TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT... HELLBOY
New director, new star... same old Big Red?
After two adaptations from director Guillermo del Toro, Hellboy — the demonic and sardonic paranormal investigator — is getting a reboot, with British director Neil Marshall (Game Of Thrones, The Descent) behind the camera.
This film was very nearly Hellboy 3. Del Toro long mooted another sequel, and after 100,000 people voted positively in a Twitter poll, agreed to pursue it, but later reported that “100 per cent the sequel will not happen”. It remains unclear exactly why, but the film’s producers (including comic creator Mike Mignola) opted to reboot without del Toro, rewriting the script accordingly.
After two films as Big Red, Ron Perlman chose not to be involved in any non-del Toro project. David Harbour (aka Chief Hopper from Stranger Things) is the new Hellboy.
A vocal advocate and poster boy for “dad bods” (“I stand on the soft shoulders of great dad bods before me,” he once tweeted), Harbour spent ten weeks getting into serious shape for the role, aided by full body prosthetics. He spent at least two hours every morning in the make-up chair during filming.
The first glimpse at the new-look Hellboy debuted on social media last September, depicting the hero faithfully — though in a darker hue of red and slightly more unkempt hair than the previous iteration.
Originally titled Hellboy: Rise Of The Blood Queen (it’s now simply titled Hellboy), the Blood Queen in question is Nimue (played by Milla Jovovich), an Arthurian sorceress who attempts to destroy humanity.
Ed Skrein was originally cast as Ben Daimio — but chose to leave the role a week later, stating he did not wish to “obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the arts”. Daniel Dae Kim later took over the part, and applauded Skrein for stepping down. “He could not have addressed the issue more elegantly,” he said.
Ian Mcshane is Professor Broom — taking over the role from his late close friend John Hurt. “I’m sort of playing this part as a slight homage to John,” Mcshane has said.
It’s partly based on The Wild Hunt storyline from the comics, which sees Hellboy summoned to England by the secretive Osiris Club to defeat an evil army.
Filming took place in late 2017 in the UK and Bulgaria, ahead of a lengthy post-production process, and has a January 2019 release date.