Alright folks... Harry here. I'm friends with the director of this film. Guillermo Del Toro. I've known him for over a year now, and we're quite close. And ya know.... When people insinuate that the reason I like HELLBOY, or that I want HELLBOY made is because it benefits a 'friend'. Well... It kinda angers me.
Ya see, there is a reason I like HELLBOY and why I think Guillermo Del Toro is perfect for the film. It's got nothing to do with the cars he hasn't bought me, or the women he never procures for me. Nope non-benefits of his friendship have nothing to do with it. As a matter of fact. He doesn't do that sort of thing. He's just an obsessed obese film geek like me, except with a charming wife and child. HOWEVER...
The reason I want to see HELLBOY made is because after HOURS (which if all added up would total... oh... let's say 4 weeks times 24 hours... It's alot.) of talking with Guillermo, having read his script, seen his sketches and concepts.... Well, I KNOW he KNOWS how to make the coolest damn Comic Book / Action / Adventure / Horror film ever made.
For the past two weeks I've been in mortal hell. Guillermo called me up said... "Hey Harry, come over you have to see THIS" So I hopped in Kirby (my car) and drove out to behold the original of this JPG. I pleaded with Guillermo... "PLEASE YOU HAVE TO LET ME TAKE THIS PAINTING HOME TO SCAN!!!!" But the fat bastard wouldn't let me. He said, "NO IT STAYS ON MY WALL... THE ART IS MINE, ONLY MY EYES SEE IT FOR NOW!!!"... Why? Because... Well, ya know... IT FUCKING ROCKS!!!!! There ain't no bone picking about it. And if I could convince Guillermo to let me show EVERYTHING else, you would just start jizzing all over the computer screen.
That fella in the torn overcoat below wouldn't need a damn lightsaber to split Darth Maul in half.... Hell he'd just tear him like a Seymour Phone Book. (Obscure home town reference.... sorry) Looking at this piece of pre-production art can you tell me you DON'T want the toy.... NOW!!!! That you DON'T want to see this movie... NOW!!! Because for the past two weeks I've been a friggin pit-bull yanking at my chain, frothing at the mouth wanting to pull an armored heist to finance the goddamn thing!!!
The problems with the film? Well gosh, after the release of MATRIX, the big question was... But where does Keanu fit in? WHO THE HELL GIVES A RAT'S ASS ABOUT KEANU WHEN YA GOT HELLBOY?!?!?!?!? He's cooler than a guy in a leather coat shooting a gun. Hell, if he hits ya... you don't make a dent in the wall... You go through the wall, through the next wall, through the next wall, out the side of the building, through 4 plate glass windows at Neiman Marcus', unhinging a fire hydrant and imbedded into the side of a friggin BUS! SCREW that panty waste wussy kungfu.... I want to see HELLBOY take down that damn demon below!
At the same time, the story has CHARACTERS.... with more than 2 dimensions... How novel eh? It's got a plot that takes us to many many cool places. It's got weepy moments, hardcore action horror boner-inducing screaming as loud as ya can in the movie theater whilst spilling your drink moments, it's got laughs and it's got real honest to goodness non-over the top villians that make Hannibal Lecter seem like Adam Sandler's WEDDING SINGER.
And ya know what? Besides HELLBOY, ya got Liz and Abe! And in Guillermo's hands with the freedom he didn't have with MIMIC, this film will get ya to grit your teeth so tight you'll need new caps on them.
With THE MUMMY, which was pretty half-assed looking like it'll pull in $150 to $160 million domestic... You'd have to be INSANE not to make us this movie. Personally.... If I had the money I'd be on the horn about 5 minutes after I stopped drooling at the picture below and get this movie on the SUMMER 2000 track... like NOW. Stop diddling with yourselves and get moving. You have a big red cash cow cool as hell movie just awaiting to rake it in. MAKE THIS MOVIE!
Ahem.... Breathe in.... Breathe out.... Sigh. You see folks... I just want to see this done right.... once. We're getting closer. And it's a project like this that will.... get the others all on track. Reading fans thoughts my entire life, I've come to notice a sense of hopefull despair. Everytime they get their hopes up for a comic film, they have to put up with somebody reinventing the wheel. Changing the entire concept. Setting it in a post-apocalyptic future. Making the nerdy photographer a handsome super model. Taking away his skull shirt. Cheaping out at every possible corner... Well... DAMMIT. It ends here. This time we got Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin (of the upcoming MYSTERY MEN) producing.
Guillermo doesn't have a passing fancy with comics. THE HALLS OF HIS HOUSE ARE LINED WITH THE ORIGINAL ART! He's got over 60,000 comics! He can discuss in the most amazing detail the intricacies of panel number three on page 22 of the Bernie Wrightson/Spiderman vs THE THING looking monster graphic novel! HE'S A GEEK! A geek who happens to be a director that will kickass if given the reins. LET'S SEE HELLBOY NOW!!!
This is one of the preproduction 'Budgeting' pieces of art commissioned to obtain Special Effects quotes from various effects houses for HELLBOY!
Guillermo wants me to tell you people that if you have questions about this film... Send them to Abe_Sapien@hotmail.com and Guillermo or one of his agents at BPRD will get right back to you.... Well... they'll try anyways...
To answer some of the TALK BACK questions below...
Any word yet on whether the jolly red giant will be played by an au naturel actor or if they're they're gonna computer generate his big red hobbit snot encrusted ass?
Well, the above image is part of the quest to answer that question. While I don't know all of the answers (as Guillermo does actually keep somethings from me... dammit) I do know that Guillermo is weighing the benefits of CGI as well as the drawbacks, along with the same goods and bads of practical. I know that Guillermo ultimately wants HELLBOY to be... REAL. He wants him to be a piece of cinematic magic, where from frame to frame you never wonder, "How'd they do that?" Instead he wants your thought to be on what Hellboy is doing, saying and feeling.
Simply saying a movie has a plot and characters does not make it so, and when you spend more time drooling over what you think a drawn character can do to other drawn characters than you do on explaining what exactly the movie is supposed to be about, and WHO it is supposed to be about, well, I think you know just how big a piece of crap you will end up with. Remember the Phantom Menace? Remember how Lucas jibed Godzilla with his "plot matters" website, then released a movie in which plot took a backseat so far behind "comic relief" and meaningless nonsense like blood tests and so forth that it was almost unwatchable?
A multi-part critical question of me and whether or not the project has the validity that I claim it has. Hmmm... Ok. Here we go. From time to time I might very well go off upon a fit of geekgasmic joy, but... I always come back to being centered on a project. The difference between HELLBOY and every other comic script I've read is it's not just about that hit I mention above in the body of my pre-painting orgasm. Instead it's about a passage of manhood. It's about a relationship of fathers and sons. It's about growing up and taking responsibility for you place in the grand scheme of things. It's about love between those that do not fit in. It's about new friendships and old ones. And Hellboy has concerns that he considers are more important than.... Getting the bad guy. Sure, he may be a great big red demon of a man, but at his center... He's quite human, and it's that anchor that really nails this story for me. He's ultimately not a big wrestler dyed red.... He's a regular guy who enjoys a beer, eats a hot dog, longs to find love, that wishes to lead a normal life.
Harry's a great guy to get you pumped up about a project, but is there any explanation as to *why* those who don't know the comic (and especially those Universal suits who're supposed to greenlight the thing theoretically!) should get all excited (like I am) to see this film?
Yes, there is a reason. It's because people like you are excited to see this film. The fact of the matter is, unlike every comic book film that has come before (with the possible exception of SUPERMAN (but his villians in that first one were not correct) we haven't really gotten to the heart of these heroes. The thing I love in comic book heroes is their sense of mortality. When a hero's biggest weakness is that... he's human. He cares, he loves, he has desires. At the same time, because he exists in his particular universe he also has to deal with the very personification of our ID's greatest nightmares. Tenticled demons that will destroy you. Well... Great. That really screws with the hero's plan to live a nice normal life. He can't ignore it, cause innocents will die. SO he can't put his feet up on the livingroom table and play around on the internet... He has to take on this THING. The aspect to get excited about is this is the first superhero script that has characters that you would get wrapped up in, even if there were no demons, and no effects. They are engaging characters that make you care about them.
I want to know stuff like which comic book arc (if any) is the script based on?
It's based upon the SEED OF DESTRUCTION plotline...
What stage are they in the development of it?
The stage of getting it greenlit. A minor third draft polish is being written, and the corresponding re-budgeting of the film as well as advanced pre-production is continuing.
And my fanboy question, is the one and only Abe Sapien gonna be in it?
Abe is not only going to be in it, and I'm glad you're an Abe fan as well cause so am I. Guillermo is determined to make sure Abe makes this film because he's Guillermo's second favorite thing about the comic. He's in the first third of the script.
Could My Ass Be Kicked Any Harder?