The announcement that Lionsgate was going ahead with a reboot of Hellboy was greeted with skepticism by fans. After all, we already had the perfect Hellboy in Ron Perlman, and Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro never seemed to give up hope about finishing his trilogy with the character. But, as time went on, fans began to warm up to the idea of Big Red returning. David Harbour looked pretty damn great in the makeup, the teaser images were really cool and some of the casting turned heads.
Now, however, things have started to return to that original skepticism. Test screenings for the film have reportedly been pretty damn dire, with the reactions being summarized by KC Walsh as: “Harbour tries his best but the dialogue, villain and story seem to be lacking.” Then there was that leaked snippet of the teaser. Of course, a blurry cellphone video of part of a trailer certainly isn’t something to judge a final film by, but fans justifiably compared the tone and production quality to something like Underworld.
Now, perhaps hoping to stoke up that hype again, director Neil Marshall has released a new still from the movie and explained what he was trying to accomplish, saying:
“It was always a case of, ‘When in doubt, go back to the source material.’ Some of the stuff is pretty sick. More violent and more bloody. We weren’t making it with handcuffs on.”
I read Mike Mignola’s original comics too and while they’re certainly violent at times, I don’t think them being gory is the primary focus. There’s more of a comicbook-y approach to violence within them, and there’s a generally light tone that contrasts against whatever mythological or Nazi monster they’re battling against in the arc. Frankly, I thought del Toro nailed that in his two films, with the action scenes being violent yet never tipping over into R-rated territory.
What do you guys think, though? Will this Hellboy reboot be a worthy successor to what came before? As always, let us know in the comments section down below.