Don’t Call The Hellboy Reboot An Origin Story; David Harbour Outlines His Approach To The Half-Demon


The Hellboy reboot currently simmering on the brink of production has been described as many things – dark, a character study and, at least until recently, Rise of the Blood Queen.

Neil Marshall’s cinematic redo has since ditched the subtitle in favor of just Hellboy, and we’re now learning that despite this being pitched as a franchise revival, the Hellboy of 2018 won’t be an origin story. At least, that’s according to David Harbour, who spoke to Happy Sad Confused (via Collider) at length about Marshall’s vision for the project, and why it’ll be markedly different from the two Guillermo del Toro films that launched into theaters in 2004 and 2008.

Flanked by Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil), Ian McShane (American Gods) and, potentially, American Honey breakout Sasha Lane, Harbour is surrounded by talent on all sides, and here, the towering actor stressed that the terms ‘reboot’ and ‘origin story’ needn’t be synonymous.

There is something of [his origin], but it’s not really an origin story movie. We kind of pick up the movie like we’re running and gunning. We do have a little bit of stuff where we show stuff, but it really is a story and you just drop in with this guy. In a way, I feel like that’s kind of what Indiana Jones was. You start with him stealing the idol, but also you do go back to the university and you understand he’s an archeologist, but this is just a guy who goes and steals idols and fights Nazis and wants to steal the Arc of the Covenant. But you never go back when he’s a kid and you’re like, ‘How did he become Indiana Jones?’ It’s like no, we accept that this is Indiana Jones and I think that’s what our story does too. You accept that there’s this half-demon guy running around the world and being a paranormal investigator and solving crimes and also dealing with his own issues at the same time.

Working under the assumption that audiences will already know who Hellboy is and what he stands for is a bold, but no less welcome decision by Marshall and his creative team, as it ensures his reboot won’t waste time retreading familiar territory.

As for how Harbour is approaching Mike Mignola’s cigar-chomping demon on a more personal level, here’s what the Stranger Things actor had to share:

It’s unique and odd. There are things that I’m gonna do that are different. Hellboy is the same character from the comics and from what Ron did, there are certain things that are the same thing, but I do think that—I don’t know, there’s a different approach because I sort of highlight different things, I think, than Ron does. Ron sort of embraces this machismo in himself and in Hellboy, and I really like it and it’s super fun and it’s a super fun performance, but I think Hellboy has a certain psycho dynamic where occasionally he has to prove that he’s the lion, has to roar, and I think he struggles with his own masculinity. But I don’t think he needs that as much as maybe those other movies. I have a bit of a different take on his capability or his slickness. I sort of think that for me he’s a little less skilled at constructing that persona.

Filming on Neil Marshall’s Hellboy reboot is due to commence sometime next month ahead of a planned release in 2018. The Powers That Be have yet to announce an official due date, but we’ll bringing you all the latest as more information surfaces from the underworld.