The Hellboy reboot is carrying a lot of fan hopes on its shoulders, so it has a lot to prove here at its New York Comic-Con 2018 panel. The early promos of star David Harbour have impressed - but the real test will be the first footage, which will hopefully debut soon!
The panel opens with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola being brought out, along with cast members Daniel Dae Kim, Sasha Lane, and of course, "Hellboy himself," David Harbour!
Harbour gets the crowd whipped up by praising NYCC over SDCC, before Mike Mignola takes over, to recount how and why this new version of Hellboy (eventually) lured him in. It seems he was pretty nonchalant about the prospect - until he heard director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Game of Thrones) got involved. He's just now starting to beleive that the movie is going to be awesome - something Harbour ribs him for.
Harbour describes not being a comic book guy growing up, but rather a gamer. His artsy East Village friends exposed him to graphic novels, and that led him to Hellboy. Mignola's art struck a chord, and he's been a fan since.
Mignola talks about thinking about who could play the new Hellboy, and he and his wife were watching Stranger Things, and she said to him that Harbour could nail the role. A week later, producers called him with the same idea. He thanks his wife for being sharp about that insight; Harbour jokes that seeing Sheriff Hopper's physique shouldn't inspire anyone.
Sasha Lane talks about how badass her character Alice Monaghan is stating (boldly) "F*ck with me! I'm in this." Daniel Dae Kim thanks Ed Skiren for not taking the Asian AMerican role of Ben Daimio - but only after joking that he auditioned for Sasha's role.
Mignola teaes that the movie takes on one of the biggest Hellboy stories he ever wrote - albeit that it "moves some pieces around." He teases Milla Jovovich's Blood Queen, and Jovovich appears via video to tease her villain role, joking that she resents being cast as the "villain" when she wants to be Hellboy's friend (J/k, she wants to "kill everybody"). Harbour talks about how he actually came up on Milla Jovovich films like The Fifth Element, and the intimidation of working with her. Turns out she was a great partner, and had a real "big picture" about putting together a film like this.
Talking about the shoot, Kim praises the internal and external changes Harbour went through to become Hellboy, teasing the "bold choices" he makes, and saying fans will love it. Lane apparently loved the Hellboy costume (stroking its chest hairs), but would disappointed with seeing David. She had a "wild" time on the Bulgaria shoot, and became good friends with Kim.
Harbour laments fans worrying that Hellboy would be too CGI, adding "Like Thanos," which gets a serious shared grimace from the crowd. He praises the award-winning effects people, and states that some of the "monsters" fans will see onscreen were actually in front of them while shooting. Lane teases that the monsters made Harbour look more attractive as Hellboy. Harbour has to take that burn. He describes the awsomeness of the monsters we'll see in the film, and ends with the obligatory "...and I love 'Avengers: Infinity War'."
Harbour recounts the process of creating the look of the new Hellboy, and the an makeup tests he did. He points to the promo poster and states that it's just his body painted red... before admitting that's B.S. and there is some augmentation to the body, and the various prosthetics required to complete the look. He even made his own hommade costumes, in case they needed more ideas. They did not. He talks about how he started off very awkward getting into the suit and makeup, but then became like "a second skin" that he missed when he took it off. But when he would put it back on (after sleeping through the application process) he would look in the mirror and say, "Oh yeah, this feels good."
Mignola praises the Guillermo del Toro films, saying he'd rather have that visionary do it then someone do a "half-assed version" of what they thought Mike Mignola would want. He praises Neil Marshall's darker vision of the character, while Harbour similarly praises what Ron Perlman did with Hellboy, and stated that he had to go different from that performance. His is an edgier version of the character, that he says is more of a Mignola feel than a Del Toro feel.
After that, the first footage was shown - and it won't be online! (We'll have a full footage description for your shortly - so check back!)
Following the footage, Harbour describes the fun of using Hellboy's weapons - including the Hand of Doom, which he loved the weight and movement of. Mignola revals that Harbour would call him late at night with the most obscure questions about Hellboy - like which kind of animal inspired the character. Harbour jokes, "who doesn't want a late night call with Mike Mignola?"
Harbour talked about Ian McShane and how much respect he had for him since Deadwood - but said it got weird when McShane started taking their onscreen relationship too far into real life, by texting him messages like "How you doing son." After being slammed for his bad Briitsh accent, Harbour describes this new version of Professor Bruttenholm who is more punishing, basically teetering a line between raising a son, and raising a serial killer.
Taking questions form a live feed, the moderator inquires about Harbour's workout routine. The actor praises his trainer - who happened to be the person who warmed up the audience for the panel, unbeknown to Harbour! When his trainer popped up in the audience Harbour is slightly embarrassed, stating that he's currently in Chief Hopper mode - a man who does NOT work with a personal trainer.
Kim echoes some of the training videos he posted on social media, talking about how intense his routine was. Lane humorously describes fighting and flipping stunts, with a "pew-pew" laser sound for her shootout scenes. She "busted" her hand at one point.
Mignola is excited that if the film does well, he'll get to be in the room planning the next one.
Neil Marshall gets brought up, and Harbour describes how it was great having a horror director onboard, as he considers Hellboy more of a monster horror movie than a superhero movie. He describes how he freaked out one day on set, and Neil simply told him it was okay, because he was supposed be acting Hellboy-ish. Lane describes how awkward she was with Marshall initially as they're both big introverts. A few shots later, they realized they were being weird, and managed to connect over that. Kim praises the bravery of following Guillermo del Toro's vision, and reveals that Marshall is not just good at going dark, but may be a wittier comedian, as well.
As for mementos, Harbour wanted to the Hand of Doom, but couldn't get it. He hopes someone will make him a different one. Kim's memento was the memory of walking around Bulgaria in his Ben Daimio scarred face makeup, and seeing reactions. Mignola doesn't take mementos, but recounts how someone once offered to make his daughter a decapitated head.
Harbour is asked how he felt about getting the role of Hellboy - happy, and terrified to please fans.
One fan asks if we'll see other popular characters of the BPRD - Harbour freaks out about wanting to say something "so bad!" but being under lock and key by Lionsgate. He reminds us that he has a penchant for spoiling entire seasons, of a certain show - Lane tries to wrestle the mic away from him.
Harbour is asked about the challenges he's been giving out and shares that he may still be onboard with the couple who wants to be married by Hellboy, because at his core, "Hellboy is a Lover."3comments
Once more, Harbour recounts all the mental and physical training he did to be Hellboy - and all the questions he asked about the character to prepare.
Hellboy will be in theaters on April 12th, 2019.