The Hellboy reboot is looking like it’s going to be in production soon as casting is currently underway. And it sounds like creator Mike Mignola is also feeling cinematic universe fever as speaking to TheVerge with he suggests Hellboy could expand to other titles.
“Yeah. It’s a very loose adaptation of one of the Hellboy graphic novels. When you have more books out there, you have a lot more to sift through. You can look around at how big the world is, and borrow pieces from here and there. You want to sell a larger world, but you have to pick and choose what goes in there. The challenge for us has been to not lose sight of the specific story but suggest the elements of a larger story. My hope is that this introduces a lot of stuff that then expands into a Hellboy Cinematic Universe.“
This isn’t a crazy notion to have with multiple studios developing their own comic book film universes with MCU (Marvel Studios), X-Men (20th Century Fox), DC (Warner Bros.), Valiant (Sony), and Millerworld (Netflix).
Lionsgate is in a position to make some moves themselves considering the rise in demand for movies set within the genres of superhero and horror at an all time high, plus dominating the box office. Going the R-rating route allows them to gravitate towards mature material like Dredd, Logan, and Deadpool.
Some other recent cinematic universes have had stumbles due to poor planning and execution. Recent examples include The Mummy, which was expected to launch a series of action films using the classic Universal monsters.
I wonder where I’ve seen that before?
Honestly, it’s also hard to ignore that Universal’s Dark Universe is blatantly mimicking Mike Mignola’s B.P.R.D. with Prodigium. I’m actually shocked that copyright lawsuits haven’t reared their head due to the obvious similarities to Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (rights are at Fox) and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comics.
I do feel that unlike the haphazard development going on over at Universal, the Mignola source material is rich enough to warrant multiple films set in that world.
There were actually a significant amount of B.P.R.D. characters that never made the first two films that could be explored in future films including a bevy of human agents like field director Dr. Kate Corrigan.
The unused supernatural team members include former leader Captain Ben Daimio (were-jaguar), Panya (ageless mummy), Roger, Fenix Espejo (psychic), Dr. Izar Hoffman (psychic), and Sidney Leach (metal manipulator).
Along with Abe Sapien and B.P.R.D. spinoff comics, Mignola also created a string of other comics connected to the Hellboy universe that could be worth exploring in their own solo films. Most of them taking place many decades before the present day B.P.R.D.
The Lobster was a vigilante who worked in secret in New York City during the 1930s. He had a reputation for violence, such as killing mobsters and burning his trademark lobster claw symbol into their foreheads.
Captain Fields (Sledgehammer 44)
A man in a suit of iron drops from an American warplane onto a French battlefield and unleashes a powerful cosmic force on an army of Nazis, their massive war machine, and their most dangerous agent, the deadly Black Flame!
Sir Edward Grey (The Witchfinder)
Sir Edward Grey was a nineteenth-century paranormal investigator. Aside from a handful of fleeting details, little is known about him, his motivations, and his capabilities. He is often seen in the company of Dagda, and on occasion the Baba Yaga. He has shown many times to have faith in Hellboy and his rejection of his so-called “destiny.”
Koshchei The Deathless
Three witches then summon Hellboy and ask him to be their king, which he flatly refuses. This leads the witches to call upon Baba Yaga to kill Hellboy, and she dispatches one of her bound servants, Koshchei the Deathless, a particularly nasty and formidable Russian folklore warrior whose soul is bound to Baba Yaga. She offers him his much-wanted death if he can kill Hellboy.
Another interesting character that resides outside the Hellboy universe, but could easily connect to it would be Captain Lord Henry Baltimore. A vampire hunter from WWI era. He has an extremely compelling backstory which would make for an interesting horror film.
Captain Lord Henry Baltimore (Vampire Hunter)
Captain Lord Henry Baltimore was once a commanding officer during World War I. However, after running afoul of an enemy ambush, his entire squad was killed, and Baltimore’s left leg was severely wounded. Left for dead, Baltimore faded in unconsciousness until he was awakened some hours later by giant bats who were feeding off dead men. When one tried to feed off him, Baltimore slashed at it with his bayonet and struck it in the eye. The bat retaliated by further wounding Baltimore and infesting his leg with severe gangrene, leaving no choice but to amputate it when he was finally brought to a hospital. Afterward, a wooden leg is fashioned for Baltimore to use.
Unbeknownst to him, Baltimore had attacked a powerful vampire known as Haigus, who was outraged over the scar that Baltimore left him on his right eye, leaving it forever blinded. As revenge, Haigus declared war on humanity, bringing a plague of vampirism down upon all of Europe and killing thousands.
Haunted by what he’d encountered on the battlefield, Baltimore was happy to return home, only to discover upon his arrival that his parents and sister had all succumbed to the plague. His wife, Elowen, had survived, but only so that Haigus was able to kill her as Baltimore was forced to watch. It was then that Lord Henry Baltimore became set on his mission to kill Haigus.
He now travels the world killing lesser vampires in hopes of finding Haigus and avenging his family.
Hellboy will begin production within the next couple months but has yet to land an official release date (expected sometime in 2018).