Stranger Things star David Harbour is set to play the titular hero in the upcoming Hellboy reboot, which will reportedly be an R-rated film with a greater emphasis on horror elements. In an interview with MTV, Harbour discussed why the time was right for a darker take on the character and what fans can expect from an R-rated Hellboy film.
Harbour explained why Hellboy is perfectly suited for a darker and more mature film:
“Mike [Mignola] created this beautiful graphic novel and this beautiful comic that’s very dark and very rich, and I think that they weren’t able to do movies back then that were, like, R-rated superhero movies. Deadpool sort of ushered in, in my mind, a new era of we can now make R-rated kind of adult superhero movies and flesh out this mythos in a certain way. So one of the great ones to do this with is Hellboy.”
Harbour discussed how the reboot will differentiate itself from the previous films by director Guillermo del Toro:
“I hate when people say reboot. Those movies stand on their own, they are their own movies. This is like something different. The whole aesthetic is different. Neil Marshall brings a whole feel to it […] that’s got its own flavor and I bring my own flavor to it [as well]. It’s really exciting to go to this R-rated, dark place cause I feel like there’s such rich psychology in Hellboy and it’s weird psycho-sexual dynamics of this demon spawned by occultists.”
Harbour also elaborated on how the R-rating will allow the film to explore mature themes:
“It goes R not for reasons of nudity or… it goes R for a bit of gore and horror but also a bit of just the mature aspect of it, the mature themes of it. Just that we’re dealing with complicated subjects. It’s a real character piece. Of course, it has huge action elements to it, but we’ve modeled it somewhat on Shakespeare. I mean, it’s a bit like Hamlet. It really is this study of this man going through this horrible conundrum and we really get to go in deep with him.”
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Directed by Neil Marshall, Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen is set to be released in 2018.