Lionsgate and Millennium Pictures finally released the first trailer for the Hellboy reboot, featuring David Harbour from Stranger Things. Harbour looks pretty cool in the makeup, with the producers going for a more rough-around-the-edges approach to the makeup and appearance of Hellboy, but a lot of fans just couldn’t stop thinking about Ron Perlman as the iconic anti-hero.
The two and a half minute trailer is a lot more lighthearted than you may have been expecting, especially since its set to the tune of Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony”, which absolutely dampens any appearance of it being a dark and gritty film, despite nabbing the ‘R’ rating, according to Screen Rant.
You can check out the cheeky trailer below, courtesy of Filmselect, which is probably not the word many of you wanted to read when describing the antics of Hellboy.
The trailer moves around at a decent pace, but it’s difficult to pinpoint what the plot of the movie is, other than Hellboy has a big right hand and wallops a lot of demonic monsters with it, and shoots some people in the head with a big ‘ole revolver. And it’s nice that we get to see that the movie will maintain some semblance of gore, even though it’s not really all that impressive looking in the trailer.
More than anything, the standout aspect of the trailer is that the majority white cast from Guillermo Del Toro’s rendition of Hellboy have all been replaced with diversity hires. Selma Blair has been replaced with the non-white Sasha Lane, and Doug Jones’ Abe has been replaced with Daniel Dae Kim’s Ben Daimio.
The real travesty, however, is that, as pointed out by Kotaku in Action, Sasha Lane is donning the role of Alice Monaghan, who was originally supposed to be fair-skinned with red hair.
So not only did they get rid of Selma Blair’s character, but the character they did add completely defiles the source material.
Basically we’re dealing with another Netflix level of race-swapping and cultural erasure at play.
What’s more is that the only other notable white character that wasn’t replaced or race-swapped was Ian McShane as Professor Broom.
All of the diversity hires didn’t do much to win over the average viewers, many of whom were ambivalent, nonchalant, lukewarm, negative, or just only partially interested in the film.
As you can tell, a lot of people didn’t think the trailer was bad, but it still seemed to channel the kind of action-horror-comedy tone that was set by del Toro’s films, and worse yet, no one can get past the depiction of Hellboy by Ron Perlman. This even caused the topic to trend on Twitter for a while, and a bunch of people to pointed out that they still prefer Perlman in the role.
Man, I’m curious about the new Hellboy movie but like, Idk about anyone other than Ron Perlman doing it though. He was just so perfect for it to me that’s it’s jarring to see another actor in those shoes. But we’ll see, if it means I get more Hellboy I’ll stay optimistic.
— KC (@KC5Rings) December 20, 2018
— Kyle Lewis🎄 (@Kylelewis2391) December 19, 2018
If it’s not @perlmutations as Hellboy I don’t want it
— 🧛🏻♀️ Alyssa Kelly 🧛🏻♀️ (@ObiWanAlyssa) December 19, 2018
Hellboy looks like B-grade dogshit.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 19, 2018
Even the Social Justice corner of Twitter preferred Perlman over Harbour.
Gotta be honest, the Hellboy trailer just made me want to watch Ron Perlman again.
— ᴡʜʏ ɪs ASHLEY LYNCH ᴏɴ ᴍʏ ᴛʟ (@ashleylynch) December 19, 2018
I think it’s safe to say that LionsGate will have a hill to climb over regarding this newest iteration, which is being heavily compared to Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman’s take on the popular comic book character.
The costumes and settings look good, at the very least. And the weapons look interesting, but it’s hard to get over the idea that essentially rebooting the movie to redo del Toro’s flicks doesn’t seem like the wisest of decisions.
Of course, maybe this trailer isn’t entirely representative of the film, and maybe the tone is a lot darker than what the trailer lets on.
We’ll find out when more trailers drop ahead of the April 23rd, 2019 release when Hellboy arrives in theaters next year.
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