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Hellboy creator Mike Mignola talks internet hate, 'staying away' from reviews

By Josh Weiss
Hellboy, David Harbour

Today, Lionsgate’s R-rated Hellboy reboot hits theaters and despite some pretty scathing reviews from critics, the character’s creator, Mike Mignola, is keeping an upbeat attitude and avoiding negativity from those pieces and on the Internet.

"I’m aware of the reviews, but I have decided not to read the reviews. I’m anxious to hear what the fans think of the film. I certainly want the fans to be happy. But, no, I’m gonna stay away from the reviews," he said during an interview with Vulture. "I mean, the Internet is so much more of a toxic place than it was ten years ago when we had the last movie out there. It’s been quite an ugly experience seeing just how different the internet response or the internet rumor mill, all that stuff … It’s just a different planet than it was 10 years ago."

The live-action film (directed by The Descent's Neil Marshall) finds David Harbour (Stranger Things) stepping into the red-skinned role first made famous by Ron Perlman in the two Guillermo del Toro features. And while del Toro didn't get to finish off his planned trilogy, certain elements that he wanted to use (like the inclusion of Lobster Johnson, who is played by Thomas Haden Church) did make it into the reboot.

"del Toro wanted to use everything in the third movie," Mignola reportedly added with a laugh. "I have no idea what a third movie actually would’ve been, but every other day, he’d mention something that was going to be in there. So God only knows what he would’ve done."

The new movie adheres more closely to the original Dark Horse comics (see: The Wild Hunt) than del Toro's movies did, but at the same time, Mignola has a sort of cognitive dissonance about "leasing" out what is essentially his child to other people. 

"There’s always gonna be a part of you that says, I almost wish I hadn’t let him go. Y’know? It’s not really mine," he said. "The books are mine; that’s great. But at a certain point, it’s like watching your kid grow up and move away. They’re doing shit you don’t know anything about and you kinda miss when they lived in the house."

Hellboy, which co-stars Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, and Sasha Lane, is now playing in theaters everywhere, although it will probably lose to Shazam! at the box office.