The new Hellboy film experienced a wild path to production. Guillermo del Toro, who was awarded Best Director and Best Picture for The Shape of Water at Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony, wanted to continue his film series, as did Ron Perlman, but the studio wasn’t interested in Hellboy 3. No- they wanted to start from scratch, so they instead enlisted Neil Marshall (The Descent, Dog Soldiers) to direct, and David Harbour (Stranger Things) to play the titular monster hunter.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mike Mignola, creator of the comics, discussed his involvement with the new film.

“It’s funny, because my involvement has been very different than the Del Toro movies,” he said. “The difference is I had known Del Toro for six years by the time we did the first movie. Neil I met a couple months before he worked on the movie. It was very different, but I have been involved ever since they said ‘Hey we’re gonna make another Hellboy movie, and we’re gonna do this story.’ I’ve bounced back and forth with them about how to adapt this particular Hellboy story. At various times I’ve jumped in and been much more active in the screenplay than I ever was on the Del Toro movies. But I did nothing so far as design stuff on the movie. Guillermo wanted me as a concept artist, but on this movie, there were other concept artists. I came in and I looked at some stuff, but they were trying to do something so close to what’s on the comics that they really leaned on what had been done by Duncan [Fegredo] and me in the comics.”

“The first film was based on one of the comics, but Del Toro was looking to reinvent everything. I think the difference is here, the bulk of the Fegredo arc takes place in the real world,” Mignola stated. “So instead of making up a whole fantasy world, it was, ‘Let’s find locations that feel like these real-world locales that Duncan drew in the comic.’ I think the bulk of the characters in the film are established in the comic. It was insane for me to walk in there and see that someone did a really nice rendering of a creature I created or Duncan created. It’s got a whole different feel from the older movies. Duncan’s not working on it, but I did see stuff in the movie that was so close to what Duncan drew, more so than what was in the previous movies. It was pretty exciting.”

If you weren’t already on board for the reboot, this may persuade you. The new film is slated for a January 2019 release.

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