One would expect that the makeup required to transform Stranger Things star David Harbour into Hellboy would take a substantial amount of time. After all, Hellboy the character has quite a few physical differences from the actor including the horns, the hair, all of that. However, even with all the details, it turns out that getting Harbour into character physically may not have taken quite as long as you'd expect.
According to make effects master Joel Harlow, it less than two hours each day to transform Harbour into Hellboy, though that brevity of time comes from quite a bit of practice.
Harlow explained that the transformation "is incredible for a character this complicated as far as prosthetic makeup goes," noting that initial runs took closer to three hours but got faster over time (via Collider).
That's pretty impressive, but some of it has to do with maintenance of the various elements that go into Hellboy's look. That includes taking care of the multiple body suits Harbour wore to bring the character to life. Harbour would wear one of the six total made while the others were maintained.
"Some of the hair falls out, so we have to constantly maintain those by re-punching at the end of the day," Harlow said.
It's that kind of detail that Harlow went on to say helped keep the character rooted in comics while also being very grounded in reality.
"It's very gritty," Harlow said of the character’s hairy appearance. "He's very down to earth. I wanted to take it away from a comic book look as possible and grounded in reality. That's why he's got hair on his arms and hair on his chest and scars."
That careful balance of detail includes giving Hellboy his comic accurate hooves. In a recent clip Hellboy is seen relaxing on a couch enjoying some pizza while Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane) explains who The Osiris Club is with Hellboy's hoof-like feet on display.
Like previously announced, the Hellboy reboot is set to draw inspiration from various Hellboy storylines like Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt — the mini-series where the Osiris Club is first introduced — The Storm and The Fury. During The Wild Hunt, a group of giant hunters calls for the aid of Hellboy before turning on him and his Right Hand of Doom. If the movie follows the source material to a T, it looks as if the movie will feature a little Hellboy in Hell action as well.
Hellboy creator Mike Mignola previously spoke to the reboot's comic-accuracy, saying the film is going to be much different than the two previous films done by Guillermo del Toro. According to Mignola, Hellboy's going to be far from your average superhero film.
"Well, I mean, if anything, we’re trying to do something very different," Mignola explained. "Basically, there’s no part of Hellboy that was ever going to be like other superhero movies. And the more Marvel stuff there is, the more DC stuff there is, Hellboy never really feels like—even in the [Guillermo] del Toro things—a superhero movie. It’s so much “big teams of guys, in costumes, running around and saving the world from big cosmic menace stuff...” I believe the new movie will feel even less like a regular superhero thing. The idea with this one was to make it play much less like a superhero film, to downplay the superhero elements even more than del Toro did. This one is much more folklore/mythology/horror, and not 'big team rushing into to do battle with whatever kind of stuff.'"
Hellboy enters theaters April 12th.
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