A recent blog by MTV brought up the prospect of a B.P.R.D. spin-off film while Guillermo is off doing THE HOBBIT.
Sorry, folks. In my opinion, its not going to happen. If HELLBOY II couldn’t rake in enough profit to go in the black domestically, what chance does B.P.R.D. have? Yes, HELLBOY II is in the black now, thanks to international box office and DVD.
The reality is, without the star of the show (Big Red), B.P.R.D. would be a risky theatrical investment.
Television, however, would be perfect.
The B.P.R.D. is fertile ground for a cable or network television series. Here’s why:
1. It has a built-in audience for people familiar with the Hellboy films
2. Sci-Fi and Fantasy is very popular right now, with hit shows like Heroes and Battlestar Galactica on the airwaves.
3. Its unique. I can’t think of any shows like it ever on television – every creature/makeup show I’ve ever seen has been alien science fiction (Star Trek, Farscape, Babylon 5). Its about time we ditch the aliens and get some Monster TV.
I think the biggest drawback to the show would be cost. I believe viewers today expect a high production value – and the makeup and special effects for Abe, Roger, and various baddies might be on the steep end.
And its not the first time a show with GDT ties made it to television. Remember the short-lived BLADE series on Spike TV?
I’m not sure where the property rights for B.P.R.D. rest, but if they are at Universal, it would be a beacon of hope. NBC-Universal produces the high-quality, SciFi Channel drama Battlestar Galactica – one of my all-time favorites. They also produce SciFi’s Eureka. So Universal, at least, is open to fantasy programming.
The key to success is a high-powered brain to push the series. Guillermo obviously has the influence, although his attempt to bring THE STRAIN to Fox TV failed for unknown reasons. G could open some doors for a B.P.R.D. series, and he has gone on record as saying it would be a good idea, but unfortunately, I don’t think he has any interest in developing it himself. Too busy. I think Mignola might be the same – my impression is that he is content to write the comics. So the ONLY way this could happen is if Mignola and GDT would endorse someone they trust to develop the series.
Who might that be?
The name that comes to mind is David S. Goyer.
Goyer was a screenwriter for BLADE II. He was also executive producer for such TV shows as BLADE: THE SERIES (the same as above), SLEEPWALKERS, and THRESHOLD. He has the added clout of co-writing the massively popular BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT films. In September 2007, Variety reported that Goyer had signed on to direct an adaptation of Mignola’s graphic novel “Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire” for New Regency. The business relationships are there to make it happen.
Could a B.P.R.D. series get made without Goyer? Certainly. To my knowledge, Goyer has never shown any public interest in the property.
But he might be its best chance.