Fans of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola better get out there and buy tickets for the latest adaptation of his work. According to IGN, a successful Hellboy could lead to a brand new cinematic universe featuring characters created by the Hellboy scribe.
IGN visited the set of the all-new Hellboy and learned some interesting facts about what director Neil Marshall has up his sleeve. One of them is that there are discussions at the film’s studio, Lionsgate, to roll out a cinematic universe centered around the character. The comic book series has seen many of its characters spin off into its own series, including the amphibious man Abe Sapien and the vigilante The Lobster and others! There is even potential for an Avengers style team up with B.R.P.D., the paranormal organization Hellboy works for.
Thankfully, it sounds like Marshall’s primary focus is on this film and not any wider cinematic universe at the moment. He told IGN:
“I know all that kind of stuff has been discussed, but it’s so far in the back of my mind. Like right now, this is the focus, 100 percent. Get this done, make it the best film it can possibly be, and then see what happens. If that comes off, great. What an adventure and what a world to open a big door on? The B.P.R.D. and all the other characters. The huge universe that Mike’s created over the years it to tap into, but I cannot think about that right now.”
As we’ve seen over the years, cinematic universes are better sprung up organically than trying to establish them from the outset. Universal recently experienced embarrassment over the failure of its Dark Universe, which focused on Universal’s catalog of monsters and was cancelled when Tom Cruise’s The Mummy didn’t take off the way they expected. Warner Brothers and DC are currently, in a sense, “reverse engineering” their DC Universe, focusing on individual characters, keeping elements that have worked while retooling others after they rushed into teaming characters up in Justice League.
Even Disney, who owns the most successful of these universes, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has experienced trouble when trying to replicate the model with Star Wars. Solo, which focused on the early years of the popular lovable scoundrel Han from the main saga was expected to launch a new series of films and just didn’t resonate with audiences. Prudence has shown it’s better to focus on an individual film, then build on the success of that rather than using the film to shoehorn and set up sequels and spin-offs.
The caution from Marshall might prove to be wise. Opening in the middle of a season that includes fellow comic book adaptations Captain Marvel, Shazam!, and Avengers: Endgame, the film is currently not tracking so well, so let’s sit back and see how it does before we go crazy about a Mignola-Verse.
What’s your current interest level like for Hellboy? Will you be there on day one, when it arrives on April 12?