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New Hellboy featurette feels like a tip of the ol' horns to Guillermo del Toro

By Josh Weiss
Hellboy reboot

Just because the world's ending, it doesn't mean you can't get practical about it. In a new Hellboy featurette released by Lionsgate, the cast and crew behind the big-budget comic book reboot talk about how a large chunk of the finished movie was done without the use of computer-generated special effects.

A lot of that had to do with the hiring of Oscar-winning makeup artist Joel Harlow, whom SYFY Wire spoke to back in late December.

"He's a genius," says David Harbour (Stranger Things), who's stepping into the red-skinned role made famous by Ron Perlman in the two Guillermo del Toro-directed movies. Speaking of which, the featurette doesn't say it outright, but it feels like an ointment for fans who are still feeling burned over del Toro not being able to close out his Hellboy trilogy.

When you do see the behind-the-scenes shots of characters like Gruagach and the Baba Yaga (two fan-favorite characters from the original comics), you'll be put at ease, noting how similar they look to del Toro's iconic and practical creature designs. One of Harlow's bright creative ideas (which he revealed to us) was to have Hellboy's horns appear differently as the story progresses to show that they're always growing and being shaven down by the main hero, who just wants to fit in with humanity.

Watch the featurette below:

And while Harlow also told us the first two movies were not particularly referenced in terms of finding the film's visual style, he did have a crew of folks who already had some experience in bringing the world of Mike Mignola's Hellboy into the realm of live action.

"There’s a lot more to see, and I had a lot of the same artists on this film that I had that were on the other films," he said. "Inevitably, whatever you do, it’s going to be compared to the other live-action version of this character. We all knew that that was going to be a challenge, to get over that hurdle of these die-hard fans, and everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but I would hope that people aren’t so set in their ways. I love the other films, too, but [others] are so set in their ways that they can’t accept a new version, much like a new Batman. You have your Michael Keaton Batman, and then there’s been several since then."

We're all damned when the movie, directed by Neil Marshall, opens in theaters everywhere Friday, April 12. Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Daniel Dae Kim, Sasha Lane, and Thomas Haden Church all co-star alongside Harbour.