Gory, Sexy 'Hellboy' Trailer Really Delivers on That R-Rated Promise

For those who wanted their Hellboy to be bloodier and gorier than even Mike Mignola’s comics were, do we have a treat for you. The second trailer for Hellboy, a reboot movie from Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall, ups the ante with violence, decapitations, brutal transformations, cussing, and a full-on makeout sesh in a rainstorm of blood. Reminds me of college, to be honest.

On Friday, Lionsgate released the new trailer for Hellboy, a reboot film based on Mignola’s gothic horror/crime procedural comic book series from Dark Horse. Disconnected from Guillermo del Toro’s films released in 2004 and 2008, which starred Ron Perlman as the big red hero, the new film retells Hellboy’s origins with David Harbour (“Sheriff Hopper” from Netflix’s Stranger Things).

The film, as the trailer reveals, also seems to give fans of del Toro’s movies what they wanted: Hellboy fulfilling his dark prophecy, as evidenced by his gnarly big horns and flaming sword. This plot was teased at the end of del Toro’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army, but because a third film was not produced del Toro could not deliver on that cliffhanger.

You can watch the new trailer in the embed at the top of this page. Lionsgate also released a few new photos, which you can see below.

Hellboy David Harbour
David Harbour, as Hellboy in 'Hellboy.'
Hellboy
David Harbour (left) and Sasha Lane (right) in 'Hellboy.'
Hellboy Milla Jovovich
Milla Jovovich in 'Hellboy.'

The new Hellboy also stars Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Sasha Lane, and Thomas Haden Church. Daniel Dae Kim also stars as Ben Daimio, a Japanese-American soldier who can transform into a jaguar. The role, which was Japanese-American in the comics, was recast with Kim after British actor Ed Skrein (Deadpool) was initially cast but stepped down upon learning the character’s Asian origins.

As fun and Guardians of the Galaxy-ified as this new Hellboy looks, I remain skeptical for two reasons. First, del Toro’s insistence on practical effects and costumes means his movies are still an astonishing visual feast more than a decade after their release. This new movie’s heavy use of CGI may look great today, but in ten years that might not be the case.

Second, Mignola’s Hellboy comics aren’t actually that gory and violent as its premise suggests. While there was no doubt plenty of brawling and murder to go around in the comics, Mignola’s distinct illustrative style emphasized mood more than realism. Even when things get brutal, the Hellboy comics always looked more like the coolest Saturday morning cartoon than an indulgent, violent gorefest.

Still, this film’s got the humor of the comics down pat, just as del Toro did. The fun with Hellboy isn’t that he’s a cool as hell supernatural crime investigator who happens to be a demon, it’s that, like a demonic Kal-El adopted by humans, Hellboy is a blue collar guy through and through who likes to crack wise as much as he cracks open brews. Harbour, who has that particular persona down pat in his many character roles, seems to successfully pick up where Perlman left off — even if his jaw looks a little weird at times.

Hellboy will be released on April 12.

Media via Lionsgate