Lionsgate and Summit’s upcoming Hellboy reboot starring Stranger Things‘ David Harbour won’t be Guillermo del Toro’s Big Red, that’s for sure. As initially revealed by ERC Box Office on Twitter, the daddy-issue-filled reboot earned the newly coveted rating (Deadpool has resurrected the notion that R-rated comic book movies can reach blockbuster success) after billing itself as “legendary AF.” This also doubles down on previous promises by director Neil Marshall, who told Entertainment Weekly that the harder rating will allow him to “take the cuffs off” and fully deliver for fans of writer-artist Mike Mignola’s original comics.
The MPAA’s rating was duly bestowed for “strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language.” The reboot’s trailer gave a glimpse of the monster-and-gun-filled violence coming our way, and while waving around the promise of an R-rating last fall, Marshall doubled down on the cuffs reference while talking to Empire. “It was always a case of, ‘When in doubt, go back to the source material,'” he teased. “Some of the stuff is pretty sick. More violent and more bloody. We weren’t making it with handcuffs on.”
Well, at least this reboot’s purpose has made itself clear. There’ll be no PG-13 take to be found, unlike the Ron Perlman-starring films that were directed by Guillermo del Toro. In addition, Hellboy’s somewhat-debated status as an antihero has been embraced by Harbour, who’s made a point of articulating, “I definitely think Hellboy is an antihero.” No one has really addressed the stilted nature of the humor in the trailer, but perhaps we’ll hear more on that soon.
Hellboy, which also stars Milla Jovovich, Daniel Dae Kim, and Sasha Lane, will arrive in theaters on April 12.