Neil Marshall is clearly chomping at the bit to get his adaptation of Hellboy in production. The director will be working in conjunction with Stranger Things star David Harbour to recreate the comic book superhero and without the involvement of Guillermo del Toro or Ron Perlman, the duo will be pushing the boundaries for a blockbuster that will be anything other than PG-13.
Marshall this week sat down with Mick Garris's podcast Post Mortem and with a title of Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen already slated, the filmmaker says that the studio has given him complete creative autonomy to go where he wants. That direction will involve a lot of blood and gore if his comments are to be taken at face value. An exciting prospect for those wanting a little more from their comic book movies.
PG Chains Broken As Movie Goes Into Marshall Law
With the 2004 and 2008 installments limited to the PG-13 rating, Marshall believes that the adults only content can allow him to branch out and go in his own direction.
"We've been granted permission to do it R-rated, which for me is just like taking the cuffs off," he remarked. "It's like okay, so now we can just make the movie we want to make."
For the filmmaker, he did not want to amp up this feature too early. But the framework is there to go where del Toro did not, and could not, go before with the earlier incarnations of the franchise.
"It's not like I'm going to force it to be R-rated, but if it happens to come out that way, just because of my own sensibilities, then fine. And nobody's going to stop us. So that's the main difference."
Director Inspired By Source Material For New Tone
Creator Mike Mignola was clearly an influencing factor behind a lack of a Hellboy 3. Despite del Toro and Perlman's desire to make a conclusive picture that would have closed the trilogy, the comic book scribe and designer urged Columbia to go down a different path.
Marshall intimated that a new and improved version of the character would embrace the early print narratives to go dark and gruesome.
"I'm sure, obviously, the success of things like Deadpool and Logan have not hurt the case," he said of the R-rated superhero trend. "But, also, when you go back to the original material, it is kind of bloody, so I'm going to embrace that."
While there is a great temptation to opt for the special effects, the director said he wants a grounded title that will only embrace CGI where necessary.
"I love to do stuff in camera whenever I possibly can, and use CG as the amazing tool that it is, to enhance or expand upon the world, but not use it to replace reality, when you can do it for real."