Hellboy's Abe Sapien Actor Will Only Return For One Reason

With a few years behind the last adaptation, Hellboy's Abe Sapien actor Doug Jones explains the only way he will return for a new film. Jones starred in Guillermo del Toro's original adaptations of Mike Mignola's beloved comics centered around Anung un Rama, the titular hero summoned to Earth during World War II by Nazi occultists who is taken in by Allied Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, creator of the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.). The character actor starred in del Toro's Hellboy movies as Abe Sapien, a Victorian scientist who is transformed into an aquatic creature after an arcane ritual gone wrong.


Del Toro's Hellboy movies scored largely positive reviews from critics and audiences alike for its faithfulness to Mignola's source comics and the performances of its cast, namely Ron Perlman and Jones. Despite the positive reviews, both of del Toro's movies only performed modestly at the box office, resulting in a third film dying in development hell over creative differences between the Oscar-winning filmmaker and Universal Pictures. The rights to the franchise would briefly revert to Lionsgate for the David Harbour-led Hellboy reboot, which scored largely negative reviews from critics and was a box office failure, though one star is still hopeful about the franchise's future chances.

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While speaking exclusively with Screen Rant for his Hocus Pocus 2 return, Doug Jones shared his thoughts on a potential Hellboy 3. Though noting that his comments have "no bearing" on the threequel getting produced, the Abe Sapien confirmed his interest in returning for the film, under one major circumstance. See what Jones shared below:

Yeah, no, every time any of us voice up and say, give our feelings about wanting to do a Hellboy 3, it turns into a fan frenzy of, "You guys, it's happening," and it's absolutely not how it works. So I need to put that as a preface. [Laughs] My desire to come back for Hellboy 3 has absolutely no bearing on it being actually made, I don't wield that kind of power in Hollywood, I don't know if you knew that or not. [Laughs] I can't make a big studio cough up $150 million. But yes, were there a Hellboy 3 to be made, if there were to be one, and if Guillermo del Toro was coming back to direct and Ron was coming back to play Hellboy and Selma was coming back to play Liz Sherman, I would absolutely 100 percent come back as Abe, in that scenario, yes. But we have to we have to look at reality, and once a reboot has been made, it's hard to go back again. So I don't know, I don't know.

Hellboy and Abe Sapien

Given development on a potential Hellboy 3 has languished for well over a decade now, it's understandable Jones would feel the need to preface his interest in returning doesn't mean a new film is in the works for the franchise. Del Toro and the rest of the original Hellboy cast have frequently expressed their interest in coming back for a threequel, though creative differences have kept the film from taking off. In its place, Lionsgate eventually produced the poorly received reboot, whose dismal box office performance canceled plans for a potential sequel.

Though Jones may sound doubtful on its chances, his optimism to return for a potential Hellboy 3 is sure to keep fans of the franchise hopeful for his and his fellow costars' return to the fold. With Harbour now busy in the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to Black Widow and the upcoming Thunderbolts movie and Perlman's recent focus on indie films, the door does seem open for Jones and his original Hellboy actors to reprise their roles in a potential threequel sometime in the future. In the meantime, audiences can revisit the original Hellboy movie streaming on HBO Max now.