In 2004, we got Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy and in 2008 we got the sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army. With the DVD market drying up, there wasn’t the funding for Hellboy III, but a reboot was put into production under the title Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. All of this was fine. Neil Marshall (The Descent) was directing, David Harbour was on board as Hellboy, Ian McShane was his father figure Professor Broom, and Milla Jovovich was cast at the film’s villainous and eponymous Blood Queen.
While she’ll remain villainous, she’s no longer eponymous. MovieWeb reports that a Lionsgate representative says that the title is just “Hellboy” now:
“The official title is just Hellboy. The film is considered a reboot of the 2004 Hellboy, and is going by the same name.”
Arguably, the original Hellboy wasn’t a big enough movie to warrant widespread confusion, but it’s still an unnecessary slap in the face to del Toro’s movie. Also, it’s not great for search purposes as now we have to look up “Hellboy 2004” or “Hellboy 2018” or whatever the hell an actual title would have told us. Also, it’s not like the title “Hellboy” got people into the theaters back when the original was released. The movie only made $60 million domestic; the movie was a bigger hit on home video, but again, that market has dried up.
While it’s possible to debate how much of a hook “Rise of the Blood Queen” would be, it at least sounds alluring. It tells you what kind of movie you’re in for based on the title alone, and it’s got personality. Additionally, since there’s no numeral like with Hellboy II, people would probably understand that it’s a reboot, especially once the marketing clues them into the different look and attitude that Marshall will bring to the project.
But we’re back to Hellboy, so we may as well just get used to it.