Hellboy came to New York Comic-Con 2018 to debut the first look at Neil Marshall's new vision of the Hellboy mythos and character. After an introduction to the cast and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, the Hellboy NYCC panel did not disappoint, and shared a first look at some footage, exclusively for the NYCC crowd!
Read below for the full SPOILER breakdown of the first Hellboy (2019) footage.
The first footage was very much in trailer format. It starts with an ominous look at two people wandering a cavern, with the voice over that they knew "Something was coming," and mention of the "Forever War." Ian McShane's Professor Bruttenholm is telling Hellboy (presumably) that they'll win because of him.
Cut to a scene of Hellboy arriving at of some kind of big incident, where police are surrounding a building. Hellboy jumps out of the carrier vehicle and one cop shoots at him. Hellboy scream back "I'm on your side!" and the cop meekishly says "Sorry. My bad."
That cues up the soundtrack, which is set to "Mony Mony". We get establishing shots that tease the BPRD, as Bruttenholm describes the organization as "The line in the sand, we fight against the forces of darkness." We jump to Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim), Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane) and Hellboy (David Harbour) all arriving a small shop in England, which Daimio claims is a secret HQ. They go in and a quaint old lady is behind the counter. When she sees Hellboy she says "Oy, I'll need some I.D., luv." to which Hellboy is dumbfounded, responding, "Are... are you serious?"
Things speed up from there, as we get a montage of footage, as Bruttenholm is once again heard (and briefly shown) telling Hellboy he wants him to be the "best you" that he can be, after Hellboy ponders that he's just a weapon. Hellboy is seen cocking his iconic big gun, stating, "Some parents get their kids LEGOS."
We get shots of ominous riders on horses (a ritual of Milla Jovovich's Blood Queen maybe?) brief bits of action, Alice cracking wise about saving the world (also a tagline that flashes onscreen), and a man asking Hellboy if his Hand of Doom actually does something ("It smashes things real good."). We get a shot of the hand in action, as Hellboy smashes it down, releasing some kind of energy process.
A montage of intense footage shows Hellboy and Alice battling evil soldiers in a factory-type setting, as Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall gives us his signature gory moments of Hellboy shooting someone in the head while facing camera, sending blood and viscera right into our faces. He and Alice brutally dispatch their foes, with Hellboy being a brawler style fighter, while Alice is more agile and precise. Bruttenholm is heard saying "You are our last and only hope."
An early exchange between Hellboy and Daimio is shown, with the latter saying, "I thought we were fighting monsters, not working with them." Hellboy claps back with "Who you calling monster pal? You look in the mirror recently, Sarface?" That scene is cut with a different scene of Hellboy telling Alice, "He's an asshole!"
There's a flurry of more footage that shows Hellboy in peril, and the Milla Jovovich appear as The Blood Queen, in a climatic moment, Hellboy storms some kind of apocalyptic ritual taking plae, and asks The Blood Queen, "Did I interrupt," but she ominously answers, "No, you're right on time." That's when Hellboy emreges from some kind of pit or well holding a flaming sword - in his fully demonic form!
Overall, the impression of this first trailer is that Marshall's Hellboy will indeed be darker and more violent than the Guillermo Del Toro version, but there are some lingering questions that some die-hard fans will have. Marshall's action sequences are going to be something different than what most expect from a superhero movie; if you've seen his acclaimed big episodes of Game of Thrones (the battle for King's Landing and The Wall), then you should be familiar with the style. There's a lot of ambitious camera movement between characters, and a lot of the opposite choices in angling that you would expect - but it works. It's gritty and hard-hitting, and very John Wick-ish, in a sense.
What may be a bit more questionable is how the heavier supernatural action elements are going to play. Sequences of Milla Jovovich's Blood Queen and various types of her minions recalled not-so-fun memories like Enchantress in Suicide Squad or scenes of I, Frankenstein - but it's not a finished product yet, so there's no great reason to freak out. It seems as though this story will be more of an origin of Hellboy embracing life as a BPRD agent and hero, which may short things in the villain department. There's nothing we saw that made the Blood Queen distincty or all that cool - but hopefully later footage will expand upon that.
This first footage is all about Hellboy, and Harbour's take is very different than Ron Perlman's suave guy Hellboy. Harbour's Hellboy is very much a demon in look (grizzled face and great yellow/gold eyes) - but what's more interesting is how Harbour plays him as a demon trying to behave more like a human - and not necessarily succeeding at all times. Hellboy is kind of like Wolverine in the sense that we see scenes of him going somewhat "berserker" - especially when taking on other demons. It's different enough yet familiar enough - so Harbour fans can start breathing a little easier.
Hellboy will be in theaters on April 12th, 2019.