Hellboy to be rebooted

Stranger Things actor David Harbour is set to star as demonic superhero Hellboy in a film version of the irreverent comic-book franchise.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, director Neil Marshall, best known for his work on Dog Soldiers, The Descent and Game of Thrones, has been lined up to direct the film, which has the working title of Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. Neither Guillermo Del Toro, who directed two previous instalments of the franchise, nor Ron Perlman, who starred in the films, are involved in the new version.

The character appeared in Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and, while neither film achieved more than minor box-office success, the series attracted a cult following, prompting calls for a third film. Earlier this year Del Toro wrote on Twitter that “100% a sequel will not happen”.

Writing about the project on Facebook, original Hellboy comic creator Mike Mignola said that the new film would be an “R-rated reboot”, suggesting a more adult tone than Del Toro’s films had.

Harbour appeared in minor roles in Quantum of Solace, Revolutionary Road and State of Play, before rising to prominence with the part of Sheriff Jim Hopper in Netflix’s nostalgic sci-fi horror Stranger Things. The show became a surprise hit in July last year, and a second series will be released this Halloween.

Perlman responded defiantly to the news of his ousting as Hellboy on Twitter, thanking fans for their words of support before adding: “Now back my real Third Act, fighting to take Democracy out of the claws of fascists and racists. What any real superhero must do.”