There’s few things as adorable and awesome as an actor who is dedicated to the fandom they’ve headlined. Case in point is the big man himself, Ron Perlman. Fresh off of being fantastic in Sons of Anarchy, Perlman took to social media earlier this month to drum up support to get the third installment of the Hellboy franchise made.
Hellboy began life as a revolutionary comic by artist/writer Mike Mignola back in 1993. The story of the baby demon raised as a paranormal hunter has since become one of the most well-known properties published by Dark Horse Comics and spawned multiple other comic lines, like B.P.R.D and Lobster Johnson. Perlman donned the Red Right Hand of the devil in the big trench coat twice, once for Hellboy in 2004 and for Hellboy II: The Golden Army in 2008. After the second film underperformed at the box office, the franchise’s producers Universal seemed to scrap the idea of another Hellboy film, even though the second film set them up perfectly for a trilogy. Director Guillermo Del Toro went on
Still, Perlman hasn’t been deterred. Recently, while doing a Reddit AMA to promote his upcoming book Easy Street (The Hard Way): A Memoir, Perlman was asked about the status of Hellboy 3 and expressed his enthusiasm in a big way. “It’s definitely a part of the conversation that I have with Guillermo every time I see him,” wrote Perlman. “I, for one, would love to see how the Trilogy resolves itself. And I will fight for Hellboy 3 as long as my cold dead hands are not cold and dead.”
That’s some passionate words from an actor who’s been at the heart of countless fandoms since the 1980’s. What’s the most exciting about this push by Perlman, and the reason fans really ought to take notice, is that it signals an actor taking personal interest and responsibility for rallying the fanbase to a cause. While many beloved actors have used their celebrity to energize their fanbase to support worthy causes (for example: Misha Collins and Jared Padalecki from Supernatural, or Stephen Amell from Arrow), Perlman’s outreach to Hellboy fans points to a trend of creative professionals leading fans on the charge to complete projects outside of the studio system.
Perlman’s enthusiasm has certainly garnered attention. Stan Lee’s website and Facebook page voiced support, promoting the charge to get the Hellboy film funded. With the success of crowdfunding fan favorites like the Veronica Mars film, it’s been suggested that Perlman and Del Toro turn to something like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo to raise the funds they need. Meanwhile, fans have been encouraged to support Del Toro’s other projects, so he might have the money and the studio support when the time comes to bring up the Hellboy franchise once more. The director has had trouble in the past raising capital for passion projects, such as his take on H.P. Lovecraft’s In The Mountains of Madness, which has been in production hell for years.
Hellboy 3 certainly hasn’t been announced yet. But have faith: an IMDB entry for the film appeared back in January of this year. With Del Toro’s upcoming gothic horror Crimson Peak with Tom Hiddleston looking to hit huge in October 2015 and Pacific Rim 2 already scheduled for 2017, fans can come together to show the director some love. Maybe that, plus Perlman’s enthusiasm, will be just what we need to see Red back on screen once more.