Last December, the internet greeted the trailer for the new Hellboy reboot with a less than excited response. A LOT of people hated it and they were vocal about it in the YouTube comment section. I mean they were just shredding the film. Everything from David Harbour’s makeup to the “vanilla jokes” to the CGI. All while expressing their undying love for Guillermo Del Toro’s earlier Hellboy films and Ron Perlman’s portrayal titular character.
Recently, Lionsgate released a red band trailer for the film and it was much better received by the online community, in comparison to the previous shit storm. Not loved mind you but people were a little more level headed in their response. For us though, we were absolutely thrilled. We can’t wait for a spanking new adaptation of Mike Mignola’s magnum opus.
After watching the new trailer multiple times and doing some research of my own, I’ve come to realize that this might be the most ambitious Hellboy film yet. Yes, even bigger than the epic Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Don’t believe me?
Well, allow me to explain exactly why you should be electrified for Hellboy.
Demons and Dragons
Unless you’re a big-time aficionado of the Migonlaverse, you probably have never heard of Nimue aka the Blood Queen. She’s set to make her appearance in Hellboy this April and believe me, she is a force to be reckoned with. One thing you might not know is that she isn’t just your typical ancient sorceress brought back to wreak havoc. Oh no, she’s actually a former lover of the legendary wizard Merlin.
The Arthurian wizard gave not only his heart but also his mind to Nimue, teaching all manners of the mystic arts and secrets. When Merlin passed, she grew mad and began worshipping the Ogdru Jahad, the fathers of demonkind whom even Hellboy owes his existence to.
So heinous was her devotion, that the witches of Britain resorted to killing her, chopping her up into little pieces and spreading her around the world. But like all things in comics, she couldn’t stay dead for long. The younger witches had resurrected her to rule over them and bring about a new world order. And now, the only one capable of stopping her is the true heir to King Arthur’s throne…Hellboy.
The film looks like it’ll be adapting major plotlines from Mignola’s The Storm and the Fury run of the comics which sees Hellboy confronting Nimue in a badass medieval battle in modern times. In the comics, Hellboy raises an army of undead English knights to fight by his side against Nimue.
Hell at some point, she turns into a freaking dragon! Based on the trailers so far, it looks like the film will be following through with the source material as we see Hellboy sporting a flaming crown with a sword in hand.
An interesting alteration to the original plot though would be Nimue’s romantic interest in Hellboy. That has me intrigued to see what purpose she has with Hellboy. Could she be using him and his “strong right hand” to bring forth the Ogdru Jahad? Does she need him to bear a beautiful demon baby who will hearken the armies of Hell? Maybe, she just wants to cuddle. Either way, it sounds promising.
Done The R-ight Way
If I had just one small gripe with Del Toro’s previous Hellboy films, it would have to be that darn PG-13 rating. Don’t get me wrong, a PG-13 rating on a film doesn’t necessarily connote a watered down experience or a bad movie altogether. It just would have made sense with Del Toro’s portfolio for the weird and macabre. Therefore it seemed odd that he’d pull punches with Hellboy when brilliant works like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone allowed him an open canvas for greater horror and wonder with a hard R.
And while his time has passed and we mourn it, the floodgates are open now! We’re getting all the f-bombs, gore and frightening erotic imagery an R rating can muster. We’re excited to see the creepy and curious world of Hellboy in all its mythical glory.
The new trailer has no qualms about showing us the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) swearing on the job and getting their hands dirty fighting some otherworldly monsters. I mean these people fight freaking demons, ghosts and monsters for a living.
It’s nice to see them breathe and although Hellboy has never been much of a potty mouth in the comics, this little liberty could be used to inject some personality into the character. Let’s be honest, Red in Del Toro’s Hellboy kinda felt like an edgy Shrek at times. Hellboy here, however, comes off as a jaded, world-wearied asshole. Perfect.
More important than the language is the fact that the monsters here are allowed to be monsters. They’re not just crashing into buildings or making a mess, they’re actually dismembering and impaling civilians. It really does help the audience develop a sense of gravity to the situation in the film if we can see the horrors that await the world if our heroes fail.
There’s nothing worse than seeing a muted, bloodless war when you have a premise this badass. The film looks to be using a healthy blend of practical and CGI effects but the addition of blood and gore really seals the deal in letting us know the apocalypse is at the doorstep.
This next point contains a MAJOR plot point from the comic books that may or may not end up in the movie (we honestly have no idea). You have been warned.
The Death Of A Demon?
Remember that potential spoiler we mentioned earlier, yea turns out Nimue is sort of a big deal because she’s the one who kills Big Red in the comics. And mind you he stays dead for a pretty long time. Since his departure from the world of the living in “The Fury” storyline in 2011, the BPRD has had to carry on without their demon companion for a solid 9 years!
Ultimately he did come back in February this year in “The Devil You Know” story arc but still 9 years is a bloody long time. And during that time, we saw Hellboy travel into the depths of hell to finally claim his destiny as ruler of the realm. He proceeds to kill Satan and all other rivals before finally resting on his laurels…that is until he was resurrected in the most recent storyline to fight the Ogdru Jahad.
Would Lionsgate be so bold to kill Hellboy in his first film in 11 years? That would be bat-shit insane if they did but the idea of Hellboy returning to Hell to kill the Devil himself is a film I would most definitely want to see. And admit it, you would too. Could Hellboy be the first instalment in a possible film saga that will see him finally take on the Ogdru Jahad? We never got to see it in Del Toro’s franchise but it seems we’re closer to it now more than ever.
Change is never easy. That being said, sometimes it can be for the better. I love the original Hellboy films as much as the next guy but it’s time about time we got a new one. Demons, dragons, knights and the apocalypse all while served up with a wisecracking hero with a big arm and an even bigger heart. What’s not to love?