David Harbor reveals that his version of Hellboy cannot have sex with humans. This is just one of a few key differences between the original 2004 Hellboy movie, starring Ron Perlman, and the reboot in which Harbour stars as the demonic beast who becomes a superhero. Those differences initially became apparent when the first trailer for the new Hellboy film dropped late last year. It depicted a movie that was considerably more bloody, as well as more focused on the supernatural and horror elements from the Hellboy comics.
In the original film, Hellboy and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D) was a secret organization that no one knew about. In the new movie, Hellboy is walking around in public, so humans are aware of him and what he does. The monsters in the new film come straight from the pages of the comics written by Mike Mignola. Hellboy himself is more conflicted about who and what he is and what he does, and is, apparently, the rightful King of England (the trailer shows him wielding Excalibur, the legendary sword). One of the most distinguishing differences between the two movies, though, is the cast of characters. The new film doesn't feature either Abe Sapien or Hellboy's human girlfriend from the original movies, Liz Sherman.
One of the main reasons behind Liz's absence, though, was recently revealed by Harbour in an interview with JoBlo.com. When discussing the human character of Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane), Harbour said:
"Yeah, it’s an avuncular relationship [with Alice]. I mean, it’s funny because in an earlier draft, there was the temptation to do that, and I was very adamant to the fact that Hellboy cannot have sex with human women. Like I don’t want that to ever be an issue, and I want it to be known for him, whereas this is this Blood Queen Witch in the movie, right? So there is a world that he can exist sexually in, but it is not in our human universe. And Alice is, even though she has sort of a witchcraft thing to her, she is a human being. And so, I think Hellboy is very, you know, it’s much more of an avuncular relationship. He would never, yeah."
Harbour also discussed how he researched the Hellboy comics and studied the character's gestures and facial expressions. The reboot takes a lot of inspiration from the comic books, with Mignola involved with the process from the beginning of production. Harbour believes that the result is something less like a typical superhero movie but more like grittier antihero films, such as Deadpool and Logan.
Although fans of the Perlman-starring Hellboy movies continue to clamor for his return to the role, the reboot of the franchise has pretty much sealed that particular coffin forever. Perlman himself advocated for a third movie in his Hellboy series, but as that didn't happen, it seems he's become jaded by the process. He previously opened up about probably never playing another superhero again, as he felt the only one he connected with was Hellboy. He also mentioned that at 68, his days of portraying those kinds of characters were probably over. However, Hellboy fans are going to get a more comic-accurate story on the big screen, and that's likely to keep them happy, especially if there are sequels.