Titan Publishing Group has provided Superhero Hype! with a look at the upcoming Hellboy Official Movie Souvenir Magazine, available on March 16. The magazine not only features a full run down on the film itself, but also the story behind the film and one-on-one interviews with the cast and crew, including director Guillermo del Toro, Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Selma Blair (Liz Sherman) and John Hurt (Professor Bruttenholm). Here is your first look at excerpts from the magazine (click on the image for a bigger version of the cover):
Of course, the problem with working on creator-owned projects at that time was that the “Big Two” of comics publishing â€“ DC and Marvel â€“ wanted nothing to do with them. Lucky for Hellboy, an up-and-coming Seattle-based publisher was quite interested in what Mignola (and his counterparts) had to offer.
“A bunch of us were all talking about doing our own stuff and some guys we knew were already doing that at Dark Horse Comics,” notes Mignola. “And they seemed very keen on the idea of us doing stuff for them. So we had a meeting with Dark Horse and said, ‘Listen, take all our books and you can publish them under this “Legend” banner.’ So that’s how that was, and it was great for me.
I benefited more than anybody else because everybody else already had these big reputations. You had Frank Miller, who’d done The Dark Knight Returns. You had Dave Gibbons, who’d done Watchmen â€“ famous guys, and me. And the beauty of that was that the group of us got a lot of press and a lot of publicity and a book like Hellboy, which might have gone unnoticed, received a lot of attention because it was among all of these other books.”
“It’s based a lot on my father who’s a real old-fashioned, working-stiff, cabinet maker kind of guy who would come home from his woodshop at the end of the day and would have cuts and scrapes on him,” notes Mignola. “He’d get his hand stuck in this machine or he had to pull a nail out of another guy’s hand, and he was so blasÃ© and casual about this kind of stuff. I said, ‘That’s what I want. I want a guy who goes out and fights monsters, but that’s his job. He’s just a good blue-collar working stiff. And the fact that he looks like the devil â€“ stereotypical red hooves, tail, horns â€“ thatâ€™s kind of funny. I like that’.”
Also part of Mignola’s real world inspiration is his use of classic folklore in almost every Hellboy tale he writes.
Mike Mignola reveals where his interest in oral and written tradition come from:
“It all comes from having read Dracula when I was in sixth grade and just becoming fascinated with legends and ghost stories,” replies Mignola, “and reading descriptions of these weird characters and thinking, ‘Wow! That would be fun to draw.’ Rather than just doing the movie version of a vampire, you would read these books and hear about this vampire whose head detaches and flies around trailing its intestines.
There’s something about that stuff that just clicks with me â€“ a wonderful strangeness to that stuff that you don’t get in the formulized Hollywood versions of the supernatural’.”
Mike Mignola discusses the jump from comic-book to live-action big screen:
Hellboy is not what most studio executives think of as a marketable property. Sure, the book has a loyal cadre of followers, but their numbers pale in comparison to those associated with Spider-Man or Superman. Luckily, the project had a couple of very powerful fans in its corner.
“It must’ve been within a couple of years of doing the comic,” says Mignola of the book’s move into Hollywood. “Because it was at Dark Horse Comics and because Mike Richardson is a producer as well as a publisher, he grabbed Hellboy and slotted it in â€“ I believe â€“ at Universal. Nothing much happened and I didn’t think anything would happen until, as I understand it, [director Guillermo] del Toro got wind of the possibility. He had fallen in love with Hellboy and he came to it and said, ‘I’m the guy to do this.’ I met him and I agreed.”
As a result, Hellboy was moved to its new home at Revolution Studios and placed on the fast track. It attracted a very unlikely cast of Hollywood talent (John Hurt as Professor Bruttenholm, Jeffrey Tambor as Agent Tom Manning, Selma Blair as Liz Sherman) and appointed an actor who has made his living in supporting roles as its lead (Ron Perlman as Hellboy).
Hellboy star Ron Perlman on director Guillermo del Toro:
For instance, here’s what Hellboy star Ron Perlman has to say: “It was really, really nice to know that Hellboy was being made by the biggest Hellboy fan on Earth. There are people who love this material, but no one more so than Guillermo. He celebrates his addiction to the genre unashamedly. In terms of acting, it was easy, because you knew the guy that you were performing for was realizing this piece with his heart in precisely the right place. Collaborating with somebody who I admire and adore as much as Guillermo del Toro is indescribable. Heâ€™s a great human being. And fun, fun, fun to be around!”
Acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro on Hellboy:
It’s a movie that is very personal for me thematically, where I can care about the character and at the same time present some spectacle and action.
Guillermo del Toro on Mignolia’s Hellboy comic:
I was already a fan of Mignola and his art. I liked the character from the start, but started collecting them mostly for the art, because they were published in little chapters, and I wait until I collect all the chapters to read the comic. After I’d collected the first one-and-a-half graphic novels, I started reading it in order and it was like a drug. I couldn’t wait for Mignola to publish a second one.”
Guillermo del Toro on making Hellboy:
“I thought, quite frankly, that it was too big a movie for [Hollywood to let] me tackle,” del Toro acknowledges. “I thought it was a very difficult movie in the sense that it was very big, but it was also very eclectic and I thought it was a long shot. But when I was browsing the Internet around 1997, I checked a website called Coming Attractions, and they were talking about Hellboy being made into a movie, and I just flipped. I said, ‘Someone is already trying to make it into a movie, I’ve got to be part of this.’ And I literally told my agent, ‘Call them up, tell them I’m the only man for the job!'” he laughs. “I’ll go and audition, I’ll go and prepare an outline!’ And I was very happy when [producers] Lloyd Levin and Larry Gordon accepted me.”
One of the struggles of Hellboy was getting the leading man del Toro wanted. “[Perlman] was my first phone call, after Larry and Lloyd told me I got the job. I called him immediately that afternoon, we jumped in my car, we went to a comic book shop, I bought all the Hellboy graphic novels that were available, I gave them to him and I said, ‘This is going to be you, read them.’ Ron just loved the character.
He said, ‘Oh, I can see why you want me to play this guy, I really enjoy his attitude.’ Essentially I wrote the screenplay with him in mind.” del Toro had worked with Perlman twice before, on Cronos and Blade II. “And so every dry wisecrack, every bit of grumbling humor that the character has comes from me knowing Ron and adapting Hellboy’s speech patterns to him.”
The Hellboy movie hits theaters on April 2.
Source: Titan Publishing Group