So a few weeks ago, New York Comic Con happened, and with it came a panel for the new Hellboy movie. And as with any of these high profile first looks at a blockbuster flick, a piece of promotional material was shown to fans…. but not to anyone else outside the “room where it” happened. Luckily, thanks to the inter web, the trailer for the new movie got leaked, and though I’m one to usually wait until an official version comes out from the studio, this was one of those moments where I dashed my moral compass to the side.
But now to the question you’ve all been waiting for, “Does it look any good?” Well, let me give a bit of explaination….
Since the early 2000’s, I’ve been a fan of Mike Mignola’s original Hellboy comics. From the gothic horror elements, sprinkles of history and mythology, coupled with his signature humor, there was something about the quirky nature of the world Mignola created that felt right at home with my own personal taste and interests. And even with my nostalgic love for all comic book characters like Black Panther, Wild CATS, and Batman, none of them quite “got me” like Hellboy and Mignola’s other BPRD creations did.
Flash forward to 2008, and both of Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy films have been released to the world. Both of them are fun on their own, but when looking from a comic book fan perspective, their tone is quite a bit different than what was represented in the world of the comics. The violence was toned down, with the romance and hijinks being heightened – which I got no true complaints about, trust me.
Still, there’s always been a part of me that’s wanted to get the comic book adaptations of the stories I knew so well. That’s where this new cinematic version of Hellboy comes in. It’s promising to be more faithful to the comics and deliver more scares, violence, and terrifying monsters than Del Toro’s had previously. An R-Rating is guaranteed (as of now), and the Wild Hunt storyline is the main basis for the plot. Couple that with the casting of David Harbour as Hellboy (and rumors of Lobster Johnson appearing) and this movie sounds downright perfect. And judging from the teaser, most of this sounds kind-of accurate.
Set to the tune of Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony”, this first taste of the new Hellboy is attempting to be its own thing. There’s gunshots going through heads, biting humor, and “gritty” takes on already cinematically established BPRD members, including a “cool” and suave version of Red’s adoptive dad, Professor Broom (this time played by Ian McShane.) But even with the flashy film rating, and gross modern taglines (Legendary AF for example), this is still the Hellboy we’ve come to adore from the prior movies/comics.
Harbour does a great job of (so far) embodying (and flourishing) the elements that made Perlman’s interpretation of the character so lovable on screen, while peppering in his own additions to the role. And considering how committed he was to becoming Big Red (even making his own homemade costume to practice in before filming) his take on the character seems really promising.
My only real concern is the ad campaign. The feel of the posters gives off this Metal meets badass swords and sorcery, while the trailer (from this leaked version) seems to be more focused on sticking to the “Fish out of Water” nature that the original Hellboy movies contained towards the lead character – as if to say “Don’t worry, this isn’t that different.” Yet, with all of the descriptions given by the cast and Mignola himself, what are we really getting in terms of a final product?
I’m assuming we’re getting something in the middle – a movie that has the signature humor of Mignola’s comics, but something that’ll contain enough homages to the comics, and well paced energy to not “bore” the typical movie goer – which is fine with me. But I really worry that casual audiences and hardcore HB fans will ignore this movie, thinking it is just trying to copy what came before, rather than bringing something new to the table.
Regardless, I don’t care whichever way it goes – as long as I get another excellent version of my favorite comic book hero on screen, I’ll be happy. And if I get to see my favorite BPRD member right next to him (preferably played by Bruce Campbell, but that’s a pipe dream) I’ll be even more fangirly pleased.
What do you think of the new Hellboy movie so far? Did you see the trailer at NYCC or the leaked version online? Are you hype as heck of the movie regardless? Comment below with your thoughts!