CLOSE
YouTube
YouTube

12 Rock ‘n’ Roll Facts About Josie and the Pussycats

YouTube
YouTube

The spring of 2001 was a strange time: It was pre-9/11, and boy bands and pop singers dominated the Billboard charts. Then, on April 11, came the live-action Josie and the Pussycats movie, based on the Archie Comics graphic novel series and 16 episodes of a short-lived Hanna-Barbera animated TV show from the early 1970s (plus an additional 16 episodes of the spin-off, Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space). The comic book, cartoon, and movie followed an all-female rock band, led by Josie McCoy (Rachael Leigh Cook in the film) and the Pussycats: Tara Reid as Melody Valentine, and Rosario Dawson as Valerie Brown.

Instead of doing a straightforward adaptation, writer-directors Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont (both of Can’t Hardly Wait fame) used the film as a means to comment on the corporatization of America by featuring nonstop logos, and a subversive—and satirical—plot. (Zoolander, which had a similar premise, was released five months after Josie and the Pussycats.) Moviegoers didn’t quite comprehend the film, and the movie grossed just shy of $15 million worldwide—less than half of its $39 million budget.

The soundtrack—featuring songs written by Fountains of Wayne, Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, Matthew Sweet, and The Go-Go’s Jane Wiedlin—sold an impressive 500,000 copies. But 15 years later, the film has become a cult classic, with a now-older audience understanding what the film was trying to communicate. Here are 12 purrfect facts about Josie and the Pussycats.

1. HARRY ELFONT AND DEBORAH KAPLAN WANTED TO MAKE A “GUILTY PLEASURE” PICTURE.

Deborah Kaplan told the Los Angeles Times that she and Harry Elfont set out to make Josie a “guilty pleasure,” and wanted to include the often ignored demographic of teenage girls. With the inclusion of satirical elements, they hoped the movie would be perceived as smart, not dumb. “We want to make sure people know it’s a smarter movie than you think it is,” Elfont said. “That’s been the challenge throughout, trying to make a movie that could satisfy both audiences, without disappointing everyone. You can be making fun of it, but at the same time, if it’s fun, what’s the difference?"

2. ROSARIO DAWSON GOT A BAD PERM FOR HER ROLE.

“I got my hair permed, which was a horrible idea, especially when it grew back with straight roots,” Dawson said during a Reddit AMA. “I remember feeling like Macy Gray compared to these other girls. Because of my big curly hair, I was so much taller and bigger than these other girls, who were so tiny they were like the size of my thigh, and just laughing hysterically with them because my character was always the odd one out.”

Hair issues notwithstanding, Dawson enjoyed making the movie because of its powerful messages. “I’d have mothers come up to me and be like, ‘This is the first brown doll I can give my daughter, so thank you,’” she told Indiewire. “That film has a ton of messages. I think that movie was ahead of its time. When I get the opportunity to do something like that, I love it. I love also doing movies strictly for the entertainment value. I love storytelling. But when something like this comes up, it’s a perfect storm.”

3. THE DIRECTORS FELT THEY WERE MAYBE TOO SUBTLE WITH THE PRODUCT PLACEMENTS.

More than 70 logos appear throughout the film, including ones from Starbucks and McDonald’s; Puma donated thousands of T-shirts but Gap and Nike declined to participate. Despite the rampant use of the branding, the corporations weren’t paid for the advertising. Elfont and Kaplan used the product placements as satirical tools, but only half of the audience seemed to understand it. “The fact that there’s people who don’t really recognize it’s a joke, that’s how bad everything else is,” Elfont told the Los Angeles Times. He said teenagers related to it on a “wish-fulfillment” level; grown-ups got the satire, but the rest took the movie “a little too much at face value.”

“And they wrote on their test cards, ‘I’m so offended, that you would try to sell stuff through this movie and who do you think we are!’ And, that’s what we’re making fun of,” Kaplan said. “Why would we have an Evian sign inside the whale tank? Maybe we were too subtle with it?”

Elfont explained he didn’t think they were being cynical but were trying to convey malfeasance with the branding. “I think all we’re saying is be aware that this stuff is happening and make a choice.”

“The message of the movie is, be an individual,” Kaplan said. “If some little girl is wearing a T-shirt that says Josie and the Pussycats, I’d rather that they got the message of the movie, which is, ‘I’m going to do whatever I want to do.’ Not, ‘Oh, I want McDonald’s now because I saw it in a movie.’”

4. ALEXANDER CABOT III KNEW THE MOVIE WOULD BE “A HUMONGOUS FLOP.”

Actor Paulo Costanzo played Alexander Cabot, the manager of the Pussycats. In a 2009 interview with Movieline, he talked about being aware of the film’s cult following, and what he thinks about it now. “I think it’s a cool movie,” he said. “I was kind of aware while shooting it that it wasn’t going to be a big commercial success, and I felt bad. Like, ‘Guys, do you realize this movie’s gonna be a humongous flop?’ But there’s this faux-nerdy intelligentsia crowd that seems to really, really love it because of its references to how ridiculous pop marketing is.”

5. THE REAL JOSIE DIED A FEW YEARS AGO.

Archie Comics artist Dan DeCarlo created Josie and the Pussycats (and the comic Sabrina the Teenage Witch) in the 1950s, basing Josie McCoy on his wife, Josie Dumont. The couple met in Belgium, and Josie didn’t speak English. “We communicated with drawing,” the real Josie told The New York Times. “He would draw things for me to make me understand what he had in mind. He was really so amusing. Instead of just using words he would use cartoons to express himself. Right away we knew that we were meant for each other.”

Once, when the couple went on a Caribbean cruise, her husband felt she shouldn’t wear a rabbit outfit. “She wanted to go as a bunny and I said, ‘Everyone’s going as a rabbit.’ So I designed the [cat] costume,” he told Entertainment Weekly. Soon after, the famous hairstyle arrived. “One day I came in with a new hairdo with a little bow in my hair, and [Dan] said, ‘That's it!’” Josie recalled. In December 2001, just months after the movie’s release, Dan died; Josie passed away in 2012.

6. KIM GORDON WAS CONSIDERED FOR THE FIONA ROLE.

The filmmakers wanted the film to be as “cutting-edge” as possible, so they contacted a woman named DeeDee Gordon, who analyzed teen culture with her website Look-Look.com. DeeDee suggested they hire Kim Gordon (no relation), co-lead singer of cool band Sonic Youth, to play Fiona, the nefarious CEO of MegaRecords. The directors jettisoned the idea, thinking Kim would be too cool to play Fiona, considering the film mainly parodied bubblegum pop mainstreamers Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys. Instead, Parker Posey did a great job hamming it up as Fiona.

7. THE DIRECTORS INTENTIONALLY HAD MELODY’S CLOTHES BE LOOSE-FITTING.

What many people remember about the comics and cartoons are the custom-fitting catsuits the girls wear, but Kaplan and Elfont eschewed that look—though, the girls still slip on cat ears and tails—and opted for something different for Melody. “We actually told our costume designer we wanted all her clothes to look like you could just pull one string and they’d fall off,” Elfont said.

“Tara’s just so sexy,” Kaplan said of Reid. “Tara has her own way of looking at things, and it’s really unique and it’s special and it’s just very Melody. Not to say that Tara is not intelligent, because she’s very smart. She just has her own way of seeing things.”

8. THE SEQUEL WOULD’VE TAKEN PLACE IN OUTER SPACE.

After the initial 1971 run of the original 16 episodes, the TV series was resurrected as Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, which ran between 1972 and 1973, but only lasted an additional 16 episodes. If the movie had led to a sequel, the directors said the Pussycats would’ve been orbited into space. “I think there’s no way you can’t do a sequel in outer space,” Elfont said. “Although we do reference it in their music video within the movie: It takes place on a star field, so it’s kind of the Pussycats in outer space.”

9. KAY HANLEY WASN’T THE FIRST CHOICE TO SING AS JOSIE.

Before the soundtrack’s producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds hired the Letters to Cleo frontwoman to write a couple of the movie’s songs and to sing Cook’s vocals, another woman had been brought on. “He’s only worked with, and I mean almost exclusively, black artists,” Hanley told Stumped Magazine. “This being a rock record, he remembered he’d worked with this singer years back who he thought sounded like a white rock singer. She had the most phenomenal voice, but once the songs started to get down on tape, everybody was like this voice would not be coming out of Josie … you know, Rachael Leigh Cook’s mouth. She didn’t lose the job because she wasn’t good, I think she lost the job because she was too good. But she wasn’t anybody famous.”

Once the producers let the original Josie go, Hanley snagged the job. “Not without a fight though,” Hanley told Popdose. “There was a lot of kicking and scratching and screaming and fighting,” and the producers “kept me hanging around for a while … I eventually heard they were flying in Tracy Bonham to sing Josie’s part. So I quit! But Kenny brought me back, and it wound up being a very good thing that he did.”

Despite all of her hard work on the film, Hanley felt the movie could’ve turned out better than it did. “I thought it was going to be a great film, but it ended up not being executed as well as anybody had hoped.”

10. THE PUSSYCATS LEARNED TO PLAY THEIR INSTRUMENTS FOR THE MOVIE.

Before starring in the movie, none of the actresses played instruments, so the filmmakers sent them to band camp to learn. “I don’t have any particular musical influences, but we watched The Go-Go’s, The Bangles, and stuff like that, because there aren’t too many girl groups who play their own instruments, except those from the ’80s,” Tara Reid told the BBC. “I became pretty good. Even a professional drummer couldn’t have played those three songs better than I could. There’s no way. The same with the other girls.” In the movie, the girls are actually playing the instruments, though they lip-synch the songs.

11. ALAN CUMMING THINKS HE IS “SHAMELESS” IN THE MOVIE.

Alan Cumming plays Du Jour’s villainous band manager, Wyatt Frame, who tries to murder the band. On his website he wrote that he and co-villain Parker Posey were “shameless” in the film. “It’s some of the most shameless acting I’ve ever done, and that is saying something ‘cause I’ve done some shameless acting in my time. I also have this big hunk of plastic roast beef from the set in my house.”

Roast beef aside, the actor told Indiewire he felt the movie wasn’t marketed well. “It’s a parody of itself, d’you know what I mean? The studio didn’t get that. They marketed it the wrong way. It should have been people like us. It should have been an older audience. We would have got the wit of it, what it was trying to do. And it was marketed for girls like the ones in the story and they were like [makes confused face] ‘Whaaaaa?’”

12. BROADWAY PERFORMED THE MOVIE’S SOUNDTRACK.

Last December, several prominent members of Broadway shows gathered to perform the film’s soundtrack live. Krystina Alabado (American Idiot), Lauren Chapman (Kinky Boots), and several performers from Spring Awakening participated in the show. “The concert will feature all the music from the soundtrack, including the hit songs ‘3 Small Words,’ ‘Spin Around,’ and ‘Pretend to Be Nice,’” read the press release. “And of course no Josie and the Pussycats concert would be complete without a couple of songs by our favorite boy band, Du Jour.”

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Welcome Productions, YouTube
arrow
Comics
8 Things You Might Not Know About Ziggy
Welcome Productions, YouTube
Welcome Productions, YouTube

Devoid of pants or much of a personality, cartoonist Tom Wilson’s Ziggy has been prompting pleasant chuckles out of readers since he first appeared in newspapers in 1971. The bulbous-nosed little unfortunate has, against the odds, become a highly recognizable character, extensively merchandised on everything from greeting cards to pencil erasers. Before the inevitable big-budget CGI reboot happens, check out some facts about Ziggy's history, why fans were upset when he once spoke, and the bittersweet origin of his distinctive name.

1. HE WAS ORIGINALLY AN ELEVATOR OPERATOR.

Ziggy had a circuitous route to the comics pages. The character was first created by American Greetings executive Tom Wilson in the 1960s. (Wilson would later have a hand in creating the Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake.) Doodling an elevator operator who commented on the mundane events inside his small world, when Wilson first tried to sell it as a comic strip, there were no takers. When he resurrected the character for a 1969 American Greetings humor book, When You’re Not Around, the odd little man intrigued the wife of a Universal Press Syndicate executive. By 1971, Wilson and Ziggy were in 15 newspapers, a number that would eventually reach over 500. 

2. THE NAME “ZIGGY” WAS CHOSEN VERY DELIBERATELY.

Ziggy is often depicted as beleaguered and exasperated at the various obstacles life puts in front of him, from faulty ATMs to soured relationships. (He prefers to socialize with animals.) Wilson gave him the name “Ziggy” because the letter “Z” comes last in the alphabet and Wilson thought that was a proper position for his character, who often came last in life. (Another story has Wilson hearing the name from a colleague’s barber and remembering it.) In one strip, Ziggy is seen waiting for a rescue after a flood—but the responders are going in alphabetical order. In 1974, Wilson told a reporter that his full name is “Zigfried.”

3. WILSON TRAINED HIS SON TO DRAW HIM.

When Wilson died in 2011, his heir apparent was already selected. His son, Tom Wilson Jr., had been drawing the strip since 1987. Long before that, the elder Wilson would sit with his son at a table, draw Ziggy in a precarious position—a safe plummeting toward him from above, for example—and then instruct his son to draw a way out of the jam. Ziggy, Tom Jr. later said, was like his “successful little brother.”

4. HE WAS ENGINEERED TO BE LOVABLE.

Despite his general haplessness, Ziggy often draws sympathy and affection from readers. Wilson felt his large, circular nose and rotund body engendered feelings of warmth and told his son to go easy on his line drawing work. “Let’s keep Ziggy round and lovable,” the artist said. Ziggy also breaks the fourth wall, talking directly to readers, a technique Wilson felt further strengthened the feeling of companionship.

5. HE WOUND UP PAINTED ON THE SIDE OF A WATER TOWER.

For years, locals in Strongsville, Ohio have craned their necks to take in a curious sight: Ziggy appears on the side of one of their water towers. Wilson was from Cleveland, and when he heard a local sports team had painted the character up there in 1975, he offered to render a better portrait. Firefighters lifted him on a crane and allowed him to paint Ziggy next to the school’s mustang mascot. When the Cleveland Water Department threatened to cover him as part of a new paint job, residents signed a petition to prevent them from going through with the plan.

6. HE HAD HIS OWN BOARD GAME.

There was no limit to the kind of Ziggy product tie-ins hitting stores, including shirts, calendars, and mugs. But 1977’s A Day with Ziggy might be the most memorable. Players assumed the role of the put-upon blob, trying to avoid landing on a space that would worsen Ziggy’s day.

7. HE MET GENE SHALIT.

Ziggy first popped up in cartoon form in 1981, when he “appeared” in a segment with Today film critic Gene Shalit. Strangely, readers wrote in expressing disapproval of the spot, noting that Ziggy's voice didn’t mesh with what they had imagined he might sound like.

8. HE WON AN EMMY.

Ziggy made the jump to animation in 1982 with the ABC primetime special Ziggy’s Gift. Written by Wilson, it afforded Ziggy fans a closer look at the character’s daily life, including his sparsely-furnished apartment and a gig dressing as Santa for the holidays. At Wilson’s insistence, the character didn’t speak to avoid another Shalit situation. The special won an Emmy in 1983. Ziggy still wasn’t wearing any pants.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Columbia Pictures
arrow
entertainment
12 Burning Facts About Hellboy
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures

Two decades before he would become a two-time Oscar-winner for The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro set out to make a movie about his favorite superhero: a big red demon with a big gun and a heart of gold. It took years to finally get the film off the ground, but in 2004 Hellboy finally made it to theaters, adding another piece to the beloved supernatural filmography that’s made del Toro a favorite among genre fans for a quarter of a century.

Though it never rose to the box office heights of The Avengers, and it never reached the end of its planned trilogy, Hellboy remains one of the most imaginative, thrilling superhero films of the 21st century. From early script changes to an accidentally deleted scene, here are 12 facts about how it was made.

1. HELLBOY WAS GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S FAVORITE SUPERHERO WELL BEFORE HE MADE THE MOVIE. 

Guillermo del Toro grew up with comic books, noting that he was flipping through them before he even knew how to read the words. That childhood fondness for the medium stayed with him into adulthood, and by the time he’d reached his early 30s he’d not only discovered the work of Mike Mignola, but began to consider the Hellboy creator one of his great comic book visual influences alongside legends like Will Eisner, Bernie Wrightson, and Richard Corben.

“Mignola, in my later years, already as a young adult, fascinated me with his use of light and shadow, with his amazing bold line work, but also with the way he gave birth to my favorite superhero in my adult years, which is Hellboy,” del Toro said during the recording of the Hellboy Director’s Cut commentary track.

When del Toro and Mignola finally met during the making of Hellboy, they bonded over a mutual love of folklore and pulp fiction, becoming fast friends and collaborators. 

2. THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT FEATURED INTERVIEWS WITH HELLBOY WITNESSES.

In the world of the film, Hellboy is viewed as an urban legend and tabloid story, not unlike Bigfoot. The film’s opening credits underline this with blurry photos, grainy videos, and newspaper headlines meant to depict widespread eyewitness accounts of the creature. Agent Myers (Rupert Evans) further emphasizes this point when he exclaims “He’s real!” upon meeting Hellboy for the first time. 

According to del Toro, this idea was initially supposed to play out in a much more overt way through the film’s screenplay. In early drafts, parts of the film’s story were told through eyewitness interviews with characters claiming to have seen Hellboy.

“So people would be saying ‘I saw Hellboy over here. I saw him jump,’ and a kid saying, ‘I saw him on the rooftop.’ Now everybody does it, but back then it was 1997, '98, and I thought that was a great idea,” del Toro said. “That was the first thing we cut out of the shooting schedule because [the studio executives] didn’t understand it.”

3. IT COULD HAVE BEEN MADE MUCH SOONER.

Though Hellboy’s live-action debut occurred relatively early in the 21st century’s superhero movie boom, he could have been more of a comic book trailblazer than he turned out to be. According to del Toro, if it weren't for reluctant studio executives, the film could have come out as early as 1998, making it a contemporary of Blade rather than Spider-Man 2.

“The one thing that particularly infuriates me is that this movie could have been made in 1998,” del Toro said, noting that the film would have then pre-dated X-Men (2000), Spider-Man (2002), and even The Matrix (1999). At the time, though, many studio executives considered the comic book movie label “almost an insult,” and so Hellboy kept getting pushed back. In between the time it could have been made and the time it was actually released, del Toro made his comic book movie debut with another dark superhero film, Blade II, in 2002.

4. DEL TORO WROTE HIS OWN CHARACTER BIOGRAPHIES.

By the time Hellboy hit theaters, creator Mike Mignola had already been building his own mythology and supporting cast around the character for a full decade. While the film is a loose adaptation of the first major story arc of the comic, “Seed of Destruction,” del Toro couldn’t help adding his own touches to everyone’s backstory. Even before he began work on the script, del Toro wrote out detailed character biographies for each major player in the Hellboy story, which were then included on the eventual Director’s Cut DVD release.

A particularly amusing example from these backstories: The fictionalized version of historical figure Grigori Rasputin (Karel Roden) is said to have disliked “greasy food,” and while he really did die in 1916, he was resurrected in 1936 when Nazi occultists mixed his stolen ashes with the blood of the innocent.

5. HE ALSO ADDED THE LOVE STORY.

Long before his fantasy romance The Shape of Water earned him two Academy Awards, del Toro was imagining tales of unusual creatures falling in love with human women, and Hellboy was one of them. The romance between the title character (Ron Perlman) and Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) didn’t exist in Mignola’s original comics, where Sherman’s stronger connection was (ironically, given The Shape of Water’s subject matter) with the aquatic creature Abe Sapien (who is played by The Shape of Water's Amphibian Man, Doug Jones). Latching onto a particular moment in the comics in which Hellboy is enraged by the thought of Liz’s death, del Toro envisioned a story in which his demonic hero could fall in love with a pyrokinetic woman, and was particularly enticed by the image of that woman engulfed in flames kissing a fireproof creature. That particular storytelling decision made del Toro’s Hellboy significantly different from Mignola’s, who modeled the character after his father, but the creator ultimately allowed the departure in the final film.

6. RASPUTIN WAS ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO LOSE HIS EYES.

In several sequences throughout the film, the character of Rasputin wears a pair of small sunglasses, even in scenes set at night. This was not done simply to make him look cooler (del Toro recalls comparisons made to The Matrix), but because del Toro originally planned to take away the character’s eyes. In the film’s opening sequence, Rasputin is sucked into the very portal that baby Hellboy is drawn out of, causing him to vanish from Earth for decades until he’s resurrected in the present day. Del Toro wanted the portal to create a “cosmic eye-gouging” effect that would rip the character’s eyes out of his head, but it simply didn’t work in a PG-13 film.

“I thought the eye-gouging, the cosmic eye-gouging, was not graphic enough for people to get the point,” del Toro said.

So, the shot of Rasputin losing his eyes was cut from the theatrical release, but restored for the director’s cut, along with a deleted scene in which the character is given a set of glass eyes.

7. LABYRINTHS ARE A RECURRING THEME IN THE FILM.

Del Toro is a director known for his keen attention to detail. As a result, various recurring visual themes appear in all of his films. For Hellboy, he focused on the idea that “a man is made a man by the choices he makes,” and while the film’s story conveys that as Hellboy must choose between the ideologies of Rasputin and Professor Broom, he also sought to convey it through visual metaphor. To do this, del Toro settled on the recurring motif of the labyrinth. It first appears as part of the opening credits sequence, when the entire logo becomes a kind of maze, then reappears as Ilsa (Bridget Hodson) and Kroenen (Ladislav Beran) weave through mountainous terrain to find Rasputin’s resurrection site. To bookend the metaphor, Rasputin’s mausoleum in Moscow also functions as a kind of labyrinth. Even the metal gates leading to the BPRD’s headquarters resemble the lines of a maze.

8. ONE SCENE WAS ACCIDENTALLY DELETED BY SEVERAL PROJECTIONISTS.

While several scenes from del Toro’s Director’s Cut were left out of the theatrical release, even the version of Hellboy shown in theaters wasn’t always complete. As del Toro later recalled, some “careless” projectionists in “dozens” of theaters accidentally removed one key sequence from the film’s final act as they were assembling the reels. At the end of the scene in which Liz activates her fire powers to burn the Sammael creatures away, a rock flies directly at the camera lens, creating a brief blackout. That scene is supposed to be followed by a shot of an unconscious Myers waking up on the ground to find Ilsa and Rasputin standing over him. The blackout confused some projectionists into skipping over the scene of Myers waking up, so some theatrical audiences were taken directly to the scene that followed, in which Myers has already been captured and chained up. According to del Toro, he set up an email contact form for moviegoers to report this misstep and got numerous replies, though the studio was not able to correct all of the errors.

9. IT FEATURES MANY FREQUENT DEL TORO COLLABORATORS.

Beginning with Cronos (1993), del Toro has built a large and diverse company of frequent collaborators, many of whom continue to work with him to this day. Several of these collaborators contributed to Hellboy, both in front of and behind the camera, including actors Ron Perlman (Cronos, Pacific Rim, Blade II) and Doug Jones (Mimic, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water, and more), composer Marco Beltrami (Mimic, Blade II), and cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim and more).

10. IT SUFFERED BACKLASH BECAUSE THE WORD “HELL” IS IN THE TITLE.

During the Director’s Cut commentary for Hellboy, del Toro praised the film’s marketing team for finding ways to sell the film to the public, noting that it wasn’t always easy to attract audiences to a film called Hellboy. Some theaters refused to show the movie, while others retitled it Helloboy in an effort to calm potentially offended patrons. The problem was exacerbated by the presence of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which opened a few weeks earlier and remained a big box office draw during the Easter holiday.

“Especially on Easter, some theaters mysteriously dropped the movie when it was still making money,” del Toro recalled.

11. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE FIRST FILM IN A TRILOGY.

Hellboy opened on April 2, 2004 to strong reviews and a box office return good enough to merit a sequel. Just weeks after the first film hit theaters, Hellboy II was a go, with del Toro, Perlman, Blair, and Jones returning. With the knowledge that he would get to continue the story, del Toro envisioned a superhero fantasy trilogy, which moved closer to becoming a reality when Hellboy II: The Golden Army opened in 2008 to more critical acclaim. As time passed, though, a third film began to seem increasingly unlikely, with Perlman in particular noting that the epic scope of del Toro’s plans could be too taxing on the budget as well as Perlman’s own physical health. After years of holding out hope that the trilogy could be completed, del Toro finally announced in 2017 that all plans for Hellboy 3 had been scrapped.

12. BUT A REBOOT IS IN THE WORKS.

Del Toro might not get to finish his version of the Hellboy story, but that doesn’t mean Big Red won’t hit the big screen again. In May 2017, just months after del Toro announced an end to his version of the tale, Mignola revealed that the character would be rebooted as part of a new film franchise. Directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent) and starring David Harbour (Stranger Things) in the title role, the new Hellboy film is set to hit theaters on January 11, 2019.

Additional Sources:
Hellboy: The Director’s Cut special features (2004)
Guillermo del Toro: Cabinet of Curiosities (2013)

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios