Neil Marshall On Going R-Rated With 'Hellboy: Rise Of The Blood Queen'

Neil Marshall is not one to ever let an R-rating go to waste. From Dog Soldiers to The Descent to Doomsday, the filmmaker knows how to get bloody. He usually works with good old-fashioned practical effects for his blood and carnage – which is his plan for the Hellboy reboot. Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, which starts shooting later this year, he says, is going to rely on practical effects as much as possible.

Below, Marshall discusses the R-rated Hellboy movie.

Screenwriter Andrew Cosby recently said his take on Mike Mignola's comic is "a darker, more gruesome version of Hellboy," and that Marshall wants his movie to "walk a razor's edge between horror and comic book movie." Marshall explained on the Post Mortem Podcast that pushing the horror and R-rating is really about staying true to the comic, not just bloodying things up:

We've been granted permission to do it R-rated, which for me is just like taking the cuffs off. It's like, okay, so now we can just make the movie we want to make. It's not like I'm going to force it to be R-rated, but if it happens to come out that way, just because of my own sensibilities, then fine. And nobody's going to stop us. So, that's the main [difference]. And I'm sure, obviously, the success of things like Deadpool and Logan have not hurt that cause. But, also, when you go back the original material, it is kind of bloody, so I'm going to embrace that.

Marshall added:

It's definitely going to be as practical as we can possibly make it. I love to do stuff in camera whenever I possibly can, and use CG as the amazing tool that it is, to enhance or expand upon the world, but not to use it to replace reality, when you can do it [for] real.

A PG-13 Hellboy from the director of The Descent and Game of Thrones' "Blackwater" doesn't sound as appetizing as this R-rated adaptation they're working on, which will star David Harbour (Stranger Things). Another benefit from the R-rating is maybe making Marshall's movie stand more on its own. The last Hellboy was more of a fairy tale with del Toro's playful sense of humor and colorful style. Then again, it sounds like Marshall is making a Hellboy movie that couldn't be more different from Del Toro's films, although his, too, had some astonishing practical effects. The Troll market scene remains a stunner.