The debut trailer for director Neil Marshall's Hellboy reboot provides the first substational look at the new cinematic vision for Mike Mignola's beloved comic book character. Depicting a more violent incarnation of the supernatural hero than seen in Guillermo del Toro's two films, it also leans more heavily into irreverent humor than its predecessors, setting the demon-hunting action to Billy Idol's "Mony Mony" reminiscent of trailers for Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Drawing influence from the comic miniseries Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, and The Storm and the Fury, the film will, of course, feature characters, objects and settings familiar to longtime readers of Hellboy and B.P.R.D. We call out some of them in the trailer breakdown below.
The trailer begins with ominous shots of an underground lake with the mythical sword buried into a stone. Ian McShane's Trevor Bruttenholm launches into a voiceover describing his adopted son as either the last hope or cause of the impending apocalypse: "If there's ever an end to this forever war, it will be because of you and your strong right hand."
That's a reference to Hellboy's Right Hand of Doom, a massive stone fist given to him by his father, the demon Azzael. The hand was grafted on to the infant demon to help bring about the apocalypse on Earth if ever unleashed to its true potential, making it the target of many nefarious figures over the years.
Much of the trailer unfolds in London, with the city's landmarks serving as the setting for fights between its titular hero and new, hellish threats. The British headquarters of Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is then shown hidden within a chip shop known as Codswallop.
This new setting moves the action firmly into Europe after the previous films saw the agency using New York City as its base of operations, while the comics has the agency headquartered primarily in Fairfield, Connecticut. The B.P.R.D. was formed in 1944 as a joint organization of the United States and United Kingdom by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm to protect the world from occult threats. With Hellboy depicted as a newcomer to the British division, he is ostensibly overseas for a new assignment with the agency's European branch.
Ben Daimio Joins the Fight
Making his live-action debut is B.P.R.D. operative Ben Daimio, portrayed by Daniel Day Kim. Unlike his depiction in the comics, this version of Daimio appears to be British rather than American.
Introduced in 2004 in B.P.R.D.: The Dead #1 by Mignola, John Arcudi and Guy Davis, the character was a Japanese-American soldier killed by a jaguar cult in the Bolivian jungle. Resurrected by a mystical jaguar spirit, Daimio retains a gruesome facial scar from his death, seen prominently in the trailer.
Welcome, Alice Monaghan
Another key figure straight from comics is Sasha Lane's Alice Monaghan. Debuting in 1995's Hellboy #6 by Mignola, Alice was kidnapped by fairies as an infant before before being returned to live among humans years later. She is a key figure in Nimue's bid for power, when Queen Mab passes the mantle of Queen of the Fairies to her following her murder at Nimue's hands. It's Alice who ultimately encourages Hellboy, in the comics, to wield the sword Excalibur to defeat the Arthurian witch once and for all.
While Alice's role in the reboot is still unknown, given Nimue's presence as the main antagonist, she will likely be a key figure in the witch's apocalyptic plot. And with Hellboy tasked to rescue Alice from the fairies in her first comic appearance, the hero will likely be tasked by the B.P.R.D. to protect her from the encroaching forces of darkness.