Hellboy is finally returning to the big screen after a decade.
The supernatural superhero character from the Dark Horse Comics book series created by Mike Mignola is a red-skinned demonic entity adopted and raised by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (Broom), the founder and director of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD).
He grows up to become a superhero working with the BPRD to fight against the dark supernatural forces threatening humanity.
Guillermo del Toro directed the original 2004 Hellboy movie, starring Ron Perlman, and its 2008 sequel, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, released on July 11, 2008. The movies were favorably received by critics and fans of the comic books series, but they achieved only a limited success at the box office.
The box office failure of the original film series was one of several factors that forced Del Toro to shelve plans for a third installment of the franchise. According to Del Toro, plans for Hellboy III had to be abandoned because studios were unwilling to fund the film after the home video market that offered a fallback for the first two films dried up.
However, the producers of the upcoming reboot are hoping to use it to re-launch the franchise. According to Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, who has given his approval and support, the reboot, directed by Neil Marshall, will offer a portrayal of the comic character that is more faithful to the comics.
— JoBlo.com (@joblocom) March 6, 2018
Del Toro’s interpretation of the character in his film series was light-toned compared with the dark, often somber and gruesome portrayal of the character in Mignola’s comics.
With fans looking forward to the upcoming Hellboy reboot, we have brought together everything you need to know about it, including release date, cast, teasers, trailers, and plot.
Hellboy 2019 release date
Hellboy (2019) is currently scheduled to be released on January 11, 2019. The choice of January as the month for the release of the film appears designed to avoid the competitive summer season as well as major releases expected in December 2018.
Although the overall movie release schedule for January is less crowded, there are a few major releases in the month that could directly compete with Hellboy, such as M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero horror movie, Glass.
Hellboy reboot details
The film is directed by Neil Marshall. Marshall is best-known for his work on multiple episodes of major TV shows, such as Hannibal (2013-2015), Constantine (2014-2015), Black Sails (2014-2017), Timeless (2016-2018), and Westworld (2016- ). He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones TV series (2011- ) and received an Emmy nomination for his effort.
Marshall also directed two episodes of Netflix’s Lost in Space (2018- ) and worked on horror movies such as Dog Soldiers (2002) and The Descent (2005). He has also worked on action movies, such as Doomsday (2008) and Centurion (2010).
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) May 9, 2017
The script for Hellboy 2019 was written by Andrew Cosby, Christopher Golden, Aron Eli Coleite, and Mike Mignola. Mignola started working with Andrew Cosby on the story in 2014, before announcing in May 2017 that Marshall would direct the film.
Cosby’s previous works include the Syfy Channel series Eureka (2006-1012). He co-created the UPN horror series Haunted (2002), about a detective who was able to talk to the ghosts of murdered people.
Mignola initially planned to create a sequel — Hellboy III: Rise of the Blood Queen.– to Del Toro’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army. But after Marshall took over as director from Del Toro, a decision was taken to make a reboot.
The title Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen was dropped in August 2017, and the new title for the reboot announced simply as Hellboy.
Filming of Hellboy 2019 began in September 2017 in the U.K. and Bulgaria and ended on December 27, 2017.
Mignola has emphasized that the reboot will portray a Hellboy that is more like the original comic character. Since Marshall took over, he has worked closely with Mignola to create a rebooted big-screen version of Hellboy that is more faithful to the comics.
Marshall’s past work on horror movies is relevant because the Hellboy reboot is planned to have an R-rating.
Mike Mignola Announces R-Rated Hellboy With David Harbour As Hellboy, Directed by Neil Marshall (Game Of Thrones) https://t.co/TGmRYWzRYI
— Bleeding Cool (@bleedingcool) May 9, 2017
According to Harbour, the film will delve into more mature themes than Del Toro’s. It will be closer in tone to a horror film than a typical superhero movie, being darker and more gruesome.
The producers reportedly envision that the reboot will relaunch the Hellboy franchise and spawn multiple spin-offs. More characters will be brought into the movie from the comic book series with the purpose of setting the stage for a larger universe for the franchise.
The film is scored by Benjamin Wallfisch, and cinematography is by Lorenzo Senatore.
It will be distributed by Lionsgate Entertainment.
— ScreenCrush (@screencrushnews) July 6, 2017
Hellboy teasers and trailers
Fans were treated to first-look images of David Harbour in full Hellboy makeup on September 13, 2017, after filming began. Judging from Harbour’s appearance in the images, the makeup artists and costume crew took painstaking care to nail the comic book appearance of the character.
— Hellboy (@HellboyMovie) September 13, 2017
Some fans thought Harbour’s Hellboy looked more authentic than Perlman’s version of the comic book character.
First look at Hellboy pic.twitter.com/XoPLfEr6dj
— Gay Geek & Fabulous (@officialgaygeek) September 22, 2017
Besides the first-look image released in September 2017, no posters or trailers have been released for the upcoming Hellboy reboot. But Lionsgate said on September 10, 2018, that there will be a Hellboy panel at the New York Comic Con (NYCC) in October 2018.
— Mike Mignola (@artofmmignola) September 11, 2018
According to a tweet by NYCC, Mignola and Hellboy cast members, including Harbour, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, and Daniel Dae Kim, will attend the NYCC Hellboy panel at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 6.
It's real, it’s gritty, it’s Hellboy at #NYCC 🔥 Don’t miss the Hellboy panel on Saturday, October 6 featuring @DavidKHarbour, @SashaBianca23, @danieldaekim, Ian McShane, and comic book creator @artofmmignola. pic.twitter.com/VZ16CzFjsE
— New York Comic Con (@NY_Comic_Con) September 10, 2018
Fans are hoping that the NYCC panel will mark the beginning of the marketing campaign for the Hellboy reboot and that the first official trailer will be released soon.
Hellboy 2019 cast
Hellboy 2019 stars David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Brian Gleeson, Daniel Dae Kim, Sophie Okonedo, and Penelope Mitchell.
Harbour replaces Ron Perlman as Hellboy. Harbour is best known for his role on Netflix’s Stranger Things (2016- ) as Chief Jim Hopper. He has also appeared in superhero films in the past. He appeared in Green Hornet (2011) as the former District Attorney of Century City, Frank Scanlon, and in Suicide Squad (2016) as Dexter Tolliver.
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) September 12, 2018
In Mignola’s comic book series Hellboy is half-human, half-demon. He was summoned to Earth from Hell by Nazi occultists. But he is portrayed as an entirely demonic being in Del Toro’s film series.
He was raised by humans and grew up to become an ally of humanity, working with the BPRD to fight against supernatural evil forces.
Hellboy has superhuman abilities. He has enhanced healing abilities, superhuman strength, and a longer lifespan than humans. He is red-skinned, has a tail, cloven hooves, and a pair of demonic horns on his forehead which were sawed off, leaving stumps, presumably to make him more presentable among humans.
Hellboy has a supernatural right hand made of stone. The stone hand is known in the comics as the Right Hand of Doom. According to the comics, Hellboy’s Right Hand of Doom is destined to play a key role in the apocalypse. However, after having been raised by benevolent humans, the demonic entity is determined to prevent his evil hand from triggering the apocalypse.
The contradiction between his identity as a demon and his desire to do good results in tortured inner psychological conflict for Hellboy.
Ian McShane will portray Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (Broom). McShane is best known for his role as Mr. Wednesday in American Gods (2017- ), Al Swearengen in Deadwood (2004-2006), and Winston in the John Wick movies. He played Edward Teach in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) August 1, 2017
In the comics, Professor Broom is an expert in the occult and the supernatural. He is the founder and director of the BPRD agency. He discovered and adopted Hellboy as an infant.
Milla Jovovich, who played Alice in Resident Evil film series, will play the main antagonist, Nimue, a sorceress also known as The Blood Queen or The Lady of The Lake. The Blood Queen lived in the medieval era during the reign of the legendary King Arthur. She obtained the secrets of magic from the wizard Merlin and then locked him away.
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) August 8, 2017
The Blood Queen was bent on destroying humanity, but a group of witches captured her. To make sure that she would no longer threaten the world, the witches cut her into pieces and scattered the pieces far and wide. But she miraculously came back to life in modern times, still determined to destroy mankind.
— GamesRadar+ (@GamesRadar) August 9, 2017
Sasha Lane, best known for her role as Star in American Honey (2016), will appear as the mystical Alice Monaghan. In the comics, Alice was abducted by faeries as a baby and Hellboy rescued her. But her life among the faeries imbued her with supernatural powers and an extended lifespan. She has the power to see faeries even when they are trying to magically conceal themselves from humans.
— Yahoo Entertainment (@YahooEnt) August 16, 2017
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 15, 2017
Penelope Mitchell, best known for her roles in The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017) and Hemlock Grove (2013-2015), is cast as Ganeida, a witch who teams up with Hellboy to thwart the Blood Queen.
‘Hellboy’ Reboot Adds ‘Hemlock Grove’ Actress Penelope Mitchell https://t.co/R8l16nkQL7
— Mike Mignola (@artofmmignola) August 31, 2017
Daniel Dae Kim, Lost (2004-2010) and Hawaii-Five-O star, is cast as Major Ben Daimio. He was cast after Ed Skrien stepped down from the role due to the “whitewashing” controversy that erupted after some fans pointed out that in the comics Daimio is of Japanese ancestry.
Daniel Dae Kim may replace Ed Skrein in 'Hellboy' after whitewashing controversy https://t.co/LKsf6tAGSo
— TIME (@TIME) September 12, 2017
Daimio is a former leader of a U.S. Marine squad sent to rescue a group of nuns kidnapped by a sinister cult of Jaguar worshipers. All the Marines, including Daimio, were killed in the mission to rescue to nuns, but Daimio later revived. He discovered that he was possessed by the Jaguar spirit and that he was able to transform into a Jaguar when subjected to emotional stress.
Daimio joined the BPRD as a Field Team Commander.
Daniel Dae Kim thanks Ed Skrein after taking over Hellboy role https://t.co/YXEixM2ktF
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 14, 2017
Daniel Dae Kim applauds Ed Skrein for quitting 'whitewashed' Hellboy role https://t.co/YxSGpUu71w
— The Guardian (@guardian) September 14, 2017
Sophie Okonedo, who portrayed Tatiana Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda (2004), will portray Lady Hatton, a seer at the mystical Osiris Club.
— Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) October 22, 2017
Alistair Petrie, who portrayed General Draven in Rogue one: A Star Wars Story (2016), will appear as Lord Adam Glaren, a senior member of the Osiris Club.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) October 19, 2017
Brian Gleeson will portray the medieval wizard, Merlin. Gleeson played Dr. Robert Hardy in Phanton Thread (2017).
Hellboy 2019 plot
Details regarding the plot of the Hellboy (2019) are currently scanty. However, the inclusion of comic characters, such as The Blood Queen, Alice Monaghan, and the Wizard Merlin, suggests that Hellboy (2019) will take inspiration from The Wild Hunt and The Storm and the Fury limited series of the Hellboy comics, in which the characters played prominent roles.
— Comicon (@TheComicon) March 7, 2018
In Hellboy: The Wild Hunt, Alice Monaghan calls Hellboy to Ireland where he and his human colleagues from the BPRD face off against the evil sorceress, The Blood Queen. The storyline draws from the Arthurian legend and Celtic mythology.
Besides the broad outline, we know that the reboot will be closer to the comic version, being darker and leaning closer to horror than Del Toro’s films. Marshall and Harbour said they were aiming for an R-rating for the movie.
McShane also revealed that Broom and Hellboy will have a more strained relationship.
“You don’t start with the birth of Hellboy… but the relationship between [Hellboy and Broom] is quite crusty,” McShane said.
“There’s one important moment when [Hellboy] sort of thinks he’s fighting his own people, the outsiders,” McShane continued.
Harbour also revealed in an interview with Vanity that the new film portrays Hellboy as locked in an inner struggle that is the result of the contradiction between his identity as a demon and his desire to do good and defend humanity against the supernatural forces of evil.
“It’s a classically complicated hero. He’s a creature that was meant to bring about the end of the world, and he just sort of wants to be a good guy,” Harbour said. “He’s got that complexity to him. He’s also a monster who lives among human beings, so he’s in a sense fighting for human beings against his fellow monsters, and yet the humans hate him because they fear him and they think he’s weird looking and everything.”