Hellboy actor David Harbour has confirmed that the reboot movie isn't looking to start from scratch when it comes to introducing its eponymous character. Harbour said the upcoming film won't focus on Hellboy's origins, but will instead borrow a page from the Indiana Jones school of "running and gunning" storytelling.
Harbour, who will play Hellboy when the film releases in 2018, spoke about the movie's lack of origin storytelling on the recent Happy, Sad, Confused podcast.
“There is something of [his origin], 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. 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 archeologist, 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 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.”
Hellboy was first played on the big screen by actor Ron Perlman in 2004's Hellboy, and then again in the sequel, 2008's Hellboy II: The Golden Army. In the interview, Harbour addressed that switch, as well as his own examination of Hellboy's psyche and how it will differ from director Guillermo del Toro's films.
"Ron sort of embraces this machismo in himself and in Hellboy, and I really like it and 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, has to roar, and I think he struggles with his own masculinity," Harbour said. "But I don’t think he needs that as much as maybe those other movies. 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."
Debuting in theaters in 2018, Hellboy will be directed by Neil Marshall and star David Harbour as Hellboy, Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm, Milla Jovovich as the Blood Queen and Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan. The R-rated film does not yet have a release date.