Home Publishers Dark Horse HELLBOY II nears

HELLBOY II nears

0


Of all this summer’s plentiful comic book movies, the one we’ve been looking forward to the most is HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY, because…well, it just looks so crazy and Guillermo del Toro is a true visionary. It’s currently at a laudable 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a big opening weekend is expected.

There are a few ways that HELLBOY’s success is notable: unless we’re forgetting something big, he’s the first creator-owned comic-book character since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to reach icon status (as confirmed by his appearances with James Lipton.) In that, he remains an inspiration rather than the first of many, alas.

HELLBOY is also notable because after the first film, the original distributor, Columbia, decided against a sequel, making it a very rare two-studio franchise. Borys Kit at THR details the film’s rocky road to the screen:

When Gordon and Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson began shopping del Toro’s first “Hellboy” screenplay in 1998, they met with plenty of resistance. Why does he have to be red? Does he need to have a tail? Can we call him something other than Hellboy?

Although they managed to set up the project at Joe Roth’s Sony-based Revolution, the project continued to face an uphill battle. Executives were reluctant to make the film without a star, pushing such actors as Bruce Willis and Vin Diesel on the filmmakers. With the project stuck in development hell, del Toro hopped on New Line’s “Blade 2.”

A week after that action horror movie opened to $32.5 million in March 2002, Revolution greenlighted “Hellboy.”


“Why does he have to have a tail?”

Indeed. Hellboy is still an iconoclast — because of the very title, there aren’t many licensing opportunities. And maybe that’s why we like him the best.

Technorati Tags:

  1. Now… I’m going to go see it tonight and all, but why is a big opening weekend expected?

    The last one didn’t have a big box office gross, so why would this one?

    PAN’S LABYRINTH was a success because it got that CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON retiree crowd out to an “artsy” foreign film. But I don’t see retirement age moviegoers running out to see HELLBOY 2.

  2. Hey, you whippersnapper! Us old people like our action movies, too! I’m going to see Hellboy 2 this weekend (or maybe during the day next week, because being old has it’s advantages). Now, get off my lawn!

  3. There’s a long tradition of sequels to movies that found their audience on video (like I think Hellboy did) opening much larger than the films that preceded them. Austin Powers (even though those sequels are terrible) springs to mind.

  4. You’re forgetting Spawn. The franchise has definitely lain fallow for almost a decade, but the character was everywhere in pop culture for the entirety of the 90s. I’d argue that he’s probably as well-known as Hellboy, even, although he could certainly stand to have his profile raised.

    Not that I’m a fan, but I remember when you couldn’t go two feet without tripping over Spawn tchochkes or TV shows or movies…

  5. [quote]Indeed. Hellboy is still an iconoclast — because of the very title, there aren’t many licensing opportunities. And maybe that’s why we like him the best.[/quote]

    Are you kidding? I could so see Hellboy at Burger King…

    And that fist of his? That would be a great “Hulk Hands”-like foam toy! My son would love it! Of course, he wouldn’t be old enough to watch the movie, but that didn’t stop the merchandising on Spider-Man, Batman, the Fantastic Four, both Hulk movies, Iron Man, Transformers, the Star Wars prequels, King Kong, X-Men, etc. etc.

  6. This week, while waiting for my older son to show up at the movie theater, I saw several elderly men all buying tickets to see Wanted. I’m middle-aged, these men looked old enough to be my father, so we’re definitely talking old.

    Toys R Us wouldn’t carry Hellboy action figures from the first movie; they objected to the name. However, they carried Spawn figures, so go figure.

    My whole family loves Hellboy; my older son reads the comics along with me, my younger son reads the Hellboy Animated trades, and my husband just wants to watch the movies.

  7. Kat, I saw a matinee of Hulk last week, and there were several old ladies in the audience. They were SO INTO IT! Afterwards, I overheard them talking about how they had to go see Iron Man now. Maybe that’s just the Brooklyn weekday matinee crowd, though.

    And Sphinx, screw a foam “Hellboy-Hands” toy for your kid. I want one! I’m still pissed they didn’t make those Thing feet in adult size 11!

  8. See, JWH, that’s one of the problems with not having smilies available here… I can’t be ironic without someone believing I was serious…

  9. Going in, I was aware of the 88% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this film. Mike Mignola must be on Cloud 9 this weekend and justifiably so.
    I see this one doing much better than the first.
    Word of mouth will be very strong.

  10. I think HELLBOY II will do well due to the TERMINATOR factor. Most people I knew saw the first TERMINATOR film on video and word of mouth built interest in the movie and, inevitably, the sequel. I didn’t take my kids to the first HB but they were looking forward to the sequel more than any other superhero film this summer — as was the missus, who loves the art direction on all Del Toro’s films.

    R!

  11. Christopher Moonlight, if you keep looking, you’ll see clips of Hellboy with Chuck, James Lipton on Inside The Actors Studio, and on American Gladiators! Pretty smart and funny cross-promoting.

  12. It’s interesting how some people just don’t get this film. Especially when they’re already fans of the book.
    But it’s reassuring that almost 90% of the critics disagreed and gave HELLBOY II the glowing accolades it deserves.
    It may have its flaws, but what it’s a beautiful, engaging genre film that ventures into quirkiness and humor in a fresh and welcome manner.
    We need more films like this that don’t follow the same tired superhero formula but instead delight and surprise.

    50% Increase over the first HELLBOY’s opening weekend AND it has 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.
    Take the nay-sayers with a huge grain of salt.

  13. The movie is visually spectacular at times, which I wasn’t expecting for a movie based on a comic book. It’s a movie with some really stunning scenes that make it worth your money. The three most appealing characters are Hellboy (his moral dilemma got me, my fav scene was when he had to decided whether to destroy the plant creature or when he knocked out Krauss), the elf prince villain Nuada (tragic tortured romantic looking figure of grace and agility that really held my attention) and his twin sister (beautiful tragic romantic figure who provided the heart of the film)…plus Wink (monster so ugly and loyal, he’s actually lovable). I love how it’s like a fairy tale gone bad. Looking forward to seeing the Hobbit!!

  14. The movie is visually spectacular at times, which I wasn’t expecting for a movie based on a comic book. It’s a movie with some really stunning scenes that make it worth your money. The three most appealing characters are Hellboy (his moral dilemma got me, my fav scene was when he had to decided whether to destroy the plant creature or when he knocked out Krauss), the elf prince villain Nuada (tragic tortured romantic looking figure of grace and agility that really held my attention) and his twin sister (beautiful tragic romantic figure who provided the heart of the film)…plus Wink (monster so ugly and loyal, he’s actually lovable). I love how it’s like a fairy tale gone bad. Looking forward to seeing the Hobbit!!

  15. The movie is visually spectacular at times, which I wasn’t expecting for a movie based on a comic book. It’s a movie with some really stunning scenes that make it worth your money. The three most appealing characters are Hellboy (his moral dilemma got me, my fav scene was when he had to decided whether to destroy the plant creature or when he knocked out Krauss), the elf prince villain Nuada (tragic tortured romantic looking figure of grace and agility that really held my attention) and his twin sister (beautiful tragic romantic figure who provided the heart of the film)…plus Wink (monster so ugly and loyal, he’s actually lovable). I love how it’s like a fairy tale gone bad. Looking forward to seeing the Hobbit!!

Exit mobile version