Hellboy (2004) Poster



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Doug Jones' (Abe Sapien's) voice was dubbed by David Hyde Pierce, but Pierce refused a credit, because he felt that Abe was entirely Doug's creation, and did not wish to detract from his performance.
Upon meeting to discuss the movie, Hellboy Creator Mike Mignola, and Writer and Director Guillermo del Toro, decided to reveal to each other their choice for the lead role of Hellboy. They both said at the same time, Ron Perlman.
Ron Perlman broke a rib while filming the subway scenes. He jumped onto a train that was coming towards him at about forty-five miles per hour.
Hellboy was originally going to have cloven hooves for feet, like in the comics, but it was decided that it would be easier and safer for Ron Perlman to perform his stunts with normal, booted feet.
Very early on in pre-production, the filmmakers considered putting Hellboy's giant stone hand on his left arm rather than the right, so as to grant the actor playing Hellboy the full use of his right hand. Ron Perlman turned out to be left-handed, so the filmmakers were able to preserve the Right Hand of Doom.
Baby Hellboy, Sammael, Ivan the corpse, Train Driver, and Kroenen were all voiced by Guillermo del Toro.
The filmmakers decided not to make the film too bloody, so as to avoid an R-rating, and thought of things they could substitute for the blood. While filming the fight between Hellboy and the monster in front of the people in the subway, Ron Perlman suggested that Hellboy could grab a gumball machine and start beating the monster over the head with it, with the flying gumballs standing in for the blood. Instead, Hellboy rips a payphone off the wall and beats the monster over the head with the phone, with the coins that go flying out standing in for the blood.
After completion of the Hellboy make-up, the only part of Ron Perlman's body that can actually be seen are his eyelids.
In 2012, Ron Perlman once again endured the four-hour make-up routine required to transform him into Hellboy. Not for a sequel, or other acting job, but to fulfill the Make-A-Wish request of a six-year-old boy named Zachary who had leukemia. Creature effects house Spectral Motion applied Perlman's Hellboy make-up (and later, also made up Zachary as Hellboy as well), and then Zachary got to spend the day hanging out with "Hellboy".
Much of the demonology in the film is inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos developed by H.P. Lovecraft, a horror writer in the 1930s. The Sammael creatures have characteristics of both Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu. Elder gods, many eyed and tentacled, sleeping at the edge of the universe, are a staple of his books.
When Guillermo del Toro met with producers, many changes to the Hellboy character were suggested. One idea was to have Hellboy be a human who transforms into Hellboy when he gets angry. Another suggestion was that he came from Hell, but was a normal human. del Toro vetoed all such attempts to alter the character.
Hellboy's line to Liz, "I'll always look this good", was originally spoken by Guillermo del Toro to his future wife, when she took issue with his casual mode of dressing.
It took anywhere from five to seven hours to apply Doug Jones' make-up. It took another three hours to reverse the process. Sometimes, some of the pieces were not removed, so that it would be easier to put the costume on the next day.
Guillermo del Toro for years considered this film a dream project, and had always wanted to cast Ron Perlman in the lead, but could never secure a budget or studio approval. After the massive success of Blade II (2002), del Toro was offered Blade: Trinity (2004) or Hellboy, and though he briefly considered trying to schedule both in, he chose Hellboy.
The tombstone we see right after Hellboy enters the Russian cemetery was digitally altered. The name on it was changed to Mike Mignola's in Russian, and the epitaph below the date reads "Born in fire, died in fire", also in Russian.
To prepare for his role, Ron Perlman read all of the Hellboy comics, and worked out three hours a day, five to seven days a week (varied). He also worked out while shooting, every day he had off from filming, he would workout.
The scenes, where Abe is in the medical tank, were shot on Doug Jones' birthday. He spent several hours in a harness to make it look like he was floating in water. By the time he was taken out of the harness, he was all scraped up and bloody from it. That morning, Guillermo del Toro greeted Jones with "Happy Birthday, Doug. Today, we are going to hang you up by your balls." as told by Guillermo del Toro in the DVD featurette.
This movie takes its story from more than one Hellboy comic. The meat of the story comes from the "Seed of Destruction" storyline, but the rest is taken from the "Right Hand of Doom" and "Box Full of Evil" short stories. The movie also contains little homages to other stories such as "The Corpse" and "Pancakes".
Jeffrey Tambor stepped in to the production a week before filming kicked off, because the actor previously cast in the part of Manning didn't show up.
When Make-up Artist Matt Rose at Cinovation studios wanted to start working on the make-up design for the Hellboy character, they went into their archives and found that they already had a life mask of Ron Perlman from when Rick Baker had made his prosthetics for Beauty and the Beast (1987). Some slight changes were required to account for Perlman having aged sixteen years.
The DVD documentary about the making of the film, "The Seeds of Creation", is longer than the film itself.
Hellboy was originally created as a throwaway design by Mike Mignola for the cover of a convention program book. Only after he'd done it, did he become fascinated by the character's possibilities.
It took Guillermo del Toro six years to bring the character of Hellboy to the big screen.
When Professor Bruttenholm (Sir John Hurt) is showing Agent Myers (Rupert Evans) through the B.P.R.D. when he first arrives, a greyish male humanoid statue with a large ring on its groin is momentarily seen. This is Roger the Homunculus, a supporting character introduced late in the Hellboy comics (in the story arc "Almost Colossus"), who often goes through periods of dormancy. When active, he is a Special B.P.R.D. Agent, much like Abe. Roger did not make it into the movie script as a character, but made it into the film as a piece of set decoration instead. Another comic book prop reference in the same scene is the large set of metal boots sitting in one of the glass display cases. These belonged to a supernatural creature called "The Iron Shoes" from the short story of the same name.
The quote at the beginning of the film is from a book mentioned many times in the H.P. Lovecraft mythos called "De Vermis Mysteriis".
All of Sir John Hurt's costumes were handmade, to give them that worn, old-man-type feel.
The scene in the abbey at the beginning of the movie was actually shot in Prague, not Scotland. It was one of the coldest Aprils on record. It was so cold, that icicles formed on the branches of the trees, causing some of the trees to fall.
The front cover of the fake Hellboy comic Myers (Rupert Evans) was looking at was drawn by Mike Mignola himself. The colors were applied by Dave Stewart, and the design was provided by Cary Grazzini.
In addition to being considered for the role of Hellboy, Vin Diesel was also considered for the part of Abe Sapien.
When Hellboy says to Myers, "what got you this job pushing Pam-cakes?", Pancakes is purposely said wrong, referring to a two-page story which appears in the "Right Hand of Doom" graphic novel.
The Spear of Longinus seen briefly in the movie is an exact replica of what is thought to be the actual Spear (which is in the possession of the Hofsburg Treasure House in Vienna), right down to the golden sheath wrapped around its center.
Ron Perlman wore "booties" made of greenscreen material, for the scene where we finally meet Hellboy as an adult, in which Hellboy's cloven hooves were revealed, but due to the low-key lighting, his hooves are a little hard to see.
According to the deleted scenes on disc two of the two-disc Special Edition DVD, the obelisk that serves as the lock by which Hellboy would release the Ogdru Jahad, fell to Earth during the "Tunguska event", an enormously powerful explosion, believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet, that occurred near the Podkamennaya (Lower Stony) Tunguska River, in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, on June 30, 1908.
The U.S. soldiers' unit patches identify them as from the 2nd Infantry Division, the "Indian Head" division. In real-life, they were defending the town of St. Vith, Belgium, during the events in the opening scene.
All of the Agents have names related to things found while digging in the Earth: Lime, Moss, Quarry, Stone, Clay. Even the newest Agent is "Myers", corresponding to "mire", wet, soggy, muddy ground.
EASTER EGG: When Agent Myers first meets Abe Sapien, Abe asks Myers to turn the page. If you move your mouse over to the bottom right hand corner where Myers is, you will see a Hellboy comic appear and when you click on it, it will give you a short biography on Abe.
To try and convince the studios of Ron Perlman's star quality, Guillermo del Toro showed the studio executives footage of Perlman's character (Reinhardt) in Blade II (2002).
In the hall of antiquities of the Paranormal Research and Defense Facility, you can see one of the jar babies from The Devil's Backbone (2001).
One of Sammael's titles, as read by Abe, is the "Seed of Destruction", the title of one of the Hellboy comics upon which the movie is based.
When Agent John Myers first gets to the front gate of the B.P.R.D., he has to get past a security check. The voice of the security guard is Property Master Michael Lindsay, who was standing behind the pillar during the shot.
The outside shot of the B.P.R.D. is, in fact, a mausoleum in Prague, where Russian dignitaries are entombed.
The biggest challenge for the location scouting, was finding an area to film the New Jersey rooftop scene, as it was proven that Prague didn't have many locations that can serve as an American city. After many false starts, Del Toro finally found the right street for the scene to be filmed, which had to be redressed to look more American.
None of the cast member's names are written on the promotional posters, mentioned in the trailers, nor shown in the opening credits for this movie.
Ron Perlman's make-up took four hours to apply.
The studio wanted Vin Diesel to play Hellboy.
The lobby guard at the B.P.R.D. was played by Casting Director Jeremy Zimmermann.
The scooter, on which Agent Myers is seen riding around, was given to Rupert Evans, as a gift from Producer Patrick J. Palmer.
In Hellboy's room, there's a Ghost poster, another Dark Horse character that deals with the supernatural. The character Ghost has teamed up with Hellboy in a two issue crossover comic that was published from May to June 1996.
It was Del Toro's idea for Kroenen to have a mechanical hand.
WILHELM SCREAM: When the Nazi scientist is sucked into the portal.
When Professor Broom holds the two ripped pieces of paper he found on Kroenen, they initially form the shape of a yellow Star of David, which the Nazis required Jews to wear for identification.
Ty Ellingson added an asymmetrical lens to one side of Abe Sapien's goggles upon request from Del Toro. The lens is similar to the ninja goggles used in the production of Blade II (2002).
The motto, depicted in Latin in the lobby floor, of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense reads: "In Absentia Luci Tenebrae Vicunt". Grammatically correct it should say: "In Absentia Lucis Tenebrae Vincunt" which loosley teanslates to: "In the absence of light, darkness prevails."
Guillermo del Toro was not the studio's first choice as director. Others considered were Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Peter Hyams, and David S. Goyer.
Doug Jones, who played Abe Sapien, has a cameo appearance out of make-up, as one of the patients at Bellamie Psychiatric Hospital.
A conscious effort was made not to have any scenes set in a sewer, or look like one. This was because Guillermo del Toro felt that he had covered that element with Mimic (1997), and Blade II (2002).
Some theaters in the southern United States balked at the idea of advertising a film with the word "hell" in it.
Kevin Trainor, who played the young Professor Broom, wore brown contacts, so that his eye color would be the same as Sir John Hurt's.
During Liz's flashback sequence, an apartment complex named "Mignola Plaza" can be seen in the background. Mike Mignola is the creator of Hellboy.
Guillermo del Toro's second comic book movie following Blade II (2002).
Shot over a period of one hundred fourteen days.
There is no Palmer Street subway station in New York City. However, Palmer is the last name of Executive Producer Patrick J. Palmer.
Pavel Cajzl, who played the Sherpa guide, was also the uncredited Assistant Stunt Coordinator.
In a scene in the B.P.R.D., Hellboy can clearly be seen drinking a Red Bull. Hellboy is a variation on an actual red bull.
The cover identity for the B.P.R.D. is "Squeaky Clean Up waste management" (seen on the plaque at the front gate as Myers arrives).
New York Daily News ranked the character of Hellboy as "King of the Beasts" (December 26, 2004).
EASTER EGG: On disc two, go to the Board A Matics screen. Put cursor on back, then press down. You will see what looks like three drops appear. Press "Enter" to see a wireframe animation of the apocalypse scene.
When Guillermo del Toro first announced this, Hugh Grant was to play an unspecified part.
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Trevor Broom is revealed early in the movie to be gravely ill from cancer (in the Director's Cut DVD, he is revealed to have only a few months left, and it is a malignant sarcoma in his lungs and spine). Sir John Hurt, the actor who played him, died from pancreatic cancer.
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The shot of John Myers descending down to the lower level of the B.P.R.D. via elevator, was a miniature model with moving action figures.
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At least one of the soldiers involved in the assault on the Scottish castle at the beginning of the movie is wearing the "Indianhead" shoulder patch of the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division.
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For years, fans of Ron Perlman have noticed similarities between Ron and experimental rock/jazz/industrial musician Tom Waits. When Agent Myers first enters the vault to meet Hellboy for the first time, Tom Waits 'Heartattack and Vine' song (from the album of the same name) can be heard playing. Perhaps a joke by the actor and director, regarding the similarities in appearances. Tom would later film a music video for 'Goin' Out West' from his Bone Machine album where his resemblance to Ron has been mentioned over the years.
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Mike Mignola: Hellboy's creator appears dressed as a knight in a crowd of costumed people menaced by Sammael.

Director Cameo 

Guillermo del Toro: Dressed as a dragon in a crowd of costumed people menaced by Sammael.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The idea of Rasputin getting stabbed in the belly, with a creature coming out of the open wound, was an abandoned idea for the Hellboy comic book story Seed of Destruction. Mike Mignola never mentioned this to del Toro, and was surprised that del Toro came up with the same idea for the movie.

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