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Look out for more coverage of
Hellboy in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Hellboy

THE STARS:
Ron Perlman • John Hurt • Selma Blair
DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro

Hellboy THE CONCEPT:
Based on the Dark Horse comic book character, Ron Perlman portrays Hellboy, who was born out of the flames of hell during World War II and brought to Earth by a madman, Grigori Rasputin, to perpetrate evil. But, in an ironic twist, he’s rescued by Allied Forces, led by Professor Broom (Hurt) who teaches him to develop his paranormal gifts to battle evil forces that threaten our world.

U.S. RELEASE: April 2 2004, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

RON PERLMAN:
“I am a huge fan of the comics now. I was told about Hellboy moments after Guillermo first met with Mike (Mignola, the creator of the comic) with the idea of adapting it to the screen. I refused to allow myself to become emotionally involved, because I really never believed that it would be me playing it. You don’t want to fall in love with some chick, only to see some other guy going down the aisle with her. So I refused to allow myself to indulge in the universe of Hellboy. Once they greenlit the project and approved me, then I went out and bought ever nuance of Hellboy you could possibly get, and steeped myself in it and fell in love with the world, the universe and the character – all the characters.”

GUILLERMO DEL TORO:
“When we started this project, we found a lot of misunderstandings where people thought that if you do a comic book movie, it had to be kitschy. People said, ‘Why did you choose to have some really somber dramatic moments in the movie? Why isn’t it all fun?’ We had to tell the studio, a comic book movie doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Then The Matrix came out, and my first call was to our producer, Larry Gordon, and I said, ‘Show them that movie and tell them that that’s a comic book movie!’”

LARRY GORDON (Executive Producer) on casting Ron Perlman:
“We wouldn’t compromise. The studios want big names – if this was a big comic book, like Batman, then you could go with a lesser name, just like they went with Michael Keaton as opposed to Tom Cruise. But Guillermo was very specific that he wanted Ron Perlman, and he’s perfect for Hellboy. He did an amazing job. In this character Ron is Sly, Arnold, Bruce – he’s an action lead.”

SELMA BLAIR (Liz Sherman) on working with the special effects:
“It was so easy to pretend it was there, because it really was there. Guillermo created so much. It was so fully realized when we came to the set. I think that was a joy for him. He had sketched every aspect and angle of this and created it with sculptors. These sets were awesome. The monsters were really there. There wasn’t that much CGI. I didn’t see a green screen once in this movie. This was such an easy, wonderful job. I just got to sit back and enjoy the ride.”

PERLMAN:
“I think the reason I wanted to see the movie the most was to find out what my tail was doing. My tail and hand were operated by two separate puppeteers, radio-controlled, and they were giving a performance that had nothing to do with me!”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Hellboy site
Images above © Columbia Pictures
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #642, April 2004 cover

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