Hellboy is back. Lionsgate released a first look at the upcoming adaptation of Mike Mignola’s classic noir-horror comic, showcasing Stranger Things star David Harbour as the titular demon.
The trailer shows off the titular character working alongside members of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) as they fight against monsters that threaten the world. In Mignola’s story, Hellboy also struggles against his demonic nature, and against the reactions of humans who see him as a monster. Also in the trailer: Ian McShane as Hellboy’s adoptive father, Professor Bruttenholm; Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim as BPRD operative Ben Daimio; and Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan. Much of the action appears to be centered in England, which tracks, given that the film’s antagonist is Nimue the Blood Queen (played by Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich), a British witch who appeared in the comic arc Darkness Calls.
This new film isn’t connected to the pair of Hellboy films Guillermo del Toro directed in 2004 and 2008. Instead, it reboots the story. This film, directed by Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones, The Descent), is expected to adhere more to the horror elements of Mignola’s comics, and to earn it an R rating. That said, this trailer is certainly… upbeat, and it doesn’t really feel like the hard-hitting horror its creators — including Mignola — have been teasing. The production has felt some bumps along the way: del Toro was originally seeking to make the film as a second sequel in his series, but was unable to secure the deal he was looking for. Original Hellboy Ron Perlman refused to return to the project if del Toro wasn’t involved. And actor Ed Skrein, originally cast as the Japanese-American soldier Daimio stepped down during the early days of the production after concerns about the role being whitewashed. Kim replaced him in the role.
The movie was initially supposed to be released in January 2019, but Lionsgate announced earlier this fall that its release was bumped back to April 12th, 2019.