Of all the panels offered at the IGN Theater at this weekend’s New York Comic Con, the Hellboy II: The Golden Army panel was definitely the most lively, fun, and exciting, thanks mainly to the film’s writer/director Guillermo del Toro and the gang of Hellboy II creatures in attendance on Saturday.
Along with del Toro were the film’s stars Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Selma Blair (Liz Sherman), Doug Jones (Abe Sapian), and Luke Goss (Prince Nuada), as well as Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.
HBII panel (click for larger view), l to r:
Luke Goss, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Ron Perlman, Guillermo del Toro, Mike Mignola
Guillermo del Toro offered up a three-minute sizzle reel which featured the first footage of new character Johann Krauss. There were also scenes — some of which were still unfinished (not color-corrected, blue screen still showing, etc.) — revealing Abe Sapien’s interest in Princess Nuala (Anna Walton); Hellboy battling it out with Prince Nuada; and more creatures than those that frequent the Mos Eisley Cantina.
When the reel was finished and the lights came back on, the stage was packed with creatures from the film. (See images below of the creatures on stage and click images for larger view; that one in the first picture on the left really needs to join the Max Rebo Band right away.)
Here are some highlights from the event:
Regarding Johann Krauss
Originally, the B.P.R.D. agent — a disembodied ectoplasmic spirit psychic residing in a containment suit — was to be voiced by Thomas Kretschmann (with John Alexander in the suit). At the panel, del Toro revealed that Johann will now be voiced by Seth MacFarlane, creator of hit animated TV series Family Guy and American Dad.
On filming the sequel
Del Toro confessed that HBII was the harder film to shoot, mainly because of budget constraints. While the first movie was ambitious at $66 million, the sequel — which must compete with summer movies with much higher budgets — only had $85 million to work with, even though the production is two or three times bigger than the first movie.
HBII: What didn’t make the cut?
Del Toro spoke about one of the scenarios that had to be cut because it was too costly, one of which involved a 10-foot-tall, 3-headed bulldog. Del Toro envisioned this bulldog just sitting in the background of a scene licking itself.
CGI: For it or against it?
Del Toro says he doesn’t hate CGI, but that he is against “lazy CGI.”
The Hobbit movies
Del Toro said he believes that he will find out in the next 4 or 5 days if everything that’s legally pending has gone through so that he’ll be able to make The Hobbit and its proposed sequel (see Guillermo del Toro to Direct “˜The Hobbit’).
At the Mountains of Madness
While he’d love to make this big-screen adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story (see, Guillermo del Toro on Lovecraft’s “˜Mountains of Madness’), there’s no one that wants to finance the endeavor at this time, and it would be a “huge” production.
New project: Saturn And The End Of Days
Del Toro also said that if none of his tentative big-budget projects get off the ground then he will turn towards a smaller film he can have more control over. He says it will take him about three years to write, but that he’s starting to sketch out a story for a film potentially called Saturn And The End Of Days. As del Toro describes it, the story is “about a kid named Saturn who’s watching the rapture and the apocalypse on his way back and forth to the grocery store; what would happen if the apocalypse was viewed while you’re running errands; you go back and forth and nothing would happen except the entire world being sucked into a vortex of fire.”
Doug Jones on the rumored Silver Surfer movie
As mentioned earlier, Doug Jones was also on the panel. During the audience Q&A, Jones — who performed the acting role of The Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer — was asked about the rumored Silver Surfer movie. Jones said he had no information about a Silver Surfer movie, though he did sign a three-picture deal with Fox for the character, so they could use him if they wanted to. Also, he said that he too has heard the rumors that J. Michael Straczynski was writing a Silver Surfer script, and while he hopes that’s true, he didn’t have any other information on the matter to offer.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army hits theaters July 11, 2008. A viral site for the film has gone live at Hetfet.org (I’ll have more on that in another post — found some cute goodies related to the new site at the Con and more info on how to navigate the site; UPDATE: here’s the post).