The upcoming Hellboy reboot is charting a new course for the character, but it actually seems to be a bit more tethered to the comics than the last iterations of the character. The new take on Hellboy comes from director Neil Marshall, and star David Harbour will be taking on the character of Hellboy from Ron Pearlman, who played the character in the Guillermo del Toro films. There are bound to be some changes between the two visions for Hellboy, and recently Harbour explained how they are approaching the character for this go round. Thankfully Hellboy creator Mike Mignola is fully on board, and it is making for a more comic accurate version of the fan favorite hero.
Harbour was asked about Mignola's involvement with the movie during a recent set visit, and it turns out the creator was a great resource for the movie.
"We talked a lot early on when I was sort of working on it," Harbour told JoBlo. "And I would just like text him kind of all the time, just like random questions. He told me that he talked a lot about his dad, that Hellboy was a combination of him and his dad, that his dad was sort of this working class, I forget what actual job he had, but some like longshoreman type guy. And so, this sort of rugged kind of job mentality was very much his dad. But the humor of Hellboy was much more Mike. Mike is like a weird kind of funny dude, like I am a weird, funny dude."
"So yeah, and then I would get into—because the funny thing about a comic is you have a framework or a structure where characters are doing things, they're taking actions and you're sort of like—it's almost like ballet or something," Harbour said. "Like you're thrust into a framework of like, I am hitting these things, right? Like Hellboy looks a certain way, he sounds a certain way. It's not something where when I read something like Chief Hopper on the page, I'm able to interpretively give you that. We don't have a Chief Hopper comic, right?"
"But with Hellboy, we have a comic, "Harbour said. "And so, he does certain things. He has certain gestures. He has certain looks. And I was very—studied like, all the comics and I have a whole book with just certain things that he does, just like jaw things that he does and different gestures and different ways he moves his body, ways he carries himself and stuff. And so, part of my job was to have that framework structure, but then for me to go deeper and to go into—I sort of approached it from the outside in, which is something I kind of rarely do, but it was very broadening as an artist for me, because now you have a framework and now you have to go back in and you have to find these things, where they're justified sort of in a person's psyche. Even though he's a demon, I have to consider him human. He's half-human, but I have to consider him psychologically like a human, right?"
That process prompted Harbour to ask other questions, continually forming his take on the character.
"So one of the big questions I had was like, when did he start shaving his horns? Like how old was he? I know he's immortal and whatever or whatever, but he was spawned when he was like, I'd say you know, he's like a baby, he's like two or three and he ages up in the movie. And like, at what point was he with Broom and he was like, you know what? I'm going to start chopping these things off and I'm going to start like, sanding them down because I'm embarrassed? So that was a big question for me," Harbour said.
It sounds like fans of the Hellboy comics should be quite happy with the results, and here's hoping this spawns a franchise for the popular character.
Hellboy hits theaters on April 12th.
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