Lionsgate’s Hellboy has a lot of work to do in measuring up to the previous cult favorites featuring Big Red, as played by Ron Perlman. Fans were skeptical right off the bat when the new movie was announced last year, with Stranger Things‘ David Harbour stepping into Perlman’s demonic shoes, but what we’ve heard about the project so far suggests that it might actually be a much needed fresh take on the comic book movie genre.
While speaking to io9, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola teased that the new film will be even less of a typical superhero pic than the last two were. Though director Guillermo del Toro took the franchise into more horror/dark fantasy territory, Mignola thinks that filmmaker Neil Marshall has done even more to make Hellboy stand out from the crowd.
“I believe the new movie will feel even less like a regular superhero thing. The idea with this one was to make it play much less like a superhero film, to downplay the superhero elements even more than del Toro did. This one is much more folklore/mythology/horror, and not ‘big team rushing into to do battle with whatever kind of stuff.'”
I can see what Mignola means here. Visually unique they might’ve been, del Toro’s movies perhaps played it fairly safe in the plot department, featuring Big Red as very much a proactive hero who charged in with his B.P.R.D. team to take on the latest supernatural threat to New York. He even had a movie-friendly love interest in Selma Blair’s Liz.
Apparently, the new Hellboy won’t be so much about that and will lean in even more into the “folklore/mythology/horror” vibe that’s the lifeblood of the franchise. Previously, Mignola’s promised that though he himself had a bigger role on del Toro’s films, he feels that Marshall stayed truer to the spirit of his original comics for Dark Horse. We’ll get to see for ourselves if that’s true when Anung Un Rama returns to theaters on January 11th, 2019.