If you have Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman in the same room with some reporters, inevitably someone will ask about "Hellboy 3." The pair were reunited at Comic-Con International in San Diego to promote two different movies coming from FilmDistrict. Del Toro is producing the remake of "Don't be Afraid of the Dark," while Perlman appears in director Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive."
While many fans (Perlman included) may have the impression that del Toro has moved on from "Hellboy 3," the filmmaker told the assembled Comic-Con reporters that there is hope.
"I carried 'Don't be Afraid of the Dark' for thirteen years. I carried 'Hellboy' for almost eight years before it got made, so I'll stick to [a project] until it gets made," Del Toro said.
However, getting a third Hellboy will require quite a bit of extra determination on the filmmaker's part.
"The reality is, each of those movies have been an incredible ordeal to make. I wanted to make the first ['Hellboy'], it was an $89 million movie. I wound up making it for $50 million, because nobody wanted a red guy. Nobody wanted a blue guy. Nobody wanted these crazy little ideas. I think we lost good ideas," del Toro said. "Second movie, it was a $150 million movie that we made for $80 million. [It is] very difficult to fight for every little thing that made them quirky."
Perlman voiced his agreement, saying "'Hellboy II' was tough. Both of us walked away from that with a little bit of, 'Do I ever want to revisit this?'"
And while he remains hopeful for another "Hellboy," Del Toro doesn't anticipate things getting easier.
"The third one is the hardest one because it's the darkest one and not necessarily has a happy ending," he continued, adding that it's also a question of scale. "The third one is epic. It's gigantic."
Perlman admits there's a closure needed on the franchise.
"There are things that are introduced in the first two films that have to be resolved in the third one. So for us to not make the third film would be kind of an injustice to [the fans]," the actor said. "And it is epic. It's huge, what [del Toro] wants to do. It would be so cinematic and well worth doing."
While del Toro may be a patient and determined filmmaker, there is a ticking clock on the project that he may not be able to overcome. That question is, "'Am I going to be able to make it before Ron is 71?'"
Perlman responded to the notion, saying, "You notice he's blaming me for the fact that there's no 'Hellboy 3.'"
Joking aside, the filmmaker firmly stated that he will not make the final movie without Perlman, so either they'll get the band back together while the actor is still willing and capable, or else the franchise will likely eventually fall into the now popular reboot zone.