Last we heard, actor Ron Perlman was looking to complete the “Hellboy” series as a trilogy before finally saying goodbye. “I’d like to finish it. I’d like for there to be a third film because the first two films were set up for this huge resolve and he [and director Guillermo Del Toro] already understands what that resolve will look like," the actor said a few month ago.
Pearlman said that while del Toro never did deliver the “nuts and bolts” of the story, he did give him the “broad strokes sketch” of what the third film would look like describing it as “epic.” This certainly stoked the flames of many fans out there hoping to see their red demon hero on the big screen. But in a recent Reddit AMA, de Toro seemingly does it once a month, the always chatty, always candid filmmaker cast what feels like final doubts on a third film.
“It’s very unlikely it’ll happen because you need things to converge so strongly. [Producer] Larry Gordon, Universal, the rights, Ron [Perlman’s] and mine’s availability, [comic creator] Mike [Mingola’s] blessing; we have pieces of that, but we don’t have all of that. You need so many things to confluence and then you need about $150 million,” del Toro wrote during the chat.
The filmmaker even revealed some of the narrative elements too. "The idea for it was to have Hellboy finally come to terms with the fact that his destiny, his inevitable destiny, is to become the beast of the Apocalypse,” he said. “And having him and Liz face the sort of, that part of his nature, and he has to do it, in order to be able to ironically vanquish the foe that he has to face in the 3rd film. He has to become the best of the Apocalypse to be able to defend humanity, but at the same time he becomes a much darker being. It’s a very interesting ending to the series, but I don’t think it will happen.”
del Toro's right about the math. It's not on his side. The first "Hellboy" film didn't even crack $60 million domestically and the sequel, 'The Golden Army' didn't go higher than $75 million. And there wasn’t much of an international appetite for the film either. In 2004, the original film failed to even crack the $100 million mark worldwide, the second faired a little bit better at $160 million, but these are the numbers studios are aiming for with domestic releases, not global ones. I certainly wouldn’t bet a third film taking place, especially when del Toro’s got a “Pacific Rim” world to take forward into the future.