Peter Briggs, writer of the original Hellboy, has revealed some fascinating news in reaction to the announcement that the Hellboy franchise is being rebooted, and that Ron Perlman is being replaced by David Harbour (Stranger Things). The writer took to Facebook to reveal a now-defunct project that was in active-development for quite some time: a spin-off movie centered around Hellboy’s ally Abe Sapien titled Hellboy: Silverlance.
The (very lengthy) post is below, in its entirety:
“Back in 2010, I was working out of an office at Weta Workshop in New Zealand, when I got a surprise call from Universal. Internally, Universal were keen to make a “Hellboy” spinoff based around the character of Prince Nuada from “Hellboy 2” and asked if I was interested in writing it. I said I was, although there was the slight problem of Prince Nuada being…ah…um…slightly “dead” at the end of “Hellboy 2”. I also pushed a little bit that, if it came off, I’d really like to direct it and make it in New Zealand. Universal were agreeable and said we could discuss that at the appropriate time.
I started working on an outline with my Los Angeles-based “Panzer 88” co-writer Aaron Mason while still in New Zealand. It was called “Hellboy: Silverlance”, and we solved the “Nuada Problem”. Although we never really discussed it as such it really was a “B.P.R.D.” movie. The aquatic Abe Sapien was the main character, and Hellboy still featured fairly prominently in it. I suppose you could liken it to a “Suicide Squad” situation: Batman was in there, but the story wasn’t really about him.
Aaron and myself turned it in. Universal really wanted to proceed with it, but after further discussions at the studio it was apparent a “Hellboy 3” was still on the cards for the studio and more of a priority, so “Silverlance” got back-burnered. I figured that was the end of that.
Five years later, 2015, I was in Sweden when I got another call from Universal. It was looking like “Hellboy 3” wasn’t now going to happen, so would Aaron and myself now be interested in further developing a reworked version of “Silverlance”? Larry Gordon would be involved. Hell, yes!
The one caveat Universal gave us was that the character of Hellboy himself now couldn’t be shown.”
The writer goes on to describe the plot of the spin-off in more detail…
“The story had a sort of “Highlander” structure to it. Moving into their new Bureau For Paranormal Research And Defense headquarters in Colorado, Abe is troubled still by his psychic connection with Princess Nuala from “Hellboy 2”, so researches the history of Nuala and Nuada. We would have seen Nuada’s connection to a rival fairy courtier who seeks control of the fairy kingdom (and Nuala’s hand in marriage), and engineers the machinations that cause Prince Nuada’s expulsion. We’d have seen Nuada in different timezones down the centuries, including his first meeting with Mister Wink in Spain during the Spanish Inquisition (Nuada saves Wink from a troupe of soldiers); and Nuada in Nazi Germany in World War 2 engineering a pact to keep various supernatural entities unharmed from the conflict. (We would have seen Nuada and Kroenen fighting in a “friendly” bout for a bunch of Project Ragnarok goons.)
Doug Jones would have been playing twin characters of both Abe and a reprise of the Angel Of Death, with whom Prince Nuada strikes a bargain. Agent Myers from the first “Hellboy” film would have returned. The story reached a rousing action climax at the B.P.R.D. Colorado headquarters and used Rasputin’s summoning gauntlet from the first movie (and we did manage to sneak Hellboy in for a cameo in one scene!) If it had been successful, it would have been the first in a series of “From The Files Of The B.P.R.D.” projects.”
Peter Briggs concludes his post with hope for the future of the franchise, and confirmation that Silverlance is most likely 100% dead…
With the announcement of the Neil Marshall “Hellboy” reboot project yesterday, I think it’s safe to say “Silverlance” is now officially dead. As a fan of “Hellboy” for 25 years, I’m curious to see how the new Millennium project turns out.
The Hellboy reboot, being directed by Neil Marshall, is tentatively titled Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, and is set to star Stranger Things star David Harbour. How do you feel about the newly-announced reboot? Would you prefer a definitive ending to the Ron Perlman trilogy, and a potential to see Hellboy: Silverlance? Or do you feel that too much time has passed? Let us know in the comments below!
… You can find Jordan on Twitter (@JordJJones), and Facebook.