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Hellboy II: The Golden Army in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Ron Perlman • Selma Blair • Doug Jones • Luke Goss
DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro

Director Guillermo del Toro has a hand in the production… THE CONCEPT:
In Guillermo del Toro’s sequel to his 2004 hit Hellboy, after an ancient truce between Humankind and the original sons of the Earth is broken, the anarchical underworld Prince Nuaden (Goss) plots to awaken a long-dormant army of killing machines – only Hellboy (Perlman), along with his pyrokinetic girlfriend Liz (Blair) and friend Abe Sapien (Jones), the aquatic empath, can stop him and save the world from annihilation.

U.S. RELEASE: July 11 2008, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


GUILLERMO DEL TORO on his decision not to recap what happened in the original movie:
Guillermo del Toro and friend“There was no need to re-explain who everyone is; we just get on with it. It’s a completely new story, a dark, poignant fairy tale. You can take the most dire, melodramatic arc and plug it into a movie, but as long as you’re acting it with monsters, it already has another meaning. The beauty of these stories is that, in an unrecognizable universe, you have very recognizable human emotions.”

Ron Perlman“Hellboy’s very much the same guy in this movie, except this time we’re seeing him circumstantially in a highly emotionally compromised state because the relationship with Liz in on the rocks and perhaps in danger of burning up, pardon the pun, and he’s faced with the idea of life without Liz. And of course he does what Hellboy will do when he’s not sure whether he has a reason to live or not, he starts drinking heavily, and meanwhile parenthetically he’s got to save the Earth from complete extinction while he’s buzzed.”

Selma Blair“In the first film Liz had some hang-ups. Her powers led to a lot of destruction, and in this one she’s matured and she can use her power, and she’s with Hellboy and she’s a really capable, functioning woman – still a little bit brooding but definitely stronger. I thought I knew Liz already, and doing the sequel would be a cakewalk, but it was strange playing her with a little more confidence. I kept wanting to go back to the hesitant Liz I knew.”

DOUG JONES on not only physically playing Abe this time, but also doing his voice, when David Hyde-Pierce voiced Abe in the original:
Doug Jones as Abe“I played the role the same both times, in both films. The difference this time was a certain confidence that my name was not in the hat with a bunch of other celebrity names, feeling like I was auditioning every day. My voice was in place, and that’s what they were using, thank heaven and thank Guillermo.”

“The challenge on this film was the scope of what Guillermo was trying to do in this. I think there was a huge amount of empowerment that took place by the whole Pan’s Labyrinth experience. He finally came to terms with the possibilities of cinema and now refuses to settle for anything less than exactly what it is he wants to do, that he can think of and that he thinks is cool and worthy of shooting. So it was challenging because it was bigger and more complicated and more unwieldy in certain instances and our hours were really long.”

BLAIR on Guillermo’s use of practical creatures instead of CGI:
“It adds such a sense of reality and, when you’re making such a fantastical movie like this, it can only help. To really have Hellboy dressed up so realistically every day makes it so real. Guillermo has put such love and effort into this monster-making that the world he helps to make is so real. I completely bought my love story with Hellboy, it made sense to me.”

JONES on also playing the Angel of Death in the movie:
Doug Jones as The Angel of Death“It was a five hour make-up. It was one of those characters, like Fauno from Pan’s Labyrinth that I had the blessing of playing, which was ambiguity, male, female, we’re not sure; creepy-looking or beautiful, a little bit of both; scary or nurturing and helpful, a little bit of both. I love those characters that keep you guessing like that. What became the challenge of that Angel of Death was forty pounds of wings on my back, they were not CG. I tried to pull it off wearing all the weight myself, and after a couple of hours I was losing my sense of humor, my ability to stand, I was losing my character. So I finally said, ‘I’m going to burst into tears if we don’t alleviate this weight.’ So they got a cable which lifted it, and my humor came back. It became a simple matter of erasing the cable in post-production.”

DEL TORO on the possibility of doing Hellboy III, as he is directing The Hobbit next:
“I would love it. There was a gap of four years between the first Hellboy and the second Hellboy, and provided that Ron takes his medicines, I think that he can stay healthy enough and we can have a Hellboy III.”

“It would be four years before he begins pre-production, which means by the time we shoot it, five maybe six years. Are you a praying person? If you are and you want to see a third movie with me in it, then you better pray. I pray everyday that I have the strength to just get through today, much less what’s going to happen when I’m 63!.”

Hellboy fights the Golden Army

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Unversal Pictures
Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #698, July 2008 cover

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Starburst, July 2008 cover

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