Hellboy Reboot 2019: All You Need to Know (so far)
Note: While we attempt to remain spoiler-free to a certain degree, the following article talks about casting information and basic character info that may be considered by some to be spoilers. Read at your own risk!
This page will be updated as new information is released.
UPDATE: 9/26/18 10:14 PM EST: Film delayed till April 2019
Release: April 12th, 2019 (Delayed from January 11th 2019)
Director: Neil Marshall
Writers: Andrew Cosby, Mike Mignola
With less than a month left until the first trailer for 2019’s Hellboy release, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we do know about the upcoming feature. Although it must be said, in some respects, that what we do know is defined more so by an absence of concrete information. For a film that is set for release in January of 2019 there is a dearth of set photos, or promotional imagery in general (aside from a few photos of David Harbor donning his red makeup and some artwork by Mike Mignola) as well as major plot details. While it is most certainly a good thing that the studio has not spoiled the film, it still has left fans thirsty for information.
Let’s take a look at some of the things we do know and put them into perspective:
The film is being directed by Neil Marshall, who most recently worked on Netflix’s Lost In Space. The man is no stranger to horror, having also directed The Descent (2005) and Doomsday (2008). The film is currently credited as being written by Andrew Cosby and Mike Mignola, although it is known that early drafts of the screenplay were worked on by Christopher Golden along with other drafts being penned by different, unnamed writers. For anyone who does not know, Christopher Golden is no stranger to the Hellboy universe, having worked on many of the Hellboy prose novels, and co-wrote with Mignola and Ben Stenbeck on the non-Hellboy project Baltimore. Neil Marshall is notably one of the founders of Boom! Studios and co-creator of the show Eureka. It is unclear how much of the script remains Golden’s, but currently he is no longer listed on IMDB as a writer. Please note, however, that IMDB is not a gospel of film credits. The website is wrong all the time, and this could easily have been a clerical error, or overzealous fan edit.
Most of the info that we do currently have is casting information, so we shall explore this by character. At the time of writing the only character to have any official promotional artwork is Hellboy, and thus there is much more to talk about in regards to him. As more information is announced, this page will be updated with more information.
Hellboy (David Harbor):
At this point everyone knows that David Harbor of Stranger Things fame is taking up the helm, or horns, or… stumps of the titular character Hellboy. According to all of the photos of the character we have seen, his visual portrayal seems decently accurate to his comic book with the addition of some scars and more utilities on his belt, plus some pants. Maybe Damio makes him put them on in this film? Notably the Right Hand of Doom has changed a bit, as the wrist part of the hand is now polygonal rather than the cylinder we are used to in the source material. His weapon of choice in this film is not nearly as massive and overkill as his choice in the GDT films, but certainly remains within the “badass looking handgun” spectrum without looking like one of the B.P.R.D.’s standard weapons. (I have zero knowledge of guns so I will continue to be very vague in my descriptions of them). Perhaps the most disturbing development of the released photos is the lack of his ever so important hair bun that has been a standard of all of Hellboy’s depictions throughout the years. Surely this spells doom for this production.
The Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich):
Milla Jovovich stars as the antagonist of this film, The Queen of Blood. I personally feel saying her full name is a spoiler, so if you want to know the whole title visit IMDB to your heart’s content! While there are very few details given about the character in any of the released news so far, it is fairly easy to see Jovovich in the roll, at least from a visual perspective. Personally I have not seen a lot of her filmography, but most people will recognize her instantly from her role in the Resident Evil franchise. The character in her original material, primarily from The Wild Hunt, The Storm, and The Fury, is fairly stoic and the essence of pure evil. While certainly not the most famous Hellboy villain, the character is a really interesting choice to bring to the big screen. There is a lot the creative team can do with her purely from a visual perspective, as she is simply a cool looking villain. She is typically seen either dripping in blood or wearing a blood red cloak, so you can be sure that there will be a lot of reds in this film’s color pallet.
Trevor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane):
Ian Mcshane has joined the film to play Professor Bruttenholm. This was among the first of several confusing castings of this film, as aside from one flashback segment in The Fury, Bruttenholm does not even appear in the comic this film is based on, as frankly, he was long dead at this point. Moreover, that flashback involved Hellboy as a child, and there has not been a casting announcement for a child Hellboy yet. It is not, however, utterly inconceivable for the character to be in the film. That role would have to go to our friend Ben Daimio, but more on that later. It is more than likely that this film will simply be told partly through flashback segments. While I personally have little experience with Ian Mcshane as an actor, he is known for his work on Deadwood and more recently American Gods. If you are short on time and want to watch a film of his immediately… you probably bought your child a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Rob Marshall) at some point. I’m not judging you, those movies aren’t as bad as they are made out to be. (editors note: They totally are - other than the first).
While we certainly do not know much, what we do know is that this film will be highlighting Hellboy’s fickle relationship with Bruttenholm, as it is in the comic. This is in contrast to their relationship in the del Toro films, in which they had a very positive relationship. This personally excites me the most, as Bruttenholm is one of my absolute favorite characters simply because he is a very flawed individual. And while I do enjoy John Hurt’s performance, his version of Bruttenholm was driven far more by acting than character depth. Speaking of which, it should be noted that they learned to spell his name correctly! Yes his name was spelled “Broom” in the del Toro films, it is very important and integral to his character that his name is spelled correctly so I am happy that they finally fixed this black hole of a flaw.
Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane):
If you are new to Hellboy and are looking for something small to read before the new film that does not completely spoil the whole film for you, Alice’s origin story in The Corpse is perfect for you. Sasha Lane takes up the very first ever adaptation of Alice Monaghan, Hellboy’s friend whom he met as a baby. She is no ordinary human, and has special powers which I will remain intentionally vague about. Sasha Lane is a notable addition because this is her first major studio production. Prior to this she has starred in American Honey (Andrea Arnold), but has never done a non-independent production. This is pretty exciting and we should all hope for the best for her career on this one.
Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim):
Daniel Dae Kim has been cast as Ben Daimio (After some shenanigans with the film’s casting director which we will not get into here). He’s that character we all know and love that appeared in the Hellboy comics. Not in B.P.R.D.: Hellboy. Ok, sarcasm aside, this casting is extremely exciting as Damio is a very popular character in the Hellboy community and Daniel Dae Kim is a fantastic actor. The character’s involvement, however, has made most fans confused as all hell (pun intended) as the character has never appeared in any Hellboy comic, and is strictly a B.P.R.D. character. It seems that the live action Hellboy films all have a fascination with taking characters Hellboy has never met and putting them in a room together. It is still pretty weird to me to see Johann Kraus interact with Hellboy.
What is going on here? Well, to start Mike Mignola has stated that in creating the film’s screenplay they decided to eclectically pull from all over the Hellboy universe, so no matter what Daimio’s purpose is in the film, it probably will not match up with the comic’s timeline at all. Personally I feel we may be seeing Daimio in a state similar to how he was in The Long Death, and that this film may be setting up a B.P.R.D. spinoff. (editor’s note: Fingers crossed, and yours better be too) There is very little evidence to back this up, but perhaps, given his lineage, we may even see some Lobster Johnson representation in this film. (editor’s note: CROSS THEM NOW)
That covers it for the big hitter characters, but who else is going to appear in this movie?
Ganeida (Penelope Mitchell): A witch who opposes the Blood Queen.
Lady Hatton (Sophie Okonedo)
Leni Riefenstahl (Kristina Klebe): The Nazi film director?
Police Officer (Bern Collaço)
Agent Taylor (Ashley Edner)
Agent Madison (Atanas Srebrev)
Key B.P.R.D. Agent (Mark Basnight): A personal favorite.
Father (Anthony Delaney)
Mother (Ava Brennan)
Monk (Eddy Shore)
Butler (Michael Heath)
Standard Bearer (Tihomir Vinchev)
Camazotz (Mario de la Rosa): This is particularly exciting, as this means that somehow Hellboy in Mexico is getting referenced in this film!
Ilsa Haupstein (Vanessa Eichholz): From Conqueror Worm! Looks like we will be getting some flashbacks!
Unknown: Brian Gleeson, Alistair Petrie
Now there is one more thing that should be addressed that may not even have anything to do with this film. Back a ways ago this year, Thomas Hayden Church teased the fact that he had joined in on a superhero film that at the time was already shot and not yet released. He said that he for some reason was not allowed to reveal his casting as it was a secret. The only two films that would make sense given this criteria would be the upcoming Aquaman (James Wan) and 2019’s Hellboy. While it is more than likely that he plays a part in Aquaman, especially given the way he talks about it as a “superhero” film role, he could possibly be playing a surprise character in Hellboy. What that character is is anyone’s guess. Do you want my tin foil hat theory? Well, when I think of Hellboy and “reveal” type characters, the two characters that come to mind for me are Lobster Johnson and Edward Grey. The former is most likely, as he is most undoubtedly a “superhero” character (plus if that is the reveal at the end that would be sick). I say Edward Grey because the character has a history of being teased as a big reveal in the comics in a way that no other character in the franchise gets. His third book, Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland was teased with a cryptic “Poole’s Elyxir” add for a period before the book was even revealed to exist. Most recently, Dark Horse comics dedicated a long period on their twitter account solely to teasing the eventual reveal of Witchfinder: The Gates of Heaven. But what lends more credence to the latter theory is that Edward Grey is actually in The Fury. Regardless, we will have to wait until December to find out if this is even worth talking about.
Well let’s ask the big question: Where’s Grugach!? The character was initially talked about as being in this film and playing a pivotal role just as he does in the comic book. At this point, we have yet to receive casting information on the character. He may have gone the way of the Abe Sapien, who was initially supposed to appear in the film but has since been de-confirmed. Unlike Abe who was never in this film’s source material to begin with, Grugach is an important character in The Wild Hunt, The Storm, and The Fury. Not only that, but he’s a fan favorite. It is likely that the character is simply getting dubbed now, as he most undoubtedly will be represented as a visual effect of some sort rather than as a person wearing a suit, although seeing a grown man in an diminutive pig costume would be distractingly adorable. Perhaps one of the unknown role actors, Brian Gleeson or Alistair Petrie will lend their voice to the character. It would be a shame to not see the character appear.