In 2004, Hellboy scorched its way into cinemas. The comic book movie, about a demon who battles paranormal forces for the good of mankind, was a moderate box office hit which led to a series of movies.

But how many Hellboy movies are there and what is the best order to watch them?

Read on and I shall tell you.

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The Ron Perlman movies

Image: ©Universal Pictures

The first time Hellboy appeared on film was under the watch of director Guillermo del Toro. Ron Perlman took on the title role for 2004’s Hellboy and he was joined by a cast that included Selma Blair, John Hurt, Doug Jones, David Hyde Pierce, and Jeffrey Tambor.

The movie focused on Hellboy’s origin, as well as his battle with the forces of darkness, and it was released to favourable reviews. When the box office receipts were added up, the film had made $100 million from a budget of $66 million – not spectacular, but not bad.

A live-action sequel would follow (more on that in a moment), but before it arrived the character made the jump to animation, via two direct-to-DVD movies. The first of theses movies was released in 2006, under the title Hellboy: Sword of Storms.

Directed by Phil Weinstein, Sword of Storms was set prior to the events of 2004’s Hellboy and featured the vocal work of three key cast members from the live-action film: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and Doug Jones. It was then followed in 2007 with director Victor Cook’s Hellboy: Blood and Iron – another animated tale with Perlman, Jones and Blair (and this time John Hurt) all returning.

Both of the animated movies were met with a positive response from fans and critics alike. However, live-action was where Hellboy next showed up, via 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

Perlman remained in the role of Hellboy, with Blair and Jones reprising their roles from previous movies. The film was once again directed by Guillermo del Toro and was once again met by positive reviews.

Moving forward, both del Toro and Perlman made it known that they were keen to return for a third (and final) live-action movie – but despite many, many years of talking about it, the project never came to pass.

If you wish to watch the Ron Perlman Hellboy movies in order, you can watch them one of two ways.

Production order:

  • Hellboy (2004)
  • Hellboy: Sword of Storms (2006)
  • Hellboy: Blood and Iron (2007)
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

Timeline order:

  • Hellboy: Sword of Storms (2006)
  • Hellboy: Blood and Iron (2007)
  • Hellboy (2004)
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

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The David Harbour movie

Image: ©Lionsgate

With Hellboy III falling by the wayside, a decision was made to move the series in a new direction. Hellboy was to be rebooted with a live-action adventure that would boast a completely new cast and a new lead actor in the shape of David Harbour.

Good idea?

Not so much.

Fans liked the pairing of del Toro and Perlman and were not so keen on the idea of the reboot. When the movie opened in Spring 2019, it was also met with an overwhelmingly negative response from both critics and audiences alike.

The Hellboy reboot became a box office bomb and took less money than it cost to make. However, if you wish to watch the film, simply look out for:

  • Hellboy (2019)

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Hellboy movies in production order

Image: ©Starz Media

And finally, if you wish to watch all of the Hellboy movies – both live-action and animated in production order – then follow this list:

  • Hellboy (2004)
  • Hellboy: Sword of Storms (2006)
  • Hellboy: Blood and Iron (2007)
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
  • Hellboy (2019)

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I hope this information about the Hellboy film series has proved useful. Should you wish to know more about Hellboy or other long-running movie series, please check out one of the recommended reads below.

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