It’s a busy time for Guillermo Del Toro. The filmmaker just debuted his new TV series The Strain on FX and is currently finishing up next year’s horror film Crimson Peak. He also recently announced a pair of films: a small black-and-white movie, and the complete opposite of that. Del Toro is so busy that he actually needs to publicly announce when he’s not making a movie.
Which he did, unfortunately, during a Reddit AMA over the weekend. Del Toro has long promised a third Hellboy movie, which would wrap up the saga of Ron Perlman’s curiously lovable demonspawn. But when asked about the prequel’s status, Del Toro said, “We have gone through basically every studio and asked for financing, and they are not interested.”
The director continued:
I think that the first movie made its budget back, and a little bit of profit, but then it was very very big on video and DVD. The story repeated itself with the second already, it made its money back at the box office, but a small margin of profit in the release of the theatrical print, but was very very big on DVD and video. Sadly now from a business point of view all the studios know is that you don’t have that safety net of the DVD and video, so they view the project as dangerous.
The Hellboy films already have a curious release history, with the 2004 original distributed by Sony and the beloved-by-some Hellboy II: The Golden Army distributed by Universal four years later. The films grossed $99 million and $160 million worldwide. (By comparison, Iron Man 3 grossed $175 million in its opening weekend.) The films were sort of middle-class blockbusters, buoyed by DVD sales that evaporated into thin air at the start of this decade. That’s why, in Del Toro’s words, studios find a threequel “almost impossible to finance.”
It’s too bad we won’t get Hellboy 3, since Del Toro’s plan for the finale sounds pretty cool:
…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, 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.
It probably won’t happen. Unless… Yahoo, maybe?