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SYFY WIRE Helstrom

Helstrom cast on why horror in new Marvel show is nothing compared to real-life injustice

By Brian Silliman
Helstrom (Hulu)

Hulu's new Marvel series, Helstrom, is all about the battle between good and evil. It's a show that contains immense horrors, but when the showrunner and cast held their panel as part of Comic-Con@Home today, after debuting the first trailer, they made it clear that the horrors of their show are nothing compared to the horrors going on right now in the real world. 

Showrunner Paul Zbyszewski wasted no time in making sure that was understood. "Given the events that are happening in the real world today, I think it would be remiss of us, and irresponsible not to address some of the things that are going on," he said in the discussion posted below, adding, "especially because our show is about good and evil, and right and wrong, and the trauma of our past. We're supposed to be doing a show that is a horror story, but it's not real horror. Real horror is eight minutes and forty-six seconds." 

"Real horror is what happened to George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, and the violence that keeps happening on a daily basis to Black people, and to people of color in general in this country," Zbyszewski continued, while going on to say it's important that we all demand action, change, and to "not be complacent."

Admitting that he wasn't the most qualified person there to talk about systemic racism, white privilege, and the need to vote, Zbyszewski introduced his panel of actors: Elizabeth Marvel, Tom Austen, Sydney Lemmon, Robert Wisdom, Ariana Guerra, June Carryl, and Alain Uy. 

"I don't know if what I say can be said in a way that you can hear or receive...," said Carryl, who has spoken at length with Zbyszewski about social injustice, "...since I just saw another video of someone getting tackled and then held down by three guys, turns out it was the wrong guy." 

Helstrom Cast

"There are a million ways that you can kill someone," Carryl continued. "Assumptions, projections, suspicion, appropriation, objectification, slurs, violation, representation, and lack of representation." Carryl then described the extreme lengths she has to go through when leaving her house, just to make sure that she's safe, before handing the metaphorical microphone over to Wisdom. 

"This whole system that we've come to recognize after the killing of big Floyd by an officer of the law, quote unquote, the thing we've come to recognize is that there is such a thing as systemic racism," said Wisdom. "For a long time that was in denial, but that system had been put in place for a long, long, long time."

Wisdom then offered his thoughts on what we can do to move forward: "Let's build our trust little by little for each other. Let's look at ourselves to see where we're in denial, and if we harbor some kind of fearful thought, that we can turn that around. Because I've been living with this fear for a long time. One person's fear can be a threat to my life, and I'm tired of it... but I'm very confident that one day, we'll all be free." 

Guerra then stressed how important it was to vote, "both federally and locally." She also expressed the importance of, that's right, wearing a mask. 

Why is a show like Helstrom — which follows the evil-fighting exploits of a couple of siblings with a sinister serial killing dad — important at all in the face of all of this? Carryl summed it up brilliantly: "This show is timely, because it is about people trying to figure out who they are in the face of pure evil, and that is exactly where we are right now." 

Helstrom will debut on Hulu Oct. 16. Check out the first teaser below:

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of Comic-Con@Home 2020.