellboy 2, and concerned the titular Hellboy encountering a devilish entity in rural Appalachia in the 1950s. The setting certainly makes The Crooked Man feel more in line with folk horror, a genre that includes such film classics as The Wicker Man and The Witch. And a movie that leaned into the creepy elements of folk horror would definitely be different from what was tried in any previous Hellboy adaptation.
The other important takeaway from Taylor’s remarks of course is that his take on Hellboy will be R-rated. By his quote, it seems Millennium is fully on-board with him and screenwriter Mignola bringing as much mayhem into their Hellboy movie as they possibly can. 2019’s Hellboy was itself R-rated of course, and that did not help the movie catch on with audiences. But clearly the plan for Taylor and company is to keep the R-rated level of violence in Hellboy, while trying to dial in a story that does justice to a particular era of the comics, while being a change-up from those beloved Del Toro movies (and the 2019 Hellboy reboot).
More: Hellboy Failed Because It Was Too Faithful To The Comics