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Hellboy Creator Says The Reboot Will Be More Like The Comics

Hellboy is coming back to the big screen, and this time, it'll all be a little more like Mike Mignola's comics.

While Guillermo del Toro essentially created his own universe with 2004's Hellboy and 2008's Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Mignola told Entertainment Weekly that the upcoming reboot from director Neil Marshall (The Descent) will remain much more faithful to the source material. 

"It's funny, because my involvement has been very different than the Del Toro movies," Mignola said. "At various times, I've jumped in and been much more active in the screenplay than I ever was on the Del Toro movies. But I did nothing so far as design stuff on the movie. Guillermo wanted me as a concept artist, but on this movie, there were other concept artists. I came in and I looked at some stuff, but they were trying to do something so close to what's on the comics that they really leaned on what had been done by Duncan [Fegredo] and me in the comics."

Del Toro's first Hellboy movie was loosely based on the first Hellboy comic series, Seed of Destruction, while The Golden Army was more of an original story. But Marshall's Hellboy, which stars David Harbour (Stranger Things), is based on a story that Mignola told over three miniseries: Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, and The Storm and the Fury. It centers on Nimue the Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich), who raises an army of demonic fairies to attack the mortal world.

"The first film was based on one of the comics, but Del Toro was looking to reinvent everything," Mignola said. "I think the difference is here, the bulk of the Fegredo arc takes place in the real world. So instead of making up a whole fantasy world, it was, 'Let's find locations that feel like these real-world locales that Duncan drew in the comic.' I think the bulk of the characters in the film are established in the comic. It was insane for me to walk in there and see that someone did a really nice rendering of a creature I created or Duncan created. It's got a whole different feel from the older movies. Duncan's not working on it, but I did see stuff in the movie that was so close to what Duncan drew, more so than what was in the previous movies. It was pretty exciting. "

Meanwhile, Mignola is going back to the Fegredo stories with a new comic miniseries, Koshchei the Deathless. The five-issue series tells the backstory of Koschei, a figure from Russian myth who becomes immortal and becomes one of Hellboy's greatest enemies.

"The Koshchei miniseries came about because I had done the origin for this guy, but there were so many other Russian folktales I wanted to weave in," Mignola said. "In Darkness Calls, there are a couple throwaway bits. While Koshchei is fighting Hellboy, there are a couple skeletons on a hillside who say, 'I was with Koshchei when he fought the Nightingale' and 'I was with Koshchei when he went into the mountains to fight a dragon.' So I always knew, well that's at least two stories I have to tell. Of course, it turns out both those guys were lying because they weren't there when those things happened."

Koschei the Deathless #3 is on stands this week while Marshall's Hellboy movie is currently slated to arrive in January 2019.