There was likely a very awkward conversation on Monday among the people working on the current Hellboy reboot. Guillermo del Toro wanted to make a third movie in his Hellboy franchise for years, but he met dead ends at every turn. Now he’s an Oscar winner, and there are more people than ever wondering why Mike Mignola and Lionsgate didn’t give del Toro the reins. We must look to the future, though, because we’re instead getting a reboot in the hands of Neil Marshall. Mignola recently sat down and talked to Entertainment Weekly about how involved he has been in the project.
“It’s funny, because my involvement has been very different than the Del Toro movies,” Mignola says. “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.”
Mignola went on to explain what it was like to see his creations in real life and how it gives this film a much different feel from the previous two del Toro movies.
“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 says. “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. ”
This reboot wrapped production back in December, so the movie is being made and it’s coming out one way or another. Whether or not it’s the movie fans want is still up for debate. We’ll have to see what happens in January of next year. Mignola, at least, seems happy with the production.
Summary: Hellboy comes to England, where he must defeat Merlin’s consort and Nimue the Blood Queen. But their battle will bring about the end of the world, a fate he desperately tries to turn away.
Hellboy, directed by Neil Marshall, will star David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Sasha Lane, Penelope Mitchell, and Ian McShane. It will be released on January 11th, 2019.