There has been a string of enquiries about the release of the remake of Hellboy, which finally unveiled its first teaser trailer before the Christmas period. The film’s studio has recently announced the movie will now be released three months later than originally scheduled. Summit Entertainment had previously pencilled in the launch of the Hellboy reboot for 11th January 2019, but it won’t now reach the big screen until 12th April 2019. The reboot, which stars Stranger Things actor David Harbour as the aforementioned Hellboy, is enchanting many film fans who are intrigued about how Harbour will portray the character that was originally played by Ron Perlman. Interestingly, Perlman was keen on featuring in the third instalment, but was overlooked in favour of Harbour.
Summit Entertainment have not given a reason for the delay in the film’s release, but there is no doubt that the new release date of 12th April 2019 will be a much stiffer test for Hellboy to prevail at the box office. That’s because Hellboy will arrive only a week after Warner Bros. opens Shazam to the masses on 5th April 2019. Shazam is being billed as a potential blockbuster, with DC fanatics almost certain to converge upon cinemas worldwide to see Zachary Levi in action. Combine that with Robert Downey Junior’s The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, as well as After and the much-talked-about Breakthrough, then it’s clear to see that Hellboy will have stiff competition over the Easter period.
Saving Hellboy from January’s graveyard?
One possible reason why Hellboy has been saved until April is that, traditionally, January is known as something of a dumping ground for films among studios. The New Year period resembles something like a graveyard for many cinemas, so releasing Hellboy in January may have sounded its death knell before even reaching the big screen. There is also a belief that by moving Hellboy’s release to April, it is a statement of intent and confidence in the film’s appeal by Summit Entertainment; despite the loss of Ed Skrein from the cast back in August 2017.
It is certainly one of the most anticipated reboots in recent memory, with many crossing their fingers that it can save superhero cinema rather than destroy it like some quarters believe is happening. The 2004 original raked in almost $100 million at the box office, which was an impressive feat given the project’s $66 million budget. Its 2008 sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army was distributed by Universal Pictures, which helped to improve its financial performance further still, earning $160 million at the box office. April’s third instalment sees Hellboy prepare to thwart an ancient medieval sorceress from destroying mankind on Earth. Based on Mike Mignola’s original comics, next year’s release is said to portray Hellboy in a more dramatic, gritty and emotionally explosive light than the original, played by Ron Perlman.
Hellboy 2019: Yay or nay?
Reaction from fans based on the first official trailer was somewhat mixed. According to Heroic Hollywood, some fans likened the trailer to a Suicide Squad 2 or a film “squeezed through” the Suicide Squad template. Meanwhile those loyal fans of the Hellboy franchise will almost certainly turn out in their droves on 12th April, regardless of the negativity. The film will be released in IMAX, guaranteeing the most immersive cinematic experience.
Hellboy has captured the imagination of popular culture for more than a decade now. Mantic Games were inspired by the franchise to create and launch a four-player board game – a co-operative gaming experience where players faced off against some of the franchise’s most dangerous enemies. Designed by James M. Hewitt, the mastermind behind successful board games such as Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower, the board game also features authentic figurines that perfectly encapsulate Mignola’s iconic characters. This cult comic was also recreated recently as a video slot at Betway, powered by Microgaming’s immersive soundtrack and slick comic book-style graphics on the reels to evoke the full force of the fiery belly of the underworld.
Summit’s 2019 reboot of Hellboy has been given an R-rating, which doesn’t mean that it will be full of swearing, gore and violence, according to David Harbour. Harbour said that the film will be more of a “mature movie” that explores “adult themes”. Director, Neil Marshall admitted that they’ve opted to strip back the reboot “to the source material” and the result is that it’s “more violent and more bloody”. Marshall admitted to Empire that they certainly weren’t “making it with handcuffs on”. With the shackles well and truly off, it will be exciting to see what Summit and Harbour can do to breathe new life into this exciting franchise.