Star of the upcoming Hellboy reboot David Harbour has promised a violent, gore-filled spectacular, which will be faithful to the Dark Horse comic. Anticipation for the movie, also starring Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) and Ian McShane (American Gods), leapt last week after the first Hellboy trailer dropped. Director Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones) is set to lead the vision for the source material, created by Mike Mignola.
Hellboy follows the story of the titular character, a human-demon hybrid, who is abandoned on Earth as a baby during World War II, and taken in by Allied forces. Raised by Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm, the character grows up to join the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D), a U.S. secret service run by his adoptive father. Hellboy remains one of the most popular Dark Horse franchises to get the big screen treatment, along with Sin City, 300, and Timecop. Guillermo del Toro directed the 2004 film adaptation starring Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), and its success led to the 2008 sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Since del Toro's planned third movie was cancelled, it was initially uncertain if the 2019 film was intended to complete a trilogy. It's since been clarified that he won't be involved in the project.
Where del Toro's approach was fairly lighthearted and child-friendly, fans have been promised a very different and demonstrably R-rated Hellboy reboot. Harbour spoke to Empire about the film's approach on capturing the barbarous and bloodthirsty spirit of the comic books:
“There’s really a sense that you’re actually killing things, even if they are giants or monsters. You’re chopping their heads off, you’re bathing in their blood and you’re feeling the complex feelings of actually cutting the heart out of another thing. We’re taking the time to deal with the fact that Hellboy is a killer. He’s a weapon.”
While trailer footage reveals Hellboy expectedly unleashing hell, he's also clearly processing moral dilemmas and struggles with controlling his demonic instincts that heavily define the character. By extension, McShane's role as Professor Broom will undoubtedly play an integral role in how ruthless and unfiltered fans can expect the superhero to be this time around. Check out the latest official image featuring Harbour and McShane above.
With Deadpool proving that R-rated superhero flicks can score big at the box office, Hellboy is part of a new opportunity to dazzle moviegoers with how wickedly gory it can be. Part of the MCU's overwhelming success is that its films are predominantly appropriate for and popular with kids, thereby appealing to a much wider audience. But for many, Dark Horse and comic book fans everywhere, bloodier, uncensored versions of series like Hellboy are something they've waited years for. Titans, for example, quickly became a cornerstone for DC, despite initial reservations from some over its R-rated structure. Hellboy could well be the next big win for the go-bloody-or-go-home philosophy in superhero films.
- Hellboy (2019) release date: Apr 12, 2019