With the future of the franchise largely unknown after the film, original Abe Sapien actor Doug Jones has shared his thoughts on David Harbour’s Hellboy reboot. Mike Mignola’s iconic comic books were originally brought to the big screen in 2004 with Guillermo del Toro having written and directed the film and Ron Perlman leading its ensemble cast. After a well-received sequel and a third film dying in development hell, Lionsgate acquired the rights to the property and began working with Mignola and writer Andrew Cosby on a Hellboy reboot.
Released in 2019, Harbour led the cast of the last Hellboy movie, which saw the hero trying to find his place in the world while also learning of a dark plan to bring back an evil sorceress to jumpstart the apocalypse and let the creatures of the dark roam free around the world. Helmed by Neil Marshall, the film scored largely negative reviews from critics for its lackluster storytelling, lack of its own soul and reliance on CGI, though Harbour scored generally positive reception for his performance. With the film only grossing $55 million against its $50 million budget, plans for a sequel to the Hellboy reboot were quietly axed, and now one franchise veteran is sharing his thoughts on the film.
While speaking exclusively with Screen Rant to discuss his Hocus Pocus 2 return, Doug Jones looked back on his time with the Hellboy franchise. When asked about his thoughts on David Harbour’s Hellboy reboot, the original Abe Sapien actor expressed his enjoyment with the Stranger Things star’s turn as the titular hero, while noting his own involvement in the original films gave him different expectations. See what Jones said below:
I did [see it], yeah, and David Harbour did a great job. Of course, my big brother Red played by Ron Perlman is what I’m more used to, I guess. David did a great job, I thought, but aside from acting and all, it was a different tone, because it was also not a Guillermo del Toro film either. It has its merits, I can’t say anything bad about it.
Given Jones was involved with the franchise under del Toro’s tutelage for five years, it’s understandable he would have certain expectations going into watching the Hellboy reboot. Much like some audiences, the original Abe Sapien actor at least appreciated Harbour’s turn as the iconic B.P.R.D. agent, whom many felt was the sole shining light in the film. Though the poor reviews and box office returns have seemingly closed off Harbour’s chances at returning for a Hellboy sequel, fans of the actor can at least take comfort his comic book days are still alive with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, namely with the confirmation of his return for the Thunderbolts movie.
Interestingly, the Hellboy reboot ended with Harbour’s character and Sasha Lane’s Alice and Daniel Dae Kim’s Ben Daimio discovering Abe Sapien’s tank, setting up the character’s inclusion in the likely-scrapped sequel and leaving many hopeful for Jones to try his hand in the R-rated tone of the new film. Fans of the franchise have now directed their hopes for del Toro’s Hellboy 3 to finally come to fruition, with Jones himself also expressing his interest in returning for the film, though saying he would only do so if the director, Perlman and Selma Blair all were to return. In the meantime, audiences can revisit del Toro’s original Hellboy and Harbour’s reboot streaming on HBO Max now.