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HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY

About The Production
Hellboy's first adventures were published by Dark Horse Comics in 1994. Guillermo del Toro's debut as a feature film director came a year earlier with the critically acclaimed horror film Cronos, starring Ron Perlman as the thug in search of an immortality device. As del Toro's work gained international attention, he kept his eye on Mignola's creation as a possible future project. "I had always been a Mike Mignola fan,” the director offers. "I fell in love with the brooding, Gothic, atmospheric work he was doing. When I was shooting Mimic in 1997, the best part of the day was going to the comic book shop to look for more Hellboy issues. By then, I thought it was taking a direction that made sense for a movie.”

Del Toro admits he envisioned a filmed version of Hellboy just the way that Mignola wrote him in his comics: "a blue-collar guy—a plumber or an electrician—who comes in with a box of tools and says, ‘Where is the leak?' and goes at fixing the leak. But he is a very jaded, reluctant investigator; his method of investigation is to beat the crap out of a monster.”

The filmmaker's interest in turning the demon into a film star surprised the pragmatic Mignola, who thought the tales of his antiheroes would forever stay on the page. "I never in a billion years believed Hellboy would be a movie, and when it was discussed, I said, ‘Sure, good luck.' But when I met Guillermo, I knew right away that if anyone was going to do it, I sure as hell hoped it would be him. We agreed right away that Hellboy had to be Ron Perlman.”

In a world of caped heroes who sport chiseled good looks and profess all- American values, audiences found it refreshing to have a good guy look so, well, bad. Provides producer Mike Richardson, "Hellboy is not your traditional superhero. This is a character who has horns and a tail and looks like the devil; he shaves his horns off to try and look as human as possible. He's a blue-collar hero who just wants to be one of us.”

During the five years of development before Hellboy was greenlit, the creative team behind the project kept its focus. "In this period, a number of offers to make Hellboy came in,” recalls blockbuster producer Lawrence Gordon, "but it was about five years before Guillermo had the commercial track record for us to get the movie made in the way he imagined it. His artistic credibility and success in the films he created during that time—The Devil's Backbone and Blade II—clinched that.”

The first film, starring Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and Jeffrey Tambor as members of the elite B.P.R.D. was produced by Revolution Studios with Dark Horse Entertainment, Lawrence Gordon Productions and Starlite Films. It was met with solid commercial success and acheived $100 million at the global box office, as well as finding an enormous audience through DVD sales.

With impressive figures for the action-thriller and del Toro's growing international acclaim from the adult fairy tale Pan's Labyrinth, del Toro had the pull to get the second chapter in Hellboy's continuing adventures greenlit. Changes in the film business, however, would bring the Hellboy sequel to a new studio. "Because Revolution closed shop, we were able to bring the sequel back to Universal where, many years before, we had originally started developing Hellboy,” says producer Lloyd Levin. "The possibility of making the sequel at Universal was a thrill for us because we always loved the idea that Hellboy could be part of the great legacy of Universal Monsters.” (Notably, every Sunday as a child, del Toro would watch two Universal Monster movies, from Frankenstein to Creature From the Black Lagoon, at his hometown theater).

This time, del Toro wanted to tell Red's (Liz's nickname for Hellboy) developing story on a grander scale, including many more practical creatures that inhabited

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