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Hellboy, the demonic comic book hero turned Guillermo del Toro film franchise, is poised to return to the big screen, this time without the filmmaker at the helm.
Millennium is in negotiations with producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin for a new installment that would reboot and relaunch the property. Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Entertainment is also producing.
Neil Marshall, the horror director who broke out with The Descent and won raves for his work on Game of Thrones, is attached to direct the project, which has a working title of Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen and has a script by Andrew Cosby, Christopher Golden and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.
Del Toro is not involved, nor is Ron Perlman, the actor who inhabited the red-skinned, cigar-chomping devil in the two previous installments.
Rather, David Harbour, the Stranger Things star, is in talks to play Hellboy.
If a deal is made, Millennium would become the third company to make a Hellboy movie in as many releases.
Hellboy was created in 1993 by Mignola and became an indie comic hit as it told of a demon, raised by a professor, working to fight supernatural evildoers for an organization called Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
Del Toro co-wrote and directed the first adaptation, which was made by Revolution Studios and released by Sony in 2004. The movie made $60 million domestically (another $40 million internationally, asterisked by the fact that this was the era before international box-office dominated performance) on a budget of $66 million.
The second movie was made by Universal with the same team — del Toro and Perlman — but its box-office mojo was cut short when The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan and featuring Heath Ledger as the Joker, opened six days later.
But both movies engendered strong cult followings and there were rumblings of a third installment. Last year, del Toro, Dark Horse Entertainment, Levin and Gordon, the latter of whom controls the rights, explored their options. However, the budget was a stumbling block, with del Toro wanting a bigger canvas for his vision. In the end, the producers decided a reboot and relaunch was the more feasible route.
Marshall is now developing a new script with Aron Coleite, who worked on NBC’s Heroes and is also working on the new Star Trek: Discovery series. He will also act as a producer with his partner Marc Helwig.
Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman and Carl Hampe are exec producing.
Updated May 8, 2017, 11:40 PM to add that a new script is being worked on.
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