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Feature: Hellboy

Raising Hellboy

Hellboy makes a new friend in the city

... or how Director Guillermo Del Toro brought comic book hero Hellboy to the big screen.

Hellboy looks set to be one of 2004’s first blockbuster releases, a comic book adaptation to follow in the path of such past smash hit, paper to screen jobs as Superman, Batman and Men in Black.

Based on Mike Mignola’s popular comic book Hellboy is directed by Guillermo Del Toro, whose previous successes include Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone and Blade 2. Starring as Hellboy is Ron Perlman, who appeared in Del Toro’s acclaimed début film Cronos and is no stranger to blockbusters having had prominent roles in such titles as Alien Resurrection, Star Trek: Nemesis and Del Toro’s own Blade 2. Joining Perlman for Hellboy is an impressive supporting cast that includes Adaptation’s Doug Jones, Cruel Intentions babe Selma Blair and Alien star John Hurt. Shivers caught up with Del Toro, as well as the special effects house Spectral Motion to discuss the making of the film and what viewers should expect from the eagerly anticipated action shocker.

It’s difficult not to like Guillermo Del Toro instantly. In person the director is incredibly accommodating and extremely enthusiastic towards answering questions about Hellboy, as well as his previous projects. Del Toro’s first film, the vampire fable Cronos, brought him instant international acclaim and led to a career as a champion genre director. At the time Cronos was Mexico’s most expensive film, and Del Toro admits that many thought he was crazy for making a Horror film with the considerable funds that he raised. “The movie that we made was going completely against the grain of what was expected from a Mexican film,” Del Toro insists. “So the support for it when it came out was a surprise. I ruined myself economically making Cronos… we did not know that anything would come of it – and when it did well it was very moving for me.” Following Mimic – which Del Toro remains unhappy with, largely due to studio interference – the director returned to Mexico and made perhaps his finest film to date, The Devil’s Backbone. The surprise success of the director’s second foreign-language film led to him being given the reigns of Blade 2 and now Hellboy. “I think that for better or for worse it’s the first time two worlds have combined together on one movie,” the director maintains in relation to the freedom he has had to make Hellboy. “It is my version of what a Hollywood movie could be if you are just left alone to make one. So there is no one to blame but me for Hellboy. It is very personal, and we are having fun with the story but on a big scale. I hope people find the character appealing.”

by Calum Waddell

Get the full interview when you buy
Shivers #111

Photo © Columbia Pictures
Feature © Visual Imagination 2004. Not for reproduction

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Shivers #111
March 2004
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