While most of us wanted Guillermo del Toro to have a proper endcap to his trilogy, ‘Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen‘ has the potential to do something Universal was apparently thinking about doing but couldn’t pull off – launch a cinematic Mignolaverse. Those unfamiliar with the ongoing saga of Hellboy in comic form might just know of Big Red from the two films which are out, but the character not only has a rich history but has spawned an equally long-run series about the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense as well as a slew of other titles. With how successful Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has been as well as the money being pumped into the DCEU it seems like everyone is getting on the action, so why not Mignola’s world?
The idea came to me after reading a recent Facebook post by Peter Briggs where he mentions that he had previously been working with Universal Pictures to do just that by penning an Abe Sapien based spinoff titled ‘Hellboy: Silverlance’:
Although we never really discussed it as such it really was a “B.P.R.D.” movie. The aquatic Abe Sapien was the main character, and Hellboy still featured fairly prominently in it. I suppose you could liken it to a “Suicide Squad” situation: Batman was in there, but the story wasn’t really about him.
Aaron and myself turned it in. Universal really wanted to proceed with it, but after further discussions at the studio it was apparent a “Hellboy 3” was still on the cards for the studio and more of a priority, so “Silverlance” got back-burnered. I figured that was the end of that.
Five years later, 2015, I was in Sweden when I got another call from Universal. It was looking like “Hellboy 3” wasn’t now going to happen, so would Aaron and myself now be interested in further developing a reworked version of “Silverlance”?
As recently as two years ago this was an idea but clearly one that wasn’t being pushed too hard by the studio. As the other central character was Prince Nuada and when the film was brought up again in 2016 they said that none of the characters from ‘Hellboy 2’ could be used as they were already looking to reboot the property. This seems to confirm that Del Toro’s vision was dead in the water prior to the pitch from earlier this year.
While Universal isn’t involved in the new reboot deal, it wouldn’t surprise me if expanding the Universe included Hellboy, a B.P.R.D. styled set of films, an Abe Sapien standalone or three, the current running ‘The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed’ (which directly ties into Hellboy), the tales of Baltimore, the noir detective Lobster Johnson, Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder, Sledgehammer 44, Frankenstein Underground, and even the Black Flame.
The B.P.R.D. alone could be the center of this as this government agency has long handled the paranormal problems in our world and would have a direct tie-in to most of the characters mentioned above. Thankfully, if that did happen it wouldn’t be as cheesy as ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ occasionally suffered from, thanks to the much darker source material.
There is a rich history to draw from and create a cinematic universe. The only question now is if that is where we will see the studio and Mignola take the characters.
I, for one, hope that this will spawn a huge ongoing franchise.
Do you think the newly rebooted Hellboy movie will launch a new cinematic universe? Will we get a slew of tales set in this world? Share your thoughts below!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!