Hellboy Creator Explains The Difference Between David Harbour And Ron Perlman


Big Red is returning to the silver screen next year as the Hellboy franchise is being rebooted over a decade since director Guillermo del Toro brought us the 2008 sequel The Golden Army. Alongside the filmmaker’s fantastic work behind the camera, fans of the Dark Horse Comics creation loved Ron Perlman’s portrayal of Hellboy (real name: Anung Un Rama), so Stranger Things‘ David Harbour certainly has some big boots to fill – both literally and figuratively – as the heroic demon in Neil Marshall’s movie.

But how will Harbour make his interpretation different from Perlman’s? Well, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola was asked this by IGN and revealed that he thinks the new depiction of the character will be more “dramatic” and “gnarlier.”

“[David Harbour’s Hellboy is] a little bit more dramatic. There’s a different edge. [Ron Perlman] was very smooth as Hellboy, and there’s a whole different love interest vibe with Ron’s thing. Ron was almost playing this kind of old adolescent. And Harbour plays a grittier Hellboy, and a bit more explosive, emotionally. It’s hard to explain, but it is a very different take. The beauty is, both of them, in their own way, feel like Hellboy. It’s almost like they’re just tipped it in two different directions. There’s something much gnarlier about David’s Hellboy.”

That makes sense from what we’ve seen so far. Perlman’s Hellboy was definitely made more accessible to general audiences through his big heart of gold underneath his monstrous appearance and his prominent romance with Selma Blair’s Liz Sherman (something not present in Mignola’s books). The new Hellboy, on the other hand, is R-rated and can lean into the character’s hellish qualities a bit more.

The first trailer for the film came out this week and in it you can see that Harbour’s tougher to handle and not so trusted by his colleagues at the B.P.R.D. The footage itself got a mixed reception, but the aforementioned actor looks terrific and appears to be a perfect choice for the part. And we’ll get to judge his interpretation against Perlman’s more fairly once Hellboy‘s summoned into cinemas on April 12th.