Why Hellboy Is Such A Complicated Hero, According To David Harbour


The Hellboy franchise is being rebooted early next year as Guillermo del Toro's version of the character makes way for a new, darker, more traditional take on the character to be played by Stranger Things star David Harbour. Recently, the actor spoke about his big new movie role and how the character of Hellboy is so complicated because he's supposed to be a villain, but the man just wants to be one of the good guys...

He's a creature that was meant to bring about the end of the world, and he just sort of wants to be a good guy. He's got that complexity to him. He's also a monster who lives among human beings, so he's in a sense fighting for human beings against his fellow monsters, and yet the humans hate him because they fear him and they think he's weird looking and everything.

If you're familiar with the comics or the two previous films based around the character, then you've seen some of the complexity that David Harbour is talking about. Hellboy is the last person who is going to be able to simply live among humans normally. He's giant and red and he has horns that make him look like a very classical version of a monster. However, Hellboy would happily trade all that to just be a normal person. He enjoys all the things people enjoy, but he can't live like them at all.

While Hellboy can't live among people, and most of them fear him, he still does his part to protect them from the sorts of other-worldly threats that only he has the power to stop. However, that adds another layer of complexity to the character for David Harbour as he tells Vanity Fair, as Hellboy has to answer the question of why he bothers with such a fight.

There's that question of, why am I fighting this battle? Just because of some sense of justice, or some sense of good? It's a really interesting question that sort of is at the core of him, that he struggles with... I know that [writer] [Mike] Mignola and [director] Neil [Marshall] and [producer] Lloyd [Levin] all watched Stranger Things and saw that in what I did there, which is similar. He has a heart that's really good and with a lot of this crusted-over stuff. What I'm dealing with in Hellboy is a lot different, bigger in a certain way. It's very Shakespearean. It's demons and witches and stuff like that. But it has a similar core to a dude who's trapped in horrible circumstances who's just trying to be a good guy.

The new Hellboy promises to be more of a horror movie that the previous version directed by Guillermo del Toro. However, exactly how David Harbour's version of the character will compare to the popular one played by Ron Perlman is anybody's guess at this point. With the film set to bow in January, there's a good chance we'll be getting our first trailer for the new Hellboy very soon. Until then, check out everything we know about the coming reboot.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.