Doug Jones as Abe Sapien in the Hellboy duology.
(Photo Credit: Dark Horse Entertainment)

Hellboy: David Hyde Pierce Explains His Golden Army Absence as Abe Sapien

Actor David Hyde Pierce has opened up about his decision to not return as the voice of Abe Sapien in Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy: The Golden Army.

Who played Abe Sapien in Hellboy: The Golden Army?

Pierce admitted that he didn’t exactly remember why he decided not to “do Hellboy 2,” although he was pretty sure it was to give Doug Jones — who physically portrayed Abe Sapien — the credit he deserved for the role.

“I only did the first one because Guillermo [del Toro] said he heard my voice for the character. I don’t think he knew that Doug Jones, the actor who played him, was perfectly capable of doing a great voice, as well, which he subsequently did,” Pierce explained to ComicBook. “So I think it was just that I felt like, ‘Well, he should do it. He’s playing the role again, he should do it, because he’s doing all the hard work. He’s doing all the heavy lifting in the tank with the mask and the [breathing apparatus].'”

Based on the comics of the same name by writer/artist Mike Mignola, del Toro’s Hellboy follows the title demon investigator, played by Ron Perlman, as he works with the secretive Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense to suppress paranormal threats. Besides Perlman, Jones, and Pierce, Hellboy also stars Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor, Karel Roden, Rupert Evans, and John Hurt.

Released in 2004 to positive reviews, Hellboy was a modest box office hit, leading to a sequel being greenlit. Featuring most of the cast from the first movie, Hellboy: The Golden Army (2008) follows Hellboy and the BPRD as they battle a mythical prince who plans to reclaim the world for his magical kindred. The sequel also garnered positive reviews from critics, as well as an Academy Award nomination, and was a hit at the box office, grossing $168 million.

A third Hellboy movie by del Toro was in development from 2008 to 2017 but was ultimately scrapped in favor of a reboot starring David Harbour as the title character. Unfortunately, the 2019 Hellboy reboot was a critical and commercial failure, leading to another reboot being announced in 2023. Jack Kesy is set to portray Hellboy in the upcoming movie, Hellboy: The Crooked Man, which does not yet have a release date.

Del Toro’s Hellboy is currently streaming on Hulu and MGM+, with Hellboy: The Golden Army available on Max.