With Lionsgate's Hellboy about to start shooting, star David Harbour recently made some interesting comments about the project, which may have fans looking at the reboot in a new light. While promoting Season 2 of his hit Netflix series Stranger Things, Harbour compared the overall story of Hellboy to the William Shakespeare classic play Hamlet. The actor had previously compared his Hopper character to characters in Hamlet, and when asked if this Hellboy reboot will also "borrow from classic stories," the actor had this to say.
"Comic books of our age are modern-day myths, similar to Agamemnon and those Greek legends. My biggest influence has always been Shakespeare. I have always loved taking stories, as Shakespeare did with something like Romeo and Juliet, these simple stories and making them very complex, with language and ideas. That's what I would love to do with the comic book world too, and I think Hellboy's a great opportunity for that. On a surface level, he's an adopted kid from hell. He was meant to bring about the apocalypse. Yet, he just wants to be a good guy and fight evil. But he has this destiny. That struggle is very Hamlet-esque, even having tones of Coriolanus, where you have this guy who cannot understand his own true nature. Those levels of complexity, if we can bring that to this movie, which we're trying to do, I think will be really rich."
These interesting comments come just days after the Hellboy cast was rounded out by three new actors, Sophie Okonedo playing Lady Hatton, Brian Gleeson playing Lord Adam Galen and Alistair Petrie playing the iconic wizard Merlin. They join a cast that also includes Milla Jovovich as the Blood Queen, Ian McShane as Professor Broom, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan, Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio and Penelope Mitchell as Ganeida. The actor was also asked to compare his experience working on Hellboy to his experience on Stranger Things. Here's what he had to say below.
"The interesting thing about Hellboy is the character shares that same complicated centre as Hopper. Hellboy's not a clear hero. The Guillermo Del Toro movies were so fantastic in their own way, but we wanted to do a different version where he goes through a lot more struggle, a lot more angst. That's the complexity I bring to it. In a sense, there are many similarities. It has the same complicated sensibility which is certainly what drew me to the project."
Neil Marshall is directing Hellboy from a script by Andrew Crosby, Christopher Golden and Hellboy comic book creator Mike Mignola. The project avoided a whitewashing controversy earlier this year when Ed Skrein backed out of the Ben Daimio role, after learning that the character was originally of Asian descent in the comics, which paved the way for Daniel Dae Kim to be cast, just after he parted ways with his CBS series Hawaii Five-0 after seven years, following an equal pay dispute. David Harbour didn't reveal anything further in his interview with The Independent, but hopefully we'll find out more soon.