Guillermo is a weird, strange director of the weird and strange, and in his career he has been able to make not one, but two Hellboy movies.
First, he made Hellboy, the original film, in 2004. The movie did okay on its budget and did fairly well with critics. Unfortunately it made only $99m on $66m dollar budget. That’s a big no-non. despite this, del Toro was given yet another shot, when he should have been canned.
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, debuted four years later and made $166M worldwide on a $85M dollar budget. Hellboy 2 also did well with critics, who praised it’s style and set direction, among many aspects of the film.
The problem, then? Not enough money, I guess. Though Hellboy 2 made nearly twice that of Hellboy, it wasn’t enough and the studio pulled the plug on del Toro making any more Hellboy movies, instead opting for a reboot starring David Harbour of Stranger Things.
Luckily, del Toro is forgiving and decent person, for he had this to say about getting the shaft and being replaced:
“I don’t own Hellboy, Mike [Mignola] does. So, you know, he is the father of the character and if he wants to reboot it, it’s perfectly fine. I got to make two – that’s two more than I thought I would get to make … So you know, as far as I’m concerned god speed and god bless.”
And that’s that, as they say.
My take: He’s right. He doesn’t own Hellboy. Mignola does. And Mignola can take his business elsewhere, and he did just that. But thanks to del Toro for being a big man in this situation and understanding that he has no rights to the character or even the right to make a Hellboy movie.