Since his first appearance in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 nearly 25 years ago, Mike Mignola’s iconic character Hellboy has seen two live-action adaptations for the big screen. Directed by Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro and released in 2004 and 2008 respectively, Hellboy and its sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, starred Ron Perlman in the role of the titular hero.
Hellboy creator Mignola was on hand at The Society of Illustrators in New York City for The Art of Mike Mignola: Hellboy and Other Curious Objects exhibit (which will run from March 6 to April 21), where the comic book great took some time to speak with SYFY WIRE's Karama Horne.
Mignola opened up about seeing his own work shown in an exhibit, which he finds "very strange," and which one of his creations (Hellboy, B.P.R.D., The Amazing Screw-On Head, Baltimore) or piece he worked on is his favorite. He also shared his thoughts on the Screw-On Head cartoon, as well as the Hellboy movies. While he has a harder time with the Screw-On Head adaptation (and he explains why), he's been more lenient regarding other adaptations.
"It's so much somebody else's version of my thing, it's generally pretty easy to distance myself once it's made," Mignola said. "When they're writing it, it's really difficult because then you kind of go 'oh no, don't change this, don't change that,' but you kind of let it go and tell yourself repeatedly: 'It's somebody else's version, hopefully it stays true in some way to the spirit of the original thing.'"
Mignola then spoke about del Toro's take on his Hellboy material versus what he's expecting from Marshall's movie, which will be based on the Dark Horse comic book storyline Hellboy: The Wild Hunt.
"I think the original idea with this one was to be something — I don't want to say anything bad about the del Toro movies because they're great, and they're del Toro movies, and I got amazingly fortunate having del Toro do two Hellboy movies — but they were a little light. And especially the second one; it's a little bit comedic and I really wanted to see something that was a little darker," Mignola told us.
"So when we started talking about directors for the new one and Neil Marshall's name came up — and I'm a big fan of Neil Marshall stuff, and he's made one of my favorite scary movies — I said 'yeah, if Neil does it, that would certainly be a very different thing than the del Toro thing.' We didn't want something that felt like somebody else kind of trying to follow in del Toro's footsteps. Del Toro's were very unique, let them stand on their own. Now let's just do similar material but let somebody else put their stamp on it."
Additional material by Nathalie Caron.