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HELLBOY

The Making Of Hellboy
A decade ago, Mike Mignola, a talented and experienced comic book artist, decided to take a creative gamble and explore his own storytelling impulses. "I had always enjoyed reading folklore, legends, ghost stories as well as monster comics and occult-detective stories,” Mignola explains. "So I thought, ‘what if I do a monster as a good guy who fights other monsters?'”

Hellboy pretty much fulfilled my life-long ambition to do nothing but draw monsters. Ten years later, I still love drawing it.” 

Unlike most comic book heroes, Mignola fashioned Hellboy as a "blue-collar, regular guy,” he says. "In addition to being indestructible, he's also slightly innocent and shy. He just happens to have a job as a monster hunter.” 

The first ‘mini-series' Mignola created was "Hellboy – Seed of Destruction,” which he calls "Hellboy's coming of age, the moment he decides what kind of man he is going to be.” The arc of the story begins with Hellboy's first appearance on earth and follows him through several adventures that ultimately lead to a confrontation with the villainous Rasputin who needs Hellboy to unleash the destructive forces of the underworld. 

It was this first series that caught the attention and admiration of Mexican-born writer/director Guillermo del Toro, the creator of such memorable films as Blade II, The Devil's Backbone and Cronos (which won the Critic's prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival and received nine Mexican Academy awards). 

Several years ago, del Toro learned there were plans for a movie based on Hellboy, and knew there was only one person to make it – himself. "I had become addicted to the comic. So when I first heard it was going to be turned into a movie, I fought very hard to get into the room and have a chance to say ‘I am the guy to make this movie,'” he explains. 

Just from his initial discussions with producers Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin, del Toro's passion for the material was abundantly clear. "Not only did we respect the talent he'd already shown as a filmmaker,” says Gordon, "but we were bowled over by his understanding of the comic book and his enthusiasm. It's as if he'd been there, somewhere in the room with Mike every day since he first created it.” 

In the character of Hellboy, del Toro saw a unique superhero, "who is actually a lovable under-achiever,” he says. "He was born with this enormous strength and immortality, yet all he wants to do in life is kick back with a six-pack of beer and watch football on TV with his girlfriend – like a regular guy.” 

Mignola and del Toro immediately connected when they were introduced. "It was clear to me from the start that Guillermo was the only guy who could make this movie,” says Mignola. "He brings his own personality to it. He's one of a younger breed of directors who love comic books and take them very seriously. They understand them and see them as a legitimate film genre.” 

The Seed of Destruction stories provided a launch pad for the film. The screenplay expanded upon the father-son relationship between Hellboy and his mentor Trevor "Broom” Buttenholm, the head of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D). A triangular love story was introduced involving Hellboy's pyro-kinetic cohort and friend Liz Sherman and a new character, John Myers, a young FBI agent who becomes Hellboy's rival for Liz's affection. 

It's a great yarn, a great action-adventure movie with a great character,” says Gordon. "The character of Hellboy is, to me, like John McClain (Bruce Willis) in Die Hard or like Arnold Schwarnegger in Predator. He has the same deadpan sense of humor and is a major action figure. And, like Die Hard and Predator, this film has a great villain in Grigori Rasputin.” 

The reengineering of the story received Mignola's blessing. "There were things I alluded to over<

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