Hellboy fans are one step closer to seeing the big, red Dark Horse Comics hero back on the big screen (or maybe a streaming service?) as the franchise's latest reboot has wrapped filming. As revealed by the character's creator Mike Mignola on Instagram, Hellboy: The Crooked Man is in the can, and it's onto post-production for the R-rated flick. The question is: will this one be worth everyone's time? Mignola, for his part, seems confident, for whatever that may be worth.
The new R-rated folk horror take on the material will look to atone for the sins of 2019’s Hellboy, which starred David Harbour (who is innocent in all of this) as the titular character. This time around, Jack Kesy (12 Strong) is taking on the role, with Brian Taylor (Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance) in the director’s chair. In revealing that filming has wrapped, Mignola said some very nice things about what he’s seen so far.
“They've wrapped principal photography on the new HELLBOY movie. I wasn't on set for this one but they have been nice enough to send me dailies and I have to say I have loved what I've been seeing. If fans have been waiting for a Hellboy film that is actually an adaptation of one of my stories I think they are finally going to get one. Congratulations to director Brian Taylor and a really wonderful cast - and to co-writer Chris Golden who did so much to figure out how to give the studio what they wanted and still keep true to the heart and soul of THE CROOKED MAN, my favorite of the Hellboy stories. I wish Richard Corben was still around to see this - They did a wonderful job bringing his really horrific character to life.”
This new movie will be a horror-first approach, as opposed to the bigger, blockbuster approach that Guillermo del Toro took with his films. It will be based on the 2008 storyline of the same name, which was written by Mignola and illustrated by the late Corben. As Mignola alluded to in his post, he personally co-wrote the screenplay for this reboot alongside Chris Golden. Millennium Media is heading up the project. A synopsis for the film reads as follows:
“Stranded in 1950s rural Appalachia, Hellboy and a rookie BPRD agent discover a small community haunted by witches, led by a local devil with a troubling connection to Hellboy’s past: the Crooked Man.”
It seems that this new attempt to turn Hellboy into a big motion picture franchise is hoping to do so by taking horror’s general approach. Make it relatively cheap, and maximize potential profit. That’s why we don’t have a big A-list star (all due respect) in the lead role this time. Will that approach pan out? We’ll see. But it does at least make sense for the character, who never quite felt at home in expensive blockbusters.
Hellboy: The Crooked Man does not currently have a release date.