You could write a pretty substantive book on the number of cancelled Guillermo del Toro projects we’ll sadly never get to see, but the recent news that we’ll be getting a “gritty reboot” of HELLBOY rather than the hoped-for threequel hurt more than most. Still, del Toro never disappoints at having something in the pipeline regardless, and this looks like it could be a suitable replacement on more than one level (it also looks really, really good):
So. A Cold War-era Beauty & The Beast/Frankenstein/Creature From The Black Lagoon mash-up, with Sally Hawkins as a mute lady janitor who falls in love with a gill-man being held prisoner(?) at the science lab where she works. Michael Shannon looks perfectly cast as the Asshole 50s White Guy villain, and that’s Doug Jones as the fish-man – looking, yes, very much like his Abe Sapien character from HELLBOY – but with a more “busy” fish-like design that looks like it more explicitly evokes The Creature.
This would look pretty great even without the added “Hm…” of the yet-unnamed protagonist making it look like del Toro may have gone and made something like an off-brand HELLBOY supporting-player prequel; but c’mon – that’s the first place your mind goes, isn’t it? If so, I wonder if there’s a story there – did he repurpose some Abe-flashback-centric material that would otherwise have been in HELLBOY 3 to make this? Did he try to set up an ABE movie and then decide to proceed anyway? Is he just getting a lick in now that “his” HELLBOY is officially X’d out? Or is it all just a big coincidence and he just really likes working with Doug Jones when dressed as lanky merman?
Either way, looks terrific – can’t wait to find out more.