Hellboy Director on R Rating: ‘Just Like Taking the Cuffs Off’

hellboy rise of the blood queen david harbour header

Much has been said about the R-rating blessing that has been given to the upcoming Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen starring Stranger Things actor David Harbour, but now the film’s own director, Neil Marshall, has weighed in on the chance to take Hellboy as dark as it needs to go. Unsurprisingly, he’s very excited about the potential – and with good cause. Superhero movies have recently had a run of successful, R-rated outings like Deadpool and Logan, two titles Marshall name-dropped in talking about Hellboy.

“We’ve been granted permission to do it R-rated, which for me is just like taking the cuffs off,” Marshall said in an interview on the Post Mortem podcast. “It’s like, okay, so now we can just make the movie we want to make. It’s not like I’m going to force it to be R-rated, but if it happens to come out that way, just because of my own sensibilities, then fine. And nobody’s going to stop us. So, that’s the main [difference]. And I’m sure, obviously, the success of things like Deadpool and Logan have not hurt that cause. But, also, when you go back the original material, it is kind of bloody, so I’m going to embrace that.”

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Marshall is spot-on about the source material. Debuting in 1993, the Hellboy comic series was written and illustrated by Mike Mignola and follows the travels and travails of a demon summoned to Earth as an infant. That demon, Hellboy, is then raised to fight the world’s supernatural threats. The series thrives on Lovecraftian and Satanic imagery, as well as a hefty dose of violence. Two movie adaptations of Hellboy have already been produced under the directorial eye of Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy in 2004 and Hellboy II: The Golden Army in 2008), both of which were rated PG-13.

While the R-rating gives Marshall freedom to explore the darker elements of Hellboy, the director is looking to keep the film as practical as possible, especially in the effects department.

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“It’s definitely going to be as practical as we can possibly make it,” Marshall said. “I love to do stuff in camera whenever I possibly can, and use CG as the amazing tool that it is, to enhance or expand upon the world, but not to use it to replace reality, when you can do it [for] real.”

Currently slated to debut in theaters in 2018, Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen is directed by Neil Marshall and stars David Harbour.

(via Entertainment Weekly)

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