Ron Perlman attends the premiere for Peacock's "MacGruber" on Dec. 8, 2021 in Los Angeles. (Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)
Ron Perlman is a man of the people.
The septuagenarian actor famous for playing the horned Satanic superhero in Hellboy (2004) and the 2008 follow-up Hellboy: The Golden Army — among many other priceless performances — doesn’t necessarily want to don those heavy prosthetics again for a threequel.
Although Stranger Things star David Harbour took over the mantle for the 2019 reboot, that version was quickly wished to hell by critics and fans alike, scoring a meager 18 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and there's a golden army of fans clamoring for a new Hellboy that would reunite Perlman with original director and longtime collaborator Guillermo del Toro.
Perlman is aware — and has some thoughts.
“Am I eager to do Hellboy 3? No, I’m 71 f***ing years old,” Perlman said in a new interview with The Independent. “[But] we owe this to the fans, and we should give it to them because it would be an epic conclusion. So Guillermo, if you’re reading, I’m not done pounding you to get this f**king thing done.”
Ron Perlman in "Hellboy" (Photo: Columbia Pictures, courtesy of the Everett Collection)
We’re certain Perlman has a direct line to del Toro and doesn’t really need to go through the media to get the famed Mexican filmmaker’s attention.
In recent months del Toro has widely credited Perlman for introducing the director to the novel Nightmare Alley, the Buffalo-set film noir thriller currently generating Oscar buzz following its December release. Perlman plays a minor role as the carnie Bruno, the sixth collaboration between the longtime friends. (Perlman also appeared in 1993’s Cronos, 2002’s Blade II and 2013’s Pacific Rim.)
In a 2013 Role Recall interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Perlman recounted how it took del Toro seven years to get the first Hellboy greenlit — and that del Toro remained steadfast it be Perlman playing the role the whole time.
Though both Hellboy and Hellboy II were well-received, the sequel underperformed at the global box office, failing to reach $200 million worldwide, and plans for a third film were scrapped.
Director Guillermo del Toro and actor Ron Perlman pose at the after party for the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures' "Pacific Rim" in Los Angeles. (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
The series was eventually rebooted by distributor Lionsgate in 2019, and Perlman opted out when del Toro was not offered the roles of writer and director.
Neil Marshall (The Descent) took over directorial duties, with Harbour starring, but the results were disastrous, both in terms of negative reaction and meager $44 million box-office gross worldwide.
Harbour, for his part, has owned up to the film’s dismal performance.
“I think it failed before we began shooting because I think that people didn’t want us to make the movie,” Harbour said after the film’s release. “Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman created this iconic thing that we thought could be reinvented and then [fans] certainly — the loudness of the internet was like, ‘We do not want you to touch this.’ People were just very, very against it and that’s people’s right.”