We’ve Seen the ‘Hellboy’ Trailer and David Harbour Kills It in the Big Red Role

     October 6, 2018

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The first trailer for the upcoming Hellboy reboot was revealed at New York Comic-Con during the film’s panel, but for now Summit Entertainment is keeping the footage offline. Luckily, we were in attendance and got to witness the first footage from the highly anticipated film.

The Q&A portion of the panel teed up the trailer very well. Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, Sasha Lane and Daniel Dae Kim were clearly thrilled to be there and talk about the project, but the value of having someone like David Harbour as your headliner and leader was very clear on stage. Not only is he a wonderful, genuine showman on stage but he also made a point to express great respect for the source material and the previous films, and was just brimming with positivity and excitement over his chance to bring this character to screen.

Harbour stressed his preference for practical effects and the abundance of them in this film. He called Hellboy “a monster movie, right out of Frankenstein, updated to 2018,” and that right there sounds like a Hellboy movie I want to see, even though I really enjoy Guillermo del Toro’s take on the material. Whereas del Toro’s movies lean heavily into the fantasy vibe, this new movie is described as being darker, more grounded and, of course, R rated. As for Ron Perlman’s Hellboy versus Harbour’s rendition of the character, Harbour said this time around, Hellboy is dealing with some serious inner turmoil, he’s down and dirty, and also comes across as a younger version of the character. (After all, he has hair this time.)

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Image via David Harbour

As for the footage, unfortunately we can’t do a play by play with a quick cutting trailer, but I can tell you that it played extremely well to the New York Comic-Con crowd. It’s brimming with an infectious energy and actually manages to suggest that it really might be worth another go-around with this character on the big screen.

The piece does have some CGI, like a digital dragon and some extensive, hellish set pieces, but the extra effort Harbour went through to create a homemade Hellboy costume to train during pre-production before hitting the set seems to have paid off big time. He looks fantastic as Hellboy in the footage and sells him as a winning, believable character in seconds. Even though we’re talking about a minimal amount of material here, we still catch glimpses of a number of the qualities that make Hellboy such a wildly entertaining individual.

For example, the humor. Hellboy’s got some serious bite and that’s on display throughout this piece, like for instance, when he’s fighting alongside a SWAT team and one of them accidentally fires a bullet in Hellboy’s direction. Hellboy snaps back, “I’m on your side!” Harbour’s Hellboy struts around with a significant amount of gusto, confidence, rage and not a care in the world. Want to know what his Right Hand of Doom can do? He’s happy to tell you! “It smashes things real good.”

We only get quick glimpses of Ian McShane as Bruttenholm, Kim as Ben Daimio and Lane as Alice Monaghan, but this first trailer is Hellboy’s show – as it should be. (Although based on the spark and charm Lane displayed at the panel, something tells me she could wind up being a real scene-stealer.) As for Milla Jovovich as the film’s villain, Nimue, we only get mere seconds of her towards the end of the trailer, but then the piece concludes with quite the visual – Hellboy donning his flaming crown and sword.

As a huge fan of Marshall’s The Descent and his work on Game of Thrones, I wouldn’t say there were many stylistic similarities in this work here, but that’s actually pretty exciting. Hellboy rocks a standout attitude and sass, and it seems as though Marshall knows just what to do to craft a movie for that, and he’s willing and capable of stretching his wings to get there. For a piece that’s being described as grounded and gritty, the trailer was vibrant with some stunning pops of colors throughout.

The Q&A portion of the Hellboy panel was filled with passion and excitement that felt honest and palpable. When you pair that with the reveal of a trailer that’s loaded with a highly appealing spicy energy, you pack the power to truly ignite the crowd in a very special way, and that’s exactly what happened today at Comic-Con. I can’t wait to see Harbour’s Hellboy “save the world just for the hell of it” come April 12, 2019.

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