by Chris Mason
SHH was lucky enough, with a hand full of other sites, to get the first look at Columbia Pictures' and Revolution Studios' Hellboy.
I've been a big fan of Mike Mignola's comic creation for years and always thought it would make a great film, that is if they could get it right. Well, from what I saw today fans of the big red stone fisted demon are in for a real treat. I was blown away by what I saw â€“ twice! I don't want to spoil the fun for you till you see it for yourselfâ€¦ (It should hit the web on Yahoo! this Thursday, and is rumored to be attached to Ron Howard's The Missing) but this looks like one fun ride of a film.
The trailer opens with various shots of John Myers (Rupert Evans) entering the BPRD, which is sort of this high-tech looking 'Man from U.N.C.L.E' sort of place. He quickly descends into the lower levels to meet the rest of the gang. Lots of quick action shots of, Hellboy, Liz, Abe and company - all very cool. Director del Toro really seems to have balanced the absurd yet brilliant concept and mixed it with the proper amounts of thrills and humor. One shot of Hellboy chomping on a stogie made me laugh out loud, (in a good way) it was all just so perfect. The beasties also look very menacing and there are lots of them too. Although we were told the CGI effects in the trailer were 30% completed, still they looked pretty awesome to me! The trailer ends with a kick-ass shot of Hellboy doing some serious damage with the stone fist on a moving auto that is stopped dead and flips over his headâ€¦ nice!
del Toro stayed a few mins after the short screening to answer a few questions from the 'news-guys' in attendance. del Toro explained that the "Seed of Destruction" comic was the starting point for the movie, but is just the basic idea. He said that the prologue is as close as we get in the storyline to the comic and then it's a big departure. You're going to get the characters from the comic, but we're going to see them in a very different way.
The director talked about how he had only one actor in mind to play Hellboy, and that was Ron Perlman. Selma Blair was also the only one he wanted for Liz. Lucky for us Revolution agreed. Perlman looks fantastic in the roll and gives life to a character that he was born to playâ€¦ even hidden under layers of red latex. del Toro explained that every square inch of Perlman was covered in the make-up created by FX wizard Rick Baker. "The makeup goes from very thick to very thin. Ron didn't have to do many push-ups to be in that shape. There are a few scenes where Hellboy is completely naked from the waist up and it's really an amazing job that the Rick Baker guys did." del Toro describes Hellboy as a seven-foot tall demon with a stone hand that was rescued from the Nazis in 1944 and now works as a paranormal investigator for the FBIâ€¦ but he's a regular guy who likes beer and watching TV. Too darn funny!
The effects are being done as we speak; Phil Tippett's company is handling the FX chores along with a group of ex-ILM guys called The Orphanage. A shorter 30-second trailer will air on the Super Bowl, that will basically be more FX and action!
As a fan of these types of films, I can't wait to see Hellboy, and as del Toro put itâ€¦
"I want to make The Last Emperor of B-monster movies."
Hellboy hits the theatres on April 2, 2004. Till then you can catch it this Thursday on Yahoo! Movies and Monday in QuickTime.
Source: Sony Pictures
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