Lionsgate has released a new image from Neil Marshall’s upcoming reboot of Hellboy. Marshall tells Empire that they’re going back to the comic’s more horror-infused roots. “It was always a case of, ‘When in doubt, go back to the source material. More violent and more bloody. We weren’t making it with handcuffs on.”
I’m a fan of Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy movies, but I can admit that they’re more about blending his sensibilities with that of Hellboy author and artist Mike Mignola rather than doing a straight adaptation of Mignola’s work. That being said, Del Toro was releasing his superhero movies into a very different landscape than what we have now. When Del Toro was working on Hellboy back in the early 2000s, I heard that some of the notes he got included whether or not they could call the character “Heckboy” and if he could just be a normal guy who turned into Hellboy when he got angry. The superhero genre has changed dramatically in less than twenty years to the point where no one is batting an eye at Marshall now getting to do an R-rated take on the character that sticks to the original comics.
It also helps that expectations for Hellboy are probably in check over at Lionsgate. That’s not to say they don’t want the movie to be a massive hit, but the performance of the previous two movies probably clues them in to the fact that there will be a devoted audience who’s curious and maybe folks who want a superhero horror movie, but it’s unlikely that this movie does Marvel numbers at the box office, and that’s okay.
Check out the new Hellboy image below. The film opens April 12, 2019 and stars David Harbour as Hellboy, Ian McShane as Professor Bruttenholm, Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan, and Milla Jovovich as the Blood Queen.