Ron Perlman Talks Hellboy III

Exclusive: 'He has to take down civilisation...'

Between bellowing "don't get up!" as he passed Heat magazine (he was kidding) and talking up his role in new Amazon Studios series Hand Of God, the great Ron Perlman was an absolute hoot when he popped into Empire Towers to record a guest slot on this week’s podcast.

But we couldn’t let the man who is Anung Un Rama go without asking him about the state of play on Hellboy III, the hoped-for final instalment of Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of the beloved Mike Mignola comic book series. Hellboy II: The Golden Army came out in 2008, and did fairly well at the box office, but not well enough to greenlight the trilogy-ender right away. And with del Toro filling his dance card with other projects, it seemed like Hellboy had eaten his last pancake.

But recently, the project has shown signs of life. Perlman has been banging the drum on Twitter recently, and he told us that he and del Toro recently met for dinner to talk about the third instalment in the superhero-from-hell franchise.

"I really feel as though I'm done with the character," admitted Perlman. "I don't have a burning desire to put that shit on again. But Guillermo told me what the resolve of the trilogy would look like, in broad strokes, and it's such an amazingly theatrical, cinematic idea, that I found it essential that we do it. We were designed to be a trilogy, with a beginning, a middle and an end. We've only done two-thirds, so I feel that we're not really done until we finish it."

While he'd initially only give us a two-word clue as to del Toro's big idea — "Fucked-up" — Perlman gradually let slip a little more. “Holy shit, he's the beast of the Apocalypse. He has to take down civilisation. He has to. It's non-negotiable. That's the foundation for the story, and that's why I think it would be a shame if we don't do it.”

Hellboy II, though, ends on a happy note with Big Red finding out that his girlfriend, Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) is pregnant. With twins. The last shot of that film is a gorgeous freeze-frame of a smiling Hellboy – and Perlman revealed that if we are going to see the big red demon fulfil his destiny in Hellboy III, that his offspring, the Hellboys-or-girls, will play a major part.

"I'll tell you this," Perlman teased. "The two twins: one would look like the mum and one would look like the dad. And one of them was going to be completely fucking corrupt, the other one angelic. Which one was which? Only Guillermo would make the fucked-up-looking one be the angel. So then that adds to the saga."

For much more sweary Perlman goodness, and his thoughts on everything from The Hobbit to Tom Waits, listen to this week's Empire Podcast.

Ed Lauder