So there’s good news and bad news. The bad news first: The ‘Hellboy 3’ movie you’ve been waiting for for more than a decade is not coming. But the good news is that director Neil Marshall (‘The Descent’, ‘Doomsday’) is bringing us a brand new reboot of the comic book adaptation that’s allegedly as close to the source material as we can get. So as much as we love Guillermo Del Toro’s first two ‘Hellboy’ movies, starring the fantastic Ron Perlman as the demon superhero, a new adventure awaits.
Following the film’s release in the UAE this weekend, here’s everything you need to know the reboot and the character that’s captured the imagination of comic book fans and movie lovers alike for more than quarter of a century.
David Harbour plays Hellboy in the reboot
It’s difficult to imagine anyone but Perlman play Hellboy but David Harbour’s turn as the Man-Beast looks more than interesting. As far as trailers can tell, his version of the character looks angrier, grittier and just a lot more menacing. “It’s not an origin story, but it’s his coming to terms with where he came from,” says Harbour about the reboot in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “He’s been Hellboy for a long time, but there’s a new turn of events at the start of the film, where people start to bring up the fact that he might bring about the end of the world, and it’s really the first time he’s heard anything like that. The question that comes up in the movie is where does he really belong?”
According to news reports, Harbour bagged the role after he was spotted playing Chief Hopper in the hit Netflix coming-of-age supernatural show, ‘Stranger Things’. “Everyone involved kind of just — as soon as they saw ‘Stranger Things’ — just said, ‘Wow, wouldn’t he be — wouldn’t David be a great Hellboy?’ And he was the first person and only person we approached,” says producer Lloyd Levin in an interview with entertainment website IGN.
Hellboy gets existential
While in the previous movies, Perlman’s Hellboy is this guy with a wry sense of humour and goes about his day hunting down monsters and living his life, the reboot looks at getting Hellboy to connect with his feelings at a deeper level. “In our movie, he’s very much dealing with his own being ostracised from society. There’s kind of a Frankenstein element to it. There’s an element of — there’s, I think, a lot more self-hatred. Although those movies it did explore certain aspects of that, ours is just a lot darker in terms of the character piece and in terms of who he is,” says Harbour in an interview with IGN.
The movie is an R-rated paean to the comics
The comics have always been R-rated — violence, gore and buckets of blood splash the pages of creator Mike Mignola’s series, and the reboot will be no different. The MPAA has rated ‘Hellboy’ R for “strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language.”
If you’d like to catch up with the comics before the movie, we’d like to direct you to ‘The Wild Hunt’ series, on which the movie is mostly based. Written by Mignola and illustrated by Duncan Fegredo, the comic book features some of the monsters we’ve seen in the trailers, including Baba Yaga and the Gruagach.
‘Hellboy’ features a unique supporting cast
Famous for playing Al Swearengen on the HBO’s ‘Deadwood’, Ian McShane has been cast as Professor Trevor ‘Broom’ Bruttenholm, Hellboy’s prickly adoptive father and the founder of the government’s secret organisation, Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence (BPRD).
Sasha Lane, who made her acting debut in ‘American Honey’, will play Alice Monaghan, a young woman whom Hellboy saved as a baby from evil fairies and who retained some magical abilities after the incident.
Daniel Dae Kim plays Ben Daimio, a rugged Japanese-American military member of the BPRD who, due to a supernatural encounter, can turn into a jaguar when angered or in pain. Ed Skrein was originally cast in the role but upon discovering that Daimio was portrayed in the comics as Japanese-American, he withdrew to allow an Asian actor to be cast instead. A month later, Kim was cast in the role.
A major way in which the new reboot is breaking away from its predecessors is by not featuring ‘Hellboy’ mainstays Liz Sherman and Abe Spaien (Doug Jones).
Milla Jovovich plays antagonist to the Big Red
Since the movie is a loose adaptation of ‘The Wild Hunt’, the central antagonist is Nimue, played by Milla Jovovich. Also referred to as the Queen of Blood or the Lady of the Lake, she is the most powerful of all the British witches, and has an army of monsters at her command. She is accompanied by Gruagach, a shape-shifting warrior and a fairy creature trapped in the body of an anthropomorphic boar, thanks to Hellboy. Stephen Graham provides the voice for Gruagach while Douglas Tait provides the physical performance.
Don’t miss it
‘Hellboy’ is out now in the UAE.