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David Harbour on how his Hellboy will differ from Ron Perlman's

08.21.2017

David Harbour Hellboy Ron Perlman

Stepping into the shoes of a character who has already been established by another actor can sometimes be a challenge. There's pressure to continue along the same path, so that the character will remain familiar to audiences, but you also want to give it your own flavour, otherwise, what's the point? After Ron Perlman presented the first live-action version of Hellboy in the two Guillermo del Toro movies, the upcoming HELLBOY reboot from Neil Marshall (THE DESCENT) will see another actor slipping on the Right Hand of Doom: David Harbour (Stranger Things).

While speaking on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, David Harbour spoke about the unique challenge of playing Hellboy after Ron Perlman and what he hopes to bring to the role.

It’s unique and odd. There are things that I’m gonna do that are different than that. Hellboy is the same character from the comics, and from what Ron did, there are certain things that are the same thing, but I do think that—I don’t know, there’s a different approach because I sort of highlight different things, I think, than Ron does. Ron sort of embraces this machismo in himself and in Hellboy, that kind of is this thing, and I really like it and I think it’s super fun and it’s a super fun performance, but I think Hellboy has a certain psycho dynamic where occasionally he has to prove that he’s the lion, has to roar, but I think he struggles with his own masculinity. But I don’t think he needs that as much as maybe those other movies. I have a bit of a different take on his capability or his slickness. I sort of think that for me he’s a little less skilled at constructing that persona.

I'm beginning to warm up to this "darker, more gruesome version of Hellboy," and it will be interesting to see just how David Harbour takes the role and makes it his own. Those of you who are dreading another retread of Hellboy's origin will be pleased to know that the reboot will pick up "running and gunning." Although there will be something of his origin in the film, David Harbour says that it's "not really an origin story movie," comparing it to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

We do have a little bit of stuff where we show stuff, but it really is a story and you just drop in with this guy. So in a way, I feel like that’s kind of what Indiana Jones was. You start with him stealing the idol, but also you do go back to the university and you understand he’s an archeologist, you understand these things, but this is just a guy who goes and steals idols and fights Nazis and wants to steal the Arc of the Covenant. But you never go back when he’s a kid and you’re like, ‘How did he become Indiana Jones?’ It’s like no, we accept that this is Indiana Jones and I think that’s kind of what our story does too. You accept that there’s this half-demon guy running around the world and being a paranormal investigator and solving crimes and also dealing with his own issues at the same time.

The reboot will find Hellboy "squaring off against a medieval sorceress who seeks to destroy humankind," and stars David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Hellboy, Ian McShane (American Gods) as Professor Trevor “Broom” Bruttenholm, Milla Jovovich (RESIDENT EVIL) as the Blood Queen, and Sasha Lane (AMERICAN HONEY) as Alice Monaghan. THR also reports that Ed Skrein (DEADPOOL) is in negotiations to play Major Ben Daimio, "rugged military member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense who, due to a supernatural encounter, can turn into a jaguar when angered or in pain."

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