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HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY

Designing Hellboy II
This series of missions leads the B.P.R.D. team into secret new worlds that have been speculated upon for years but never before verified. Each of these lands was imagined in precise detail by del Toro and sketched in his ever-present notebook long before production began. Production designer Stephen Scott was tasked to bring these drawings to life.

Del Toro envisioned this chapter of Hellboy's adventures taking place not only in multiple locations, but also in new realms. He offers, "In the first film, we were always in the sewers and subways, never out in the open, among high society or humans. This takes us a bit more there and into the magical world.” To do this, he would need to head to Hungary as well as to Ireland.

Undoubtedly, the most extravagant of these environments is del Toro's aptly named Troll Market. Located underneath the Brooklyn Bridge and reached via the back of a butcher shop, it's one of the few places where freaks don't feel like outcasts. Hellboy, Liz, Abe and Johann find the Troll Market by following a tip wrung from the lips of a reanimated tooth fairy, a wretched little beast with an insatiable appetite for calcium.

Magical beings are the only ones who can access the market, a haven crowded with potion vendors and artifact mongers that's been hidden from human eyes for millennia. "The Troll Market is like a souk you'd find in Morocco, except there are no humans,” explains Ron Perlman. "It's Guillermo del Toro visiting the most extreme depths of his imagination.”

Entered via a 12'-high circular doorway comprised of rotating gears—an intricate locking structure that few can interpret—the Troll Market is packed to the rafters with everything an underworlder might need: discarded items from the city above, off-market novelties such as human skin, a barber shop, an opium den, a giant meat grinder and a community message board. It's also, naturally, packed with trolls. More than 200 extras were recruited to inhabit the nooks and crannies of this hazy netherworld. Fortunately for Hellboy, Johann, in gaseous form, can unlock the door.

The writer/director wanted to create a place upon which audiences felt they had just stumbled—a universe with little explanation as to why there was any particular character; rather, the creatures just lived and worked there. Explains concept artist FRANCISCO RUIZ VELASCO, "Every artist working on the production was throwing crazy and exotic ideas around to come up with the different creatures that were to populate the Troll Market, ‘where you can find anything in the world, even those things that are not for sale.'” They did just that to flesh out del Toro and Mignola's imaginings.

To interpret this world for film, production designer Scott had three months to transform a 4,000-square-meter cave, most recently used for growing mushrooms, into del Toro's vision of the teeming marketplace. The cave also had to accommodate lights, acting, stunts and effects—such as dripping water and billowing steam—along with hundreds of cast, crew, goblins and trolls. The underground location, a former limestone quarry, was found 25 miles southwest of Budapest in the village of Tarnok, Hungary. In addition to slick new B.P.R.D. uniforms, costume designer Sammy Sheldon was tasked to make sure no one could ever confuse trolls with humans in the enormous space. "We gave them strange humps on the front, humps on the back, big bellies, big bottoms, gloves with three fingers, tall shoes…anything we could think of to try and change the shape of a human being,” she says. "Every single character in the Troll Market has his face covered.”

Both the Troll Market and the eerily imposing Golden Army Chamber were designed in sharp contrast with the aboveground world of humans. "The human world is linear, with straight lines and sharp edges,” says Scot

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