1993, San Diego Comic Con, we saw the creation of Dark Horse Comics’ Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, a demon, spawned by Nazi cultists, raised by an American professor, who fights Nazis and supernatural threats to Earth. Two films were made starring Ron Perlman in 2004 and 2008, made by Guillermo Del Torro, and fans have been waiting for the past nine years, hoping they can finally see a trilogy piece to end the story. Then news came.
It seemed as though that would mean we would not see Hellboy on the big screen for a while, if the latest project had no chance of continuing. However, then we see this poster at the Cannes Film Festival.
A new Hellboy movie in the works, Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. But didn’t Guillermo just say there was no chance of him, or Ron Perlman continuing the story? Thats because it isn’t related to their first two films, but a new telling of the story all together! What kind of new story are we looking at? Lets look at the team behind it and what they have to say!
The Team So Far
In the directors chair, we have Neil Marshall, whose previous works include Game of Thrones, Constantine, Westworld, Hannibal, and Black Sails. Full of fun Low Fantasy and amazing storytelling.
Playing Big Red himself is David Harbour, who you might know as the sheriff from Netflix’s Stranger Things, one of the biggest fantasy horror productions lately.
“I’d always been a fan of the comics and there’s a darker tone to it and I think in the climate we have now there’s kind of a darker… a desire for more of that… the script is good and this guy Neil Marshall is directing who’s really good and the aesthetic is great. So often, the superhero movies can be really fun and I want this to be really fun, but I also want it to be more of a character piece and more about this dude’s struggle. I think it could be interesting. I don’t know, I just hope we make a good movie. We’ll see. You be the judge!”
“I really do think those Mike Mignola Hellboy comics are so beautiful and he’s such a hero for America that we live in today,” Harbour says. “I definitely think Hellboy is an antihero. He was kind of born into it. It wasn’t something like Batman where he chooses to go and fight crime. He was just born this weird half-demon spawned by Nazi occultists and saved by these dudes who tried to raise him right. For him, it’s a sense of discovery. His actual destiny as a ‘hero’ is to end the world. He is the beast of the apocalypse. So, in a way, his struggle to be a superhero is to just not do the thing that he’s destined to do.”
Making sure Harbour looks the part, we have Joel Harlow doing makeup. You probably don’t know him, but if you are excited for Hellboy, you probably know his work from Logan, Star Trek (2009), and Pirates of the Caribbean. He knows how to make the unlikely look amazing.
Ian McShane is Professor Bruttenholm, the fatherly figure who found Hellboy and raised him. McShane currently is in American Gods as Mr. Wednesday, but has made a reputation for being a badass.
And lastly, playing the villain, is Milla Jovovich as the Blood Queen. Milla, of course, played the main character in every Resident Evil film to date. I think she can handle being the Blood Queen.
So Whats The Story?
Who is the Blood Queen? If you think back to your Arthurian legends, you will remember that there are two versions of how Arthur gets his sword, Excalibur. One involves pulling the sword from the stone, and the other involves the Lady of the Lake, bestowing the sword unto him. In the comics, The Lady of the Lake, also known as Nimue, goes on to befriend Merlin, who teaches her his magic. She used this new power to imprison him in a grave for all eternity, allowing her to use the magic for evil. She later uses that magic to become the Goddess of War.
However, recently the “Rise of the Blood Queen” was removed from the title, leaving just Hellboy.
One of the writers of the screenplay wasn’t able to offer much, but said:
“I can’t really talk about specifics with regard to the story, which they’re keeping a pretty tight lid on at the moment, but I can say that this is a darker, more gruesome version of Hellboy,” Cosby said. “Neil said from the very beginning that he wanted to walk a razor’s edge between horror and comic book movie, which was music to my ears, because that’s what I was shooting for in the script, and precisely what Mignola does so well with the comics.”
Mignola also spoke on the tone of the film, as well as his involvement.
“Where Hellboy II: The Golden Army was a light fantasy film, this will be very much darker – close to a horror film,” said Mignola. “I’ve met some people doing pre-production, and I visit the person doing the creature effects. I’m very happy with what I’ve seen so far: I give them my two cents, then get out of the way. But I’m very happy they’re asking my opinion, and giving me opportunities to solve certain creative problems.”
David Harbour on what he feels the film will be like:
“It’s a real character piece. Of course, it has huge action elements to it, but we’ve modeled it somewhat on Shakespeare. I mean, it’s a bit like Hamlet. It really is this study of this man going through this horrible conundrum and we really get to go in deep with him.”
This film, unlike the previous two, will more than likely be rated R. Neil Marshall talks on how far he is willing to take the film:
“We’ve been granted permission to do it R-rated, which for me is just like taking the cuffs off. It’s like, okay, so now we can just make the movie we want to make. It’s not like I’m going to force it to be R-rated, but if it happens to come out that way, just because of my own sensibilities, then fine. And nobody’s going to stop us. So, that’s the main [difference]. And I’m sure, obviously, the success of things like Deadpool and Logan have not hurt that cause. But, also, when you go back the original material, it is kind of bloody, so I’m going to embrace that”
But Harbour wants to clarify:
“It goes R not for reasons of nudity.” Harbour explained. “It goes R for a bit of gore and horror, but also a bit of just the mature aspect of it, the mature themes of it. Just that we’re dealing with complicated subjects.”
…which follows what he was talking about regarding it being a lot like Hamlet.
Lastly, in regards to how CGI heavy the film will be, Marshall states:
“It’s definitely going to be as practical as we can possibly make it. I love to do stuff in camera whenever I possibly can, and use CG as the amazing tool that it is, to enhance or expand upon the world, but not to use it to replace reality, when you can do it [for] real.”
2/1/2019 Edit: We have cool new photos for the show!
Some people are complaining, saying it looks like Hellboy got an addiction to illicit drugs, but when you look at them side by side, you remember that the Ron Perlman version looked very rubbery.