News

5 Things We Learned From The Hellboy Red Band Trailer

New characters, new enemies, and a story ripped straight from the comics highlight the gory, sweary new look at the reboot.

by | March 1, 2019 | Comments

In a mirroring of the comic book status quo, a new Hellboy film starring David Harbour as the title character is slated for release on April 12th. Nestled between Shazam! a week earlier and Avengers: Endgame later in the month, the release schedule once again pits Mike Mignola‘s creation between the big-budget titans of the Big Two comic book publishing companies. And as Mignola told Rotten Tomatoes Thursday night, “Hellboy fans are going to see Hellboy.” It’s the same attitude that kept the Hellboy comics alive and kicking against the forces of evil for 25 years.

Nonetheless, Lionsgate released a new red band trailer full of new material to entice audiences with a mix of humor, dark visions, and blood-splatter. They also invited us to see the trailer and briefly talk with Mignola and star Milla Jovovich, who could not be more excited for the film. “I thought it was amazing,” she said, revealing she has seen the finished film. “It’s so sweet. I don’t want to use the word ‘cute,’ but David is so adorable.”

“You come off very well, also,” added Mignola.

Their insights helped us take a good look at the trailer and glean some interesting things about the film and how it is differs from the comic book and the earlier Hellboy films. Here are five things we learned.


Hellboy’s Origin Is Teased Throughout

Lionsgate
(Photo by Lionsgate)

The trailer opens with another telling of Hellboy’s origin. Summoned by Rasputin and his Nazi allies near the end of World War II, Hellboy came to Earth as the intended destroyer of worlds. But when Trevor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane) and the US Army arrived on site, they found an adorable demon child. Bruttenholm decided to raise the lad himself, leading to the creation of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (or BPRD). Though covered in great detail in the first Hellboy film, it is an important detail referenced in just about every long-form Hellboy story.

And if you’re an avid watcher of Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy, you’ll notice certain differences in the new film’s telling of the character’s arrival on Earth. “[Director Neil Marshall] wanted to do his version [of the origin],” said Mignola. He also mentioned scenes of Hellboy’s early days will be sprinkled throughout the film, as opposed to the way del Toro opened his film with Hellboy’s arrival. He did not, however, confirm the presence of “pancakes” — a key moment in Hellboy’s development fans definitely want to see on screen.


The Film Introduces A New Set Of Characters

Summit Entertainment
(Photo by Summit Entertainment)

One thing fans will notice immediately is the lack of certain key characters like Abe Sapien (played by Doug Jones in the del Toro films), Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), and Johann Krauss (voiced by Seth MacFarlane in Hellboy II: The Golden Army). It was a conscious decision from the moment it was decided to reboot the film series instead of soldiering on with a del Toro-less Hellboy III. And once the choice was made, Mignola felt it was important not to repeat too many ideas from the earlier cycle.

Instead, the film introduces Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim), a stalwart BPRD character despite a certain affliction. As seen in the trailer, he can go from man to were-jaguar with just a hit or two from Hellboy’s Red Right Hand — an ability that will definitely come in handy when they fight that rhinoceros creature.

We also get a few glimpses of Sasha Lane‘s Alice Monaghan in the trailer. Introduced in the classic Hellboy story “The Corpse,” she has mysterious connections to the fairy realm that ultimately allow her to become its queen. But for the purposes of the film, she is Hellboy’s traveling companion and not his love interest, as Lane noted at New York Comic Con last year. And it is always possible she will fulfill her destiny by the film’s conclusion.

Lionsgate
(Photo by Lionsgate)

The Baba Yaga, glimpsed in her chicken-legged house, has a long history with Hellboy. Hopefully some of it will be touched upon as she was an early advocate of the wave of destruction Hellboy is supposed to bring upon the world.

Another character introduced in the trailer is Lady Hatton (Sophie Okonedo). In the comics, she is a member of the Osiris Club and yet another person excited for Hellboy to embrace his destiny — which includes him fulfilling the prophecy of King Arthur’s return to England. It is, of course, unclear how closely the film’s version of Lady Hatton will skew to the comics, but considering she is seen telling Hellboy about his origins, we’re going to guess she is interested in his destiny.

And while Thomas Haden Church is reportedly set to play 1940s adventurer Lobster Johnson, Mignola declined to confirm his presence, saying instead that more Hellboy films means more chances for the fan-favorite character to make his debut.


It Follows The “Wild Hunt” Story From The Comics

Lionsgate
(Photo by Lionsgate)

The film is primarily based on the 2008-2009 story “The Wild Hunt.” In it, an unemployed Hellboy answers an invitation to join a group of British nobleman known as “The Wild Hunt” — glimpsed in the trailer as the people riding on horseback with Hellboy — who immediately betray his trust because, as they put it, “the devil shall never sit on the throne of England.” Meanwhile, the death of the Irish Fairy king leaves the Fairy folk anxious about the resurrection of the Blood Queen Nimue. Once she rises, she will lead the folk into a war against Hellboy and the world. Also, that bit of business about Hellboy’s connection to King Arthur? It could either save the world or lead Hellboy to embrace his destiny.

Considering the prominent shot of Hellboy picking up a sword and it bursting into flames, we’re going to assume that aspect of the storyline will be part of the film. In the comic book, he is faced with the choice to take hold of Excalibur. According to Mignola, “There’s an arc that mimics the comic.” But as he explained, Marshall wanted to add aspects of other tales as well. Del Toro did the same thing — incorporating much of “The Corpse” into the first Hellboy, but deleting Alice’s role in it. This is why Bruttenholm, long dead by the time of “The Wild Hunt” in the comics, appears in the film. And as “The Wild Hunt” ends on something of a stalemate, elements from the subsequent tales, “The Storm” and “The Fury,” will no doubt help the film reach a more final conclusion. We also expect some of Daimio’s backstory, explored in the BPRD comic books, will factor in as well.


Nimue Is Not A Clear-Cut Villain (Maybe)

Lionsgate
(Photo by Lionsgate)

If there is one thing Jovovich is sure of about Nimue, it is that she started from a good place. She was a witch in Arthur’s day who became involved with the wizard Merlin. She eventually learned all of his secrets and imprisoned him. Fearing her power, the other witches of the day murdered her. At least, that’s how it went down in the comics. Jovovich would not confirm anything about Nimue’s past in the film except that she was betrayed, but she did offer this appraisal of her character: “She’s the only sane person in this movie.”

From the trailer, we get the sense that her grudge is with England itself — Bruttenholm says as much — which would suggest Arthur and his descendants would be prime targets. But it is also clear she adores Hellboy. Then again, who wouldn’t? He’s muscley, red, and fated to end the world.

Not that Hellboy is interested in any of her ambitions, but at least it will lead to some cool, apocalyptic scenes.


London Gets Trashed

Lionsgate
(Photo by Lionsgate)

While neither Mignola nor Jovovich spoke to this point, we can’t help but notice the damage London takes throughout the trailer. A hellacious storm brews above the city skies and a creature which may or may not be Nimue herself demolishes the Tower Bridge. Hellboy comics typically avoid that level of destruction — Mignola leaves that to the BPRD spin0ff series — but it is nice to see some big stakes realized, even if Hellboy quips that they are not relatable.

Then there’s that shot late in the trailer of Hellboy riding a dragon across a hellish landscape. The river of fire sure looks like the course of the Thames to us. But as Hellboy fans know, any shot of the character with his horns and crown is probably a prophetic vision and not reality. But it is always possible Nimue will tempt him into embracing his apocalyptic destiny. Or, alternatively, the capital of Hell looks just like London.


Hellboy opens everywhere on April 12.


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

Captain marvel anime Turner Classic Movies Shudder Mystery New York Comic Con Comedy Food Network APB based on movie WGN Mary Tyler Moore Britbox psychological thriller batman Western social media DC streaming service Set visit OneApp name the review DC Universe documentary discovery Box Office Pixar best E3 Election Biopics MSNBC Thanksgiving ABC 2018 History Watching Series See It Skip It travel ESPN Musical boxoffice hispanic The Arrangement Amazon Prime Video Apple TV Plus crossover psycho werewolf serial killer Writers Guild of America renewed TV shows Sundance Now Drama IFC Year in Review BBC America diversity Anna Paquin San Diego Comic-Con Discovery Channel cancelled TV shows political drama Sundance TV Hulu Fox News WarnerMedia crime Reality Competition ghosts Pop TV DC Comics dragons TV Warner Bros. Pet Sematary First Look tv talk miniseries spain crime drama franchise LGBTQ Disney Channel sag awards ratings adaptation Spike Teen animated halloween anthology TruTV Infographic binge Disney+ Disney Plus parents comics Adult Swim PBS Certified Fresh Amazon singing competition Lucasfilm robots VH1 chucky Rocky Film Pride Month Cosplay Trailer joker historical drama teaser Awards Tour composers Comedy Central Logo movie FXX USA Music Super Bowl Extras strong female leads child's play latino stoner Crunchyroll canceled TV shows Summer cartoon Trivia 2019 Starz Mindy Kaling politics YouTube Red Dark Horse Comics PaleyFest cancelled TV series Baby Yoda Polls and Games mutant Netflix Academy Awards Chilling Adventures of Sabrina FX on Hulu Elton John A&E Arrowverse CBS All Access Heroines TIFF Pop Disney Plus Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Mudbound medical drama cancelled television dramedy die hard war Hallmark Christmas movies E! Marvel Television Tarantino spider-man Holidays Pirates Esquire Netflix Christmas movies talk show TV renewals Country series 45 OWN dogs crime thriller cats CNN Lifetime Christmas movies Marvel SDCC Kids & Family 2015 GoT Tubi jamie lee curtis BET Turner theme song Paramount YA blaxploitation MCU Shondaland natural history dceu Lifetime unscripted rotten movies we love sitcom Syfy mockumentary children's TV sports Trophy Talk slashers American Society of Cinematographers mission: impossible Epix supernatural finale TCA 2017 Holiday revenge dark indie Valentine's Day Women's History Month TCM 21st Century Fox kids reboot Tomatazos Sneak Peek Calendar YouTube President cults toy story Film Festival harry potter Chernobyl sequel NYCC Comics on TV Ghostbusters Musicals Marvel Studios Best and Worst science fiction National Geographic The CW Bravo Brie Larson Disney streaming service Freeform Horror criterion Emmys book award winner Red Carpet Spring TV scary movies zombie Fantasy ABC Family 71st Emmy Awards Family Quiz Travel Channel First Reviews Walt Disney Pictures Binge Guide vampires Rom-Com quibi concert south america cops Podcast Lionsgate TCA Winter 2020 YouTube Premium comedies directors Comic Book stand-up comedy Hear Us Out movies comic Rocketman Sony Pictures technology nature Premiere Dates thriller A24 what to watch FX blockbuster foreign AMC GIFs Apple richard e. Grant ITV free movies Ovation Interview Nickelodeon biography breaking bad spy thriller Tumblr versus Creative Arts Emmys television cinemax screen actors guild Ellie Kemper Grammys Television Academy DirecTV Sci-Fi Star Wars IFC Films game show Hallmark Peacock Awards video Winners game of thrones Schedule Showtime Superheroe Reality Animation Nominations Sundance 2020 Countdown Marathons Toys Stephen King festivals Cartoon Network 4/20 Universal CW Seed TV Land 20th Century Fox doctor who BBC screenings hist SundanceTV dc Apple TV+ Opinion Crackle police drama cars casting Song of Ice and Fire reviews golden globes streaming 24 frames universal monsters Funimation romantic comedy Emmy Nominations Superheroes TBS true crime Photos christmas movies Star Trek SXSW CBS Fall TV DGA Endgame Amazon Prime Character Guide Black History Month Mary poppins asian-american Cannes transformers facebook canceled a nightmare on elm street docudrama Black Mirror VICE RT History Disney CMT RT21 GLAAD El Rey Paramount Network 007 disaster Winter TV HBO USA Network MTV zero dark thirty HBO Max Amazon Studios X-Men period drama adventure Acorn TV 2017 comiccon witnail justice league Rock LGBT Avengers TCA Christmas spinoff Video Games The Purge Action Martial Arts Classic Film Columbia Pictures Masterpiece zombies TNT Vudu TLC NBC 2016 romance The Walking Dead Spectrum Originals space cancelled Oscars FOX aliens elevated horror Mary Poppins Returns The Witch spanish language Nat Geo independent green book cooking