I’m so glad Guillermo Del Toro left The Hobbit. Finally, he can get back to doing the really important work: Hellboy 3. But problem! Ron Perlman, who played the titular semi-adolescent demonspawn, is unsurprisingly reticent about returning to a role that requires six hours of red makeup. Del Toro told MTV, “He’s doing Sons of Anarchy without makeup. He’s spoiled! He likes to be the big cheese without the makeup session.” I’m assuming Del Toro is merely teasing — he said something pretty similar to EW’s Adam B. Vary at Comic-Con — but just in case, I’d like to take this opportunity to make a tiny plea. Please, Ron Perlman, Please Please Please: Make Hellboy 3. At a time when the once-sacred notion of a “trilogy” has been debased (see: Spider-Man 3 and X3) and devalued (see: all the fourquels hitting theaters in the next year), the Hellboy movies are an absolute rarity: a true saga.
Pardon my ridiculous passion, but after running a series of tests here in the PopWatch laboratory, I’ve come to the scientific conclusion that Hellboy 2 is the best superhero movie ever. Arriving in the summer of 2008 between the zippy fun of Iron Man and the epic dystopian grit of The Dark Knight, Guillermo Del Toro’s demon-hunting sequel was a bizarre outlier. Evil elves covered in mascara, a German scientist made of telepathic gas, that scene where the devil and the fish-man sing Barry Manilow… this did not look like a comic-book movie was supposed to look. (Yeeesh, it barely even looked like Hellboy 1. The first movie was a fun little actioner that, but for a profound sense of humor, wasn’t really that far removed from Ghost Rider.)
But there are so many weird, wonderful touches in Hellboy 2 that put bigger, more operatic superhero films to shame. Like the scene where a forest god’s corpse decomposes into a beautiful field of flowers, right in the middle of a crowded city street. Or the Goblin Market, which looked like the Mos Eisley Cantina as filmed by Federico Fellini. Or the fact that Doug Jones played three roles in the movie, all under heavy prosthetics, all incredible. At the center of it all was Ron Perlman, a truly eccentric actor who had found a role tailormade for his talents.
Whenever Del Toro talks about Hellboy 3, his plans for the movie sound mysterious and wonderful. More to the point, he makes it sound final: a true ending, not a “See you in our next adventure” teaser. And what could be more exciting than that?
What do you think, PopWatchers? Are you as excited about Hellboy 3 as I am? Can we begin a Twitter/Facebook/Whatever campaign to convince Ron Perlman to get back into the makeup chair? And isn’t it nice to think that, with Hellboy, Selma Blair may have actually achieved some cinematic immortality that doesn’t involve making out with Sarah Michelle Gellar?