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Ron Perlman on how he really feels about the future of Hellboy - Exclusive

Looper recently talked with Ron Perlman about his new movie The Big Ugly, and our chat found him offering up tremendous praise for the cast and crew. While we had a great time discussing what he's been up to recently, we couldn't help reaching back to the past with a question we've all had on our minds: "Is there a future in Hellboy for you?"

A quick recap: rumors have swirled for years about Hellboy III, a labor of love for both Perlman and director Guillermo del Toro. After many bumps in the road, del Toro himself said in 2017 that it wouldn't happen. Sure enough, a reboot with a new creative team came along in 2019... and promptly bombed. While all of that might seem to spell certain doom for a trilogy-capper, plans change in Hollywood all the time, and there's still no shortage of fan demand for a Hellboy III.

Perlman's response? "I never give up hope."

He recognizes that he "has been the recipient of so many pleasant surprises that you never see coming." As such, he's learned to "never say never." He, personally, still wants more. "In my mind, we still owe the public a third iteration of Hellboy. We still have unfinished business in the fact that we never completed the trilogy."

"Do I think it's going to happen? No," he says, bluntly. But he's quick to add, "Do I think it could happen? Maybe."

Does Perlman have any thoughts on the much-maligned 2019 movie? "I have zero thoughts on that." Probably the safe and correct answer, there.

Whatever happens, Perlman still loves working with del Toro

Hellboy or no Hellboy, Perlman's long and fruitful partnership with del Toro is far from over. They've got two projects coming up together — Pinocchio and Nightmare Alley. The actor remains understandably tight-lipped about both productions, but he did give us some insight. He revealed that they were "halfway through filming Nightmare Alley" before production was halted due to COVID-19. Based on the 1946 novel of the same name, the movie boasts a star-studded cast that also includes Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett.

Meanwhile, Perlman teases that Pinocchio is "unlike anything that you've ever associated with [the story] before." It certainly has a different setting than your average take on the little wooden boy, with a twist that's very much in line with del Toro's penchant for marrying dark fairy tales with potent political allegory. "It's set in the run up to fascist Italy under Mussolini," says Perlman, "and I won't say much more about it than that, but it's incredibly provocative." Color us intrigued.

Catch Ron Perlman in The Big Ugly, now at selected theaters, drive-ins, and VOD.