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For years, Hellboy fans clamored for the character to return to the silver screen, and next year their wish will be granted. However, rather than it being the long-awaited Hellboy III, Hellboy is instead being rebooted, with Stranger Things' David Harbour inheriting the role once portrayed by Ron Perlman. Like any good reboot based off a comic book, the Hellboy reboot needs to do enough to distinguish itself from the previous movies, but also honor the source material. As far as the latter is concerned, Mike Mignola, the man who created Hellboy for Dark Horse Comics, says that the reboot actually stays more faithful to the original stories than the Guillermo del Toro-helmed duology was. Migmola explained:
The first film was based on one of the comics, but Del Toro was looking to reinvent everything. I think the difference is here, the bulk of the [Duncan] Fegredo arc takes place in the real world. So instead of making up a whole fantasy world, it was, 'Let's find locations that feel like these real-world locales that Duncan drew in the comic.' I think the bulk of the characters in the film are established in the comic. It was insane for me to walk in there and see that someone did a really nice rendering of a creature I created or Duncan created. It's got a whole different feel from the older movies. Duncan's not working on it, but I did see stuff in the movie that was so close to what Duncan drew, more so than what was in the previous movies. It was pretty exciting.
While 2004's Hellboy was loosely based on the story Seed of Destruction and 2008's Hellboy II: The Golden Army was largely an original creation, the new Hellboy movie will be more of a direct adaptation of the arc that took place across Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt and The Storm and the Fury, which Mike Mignola wrote and Duncan Fegredo illustrated. Between the comic book movie genre not being quite as popular last decade and Guillermo del Toro having his own colorful ideas on what to do with the property, it does make some sense why the earlier Hellboy movies didn't strive to be more direct adaptations. But for the Hellboy fans out there who've been wanting a movie that more closely reflects a tale told on the printed page, it sounds like the reboot will deliver on that front.
Earlier in his interview with EW, Mike Mignola also discussed how his own role in the Hellboy reboot differs from what he was tasked with doing on the Guillermo del Toro movies. When Mignola was working with del Toro (who he'd already known for years), he was tasked with helping out as a concept artist, whereas for the reboot, there are other people handling those duties, but Mignola is more involved with the screenplay. It's an interesting tradeoff, but one appropriate given Hellboy's creative direction.