David Harbour Talks His Different Take on Hellboy from Ron Perlman

David Harbour is stepping into some big hooves with the upcoming Hellboy reboot, taking on an iconic character that already has one fan-favorite performance thanks to Ron Perlman. Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast (via Joblo), Harbour broke down what he thinks are the differences in his version of the character for the new movie and Perlman’s version of the character.

“Ron sort of embraces this machismo in himself and in Hellboy, that kind of is this thing, and I really like it and I think it’s super fun and it’s a super fun performance, but I think Hellboy has a certain psycho dynamic where occasionally he has to prove that he’s the lion and has to roar, but I think he struggles with his own masculinity. But I don’t think he needs that as much as maybe those other movies did. I have a bit of a different take on his capability or his slickness. I sort of think that for me he’s a little less skilled at constructing that persona.”

Harbour also spoke about the film’s structure, revealing it’s not an origin story and is more like Raiders of the Lost Ark, dropping viewers directly into the story without an extensive backstory.

“There is some (explanation of Hellboy), but it’s not really an origin story movie. We kind of pick up the movie like we’re running and gunning. We do have a little bit of stuff where we show stuff, but it really is a story and you just drop in with this guy. So in a way, I feel like that’s kind of what Indiana Jones was. You start with him stealing the idol, but also you do go back to the university and you understand he’s an archaeologist, you understand these things, but this is just a guy who goes and steals idols and fights Nazis and wants to steal the Arc of the Covenant. But you never go back when he’s a kid and you’re like, ‘How did he become Indiana Jones?’ It’s like no, we accept that this is Indiana Jones and I think that’s kind of what our story does too. You accept that there’s this half-demon guy running around the world and being a paranormal investigator and solving crimes and also dealing with his own issues at the same time.”

Harbour is joined in the upcoming film by Ian McShane (Deadwood, American Gods) as Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (aka Professor Broom), Milla Jovovich (The Fifth ElementResident Evil franchise) as villain the Blood Queen, Sasha Lane (American Honey) as Alice Monaghan, and Ed Skrein (Deadpool) as Major Ben Daimio.

Neil Marshall (The DescentGame of Thrones) will direct from a script from Andrew Cosby (Eureka), Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola. Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin will produce with Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Entertainment. Production on Hellboy is set to begin in September.