Hellboy 2 is coming out on DVD November 11, packed with special features and back story about how the effects were created. What's next for Red and the gang? You'll be seeing them again in the comic books that launched the movie franchise. This morning we chatted with Hellboy comic book creator Mike Mignola about the future of his badass demon, and his upcoming old-school vampire movie project. Mignola admitted with a laugh that he hadn't actually seen the DVD extras on Hellboy 2 yet, but that he's excited about them. "There's a big documentary in it that I'm curious to see," he said. "I think I'm in it!"
We discussed the difference between Mignola's Hellboy, he of the comic books, and Del Toro's Hellboy in the movies. While Mignola gave Del Toro a lot of advice about how to treat Hellboy in the first flick, Del Toro pretty much took over the character in Hellboy 2 and he really became quite different from our beloved comic book Hellboy. For one thing, movie Hellboy is shacking up with firegirl Liz and having a lot of marital strife. Mignola said:
My character is much more of a gruff old guy and the one in the film is a kid — he has a lack of maturity. There's a lot of "I like the girl and she doesn't like me." You see that with Abe Sapien too. In the comic all that stuff happened off camera. Hellboy's been around and had relationships and now he's a gruff guy dealing with bigger issues. One of the things Hollywood always needs is a girl. They look at that as where the story arc's gotta be. You're trying for as broad an audience as possible, and you need to humanize the characters. So the first thing you think is there's gotta be a love interest. I'm sure the studio would have suggested that [for Hellboy 2] if Del Toro hadn't suggested it.
While Del Toro controls the movie Hellboy, Mignola maintains control of the entire Hellboy universe in the comic books from Dark Horse. There's the central Hellboy comic, which he writes and often illustrates. And then there are spinoff books like BPRD (about the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense where Hellboy works), Abe Sapien (the solo adventures of Hellboy's fishy friend), and Lobster Johnson (a terrific, crazy sendup of 30s action adventure stories). Mignola gives us some hints about what's coming up in the Hellboyverse:
We're starting Lobster Johnson at year one, building up to gigantic frenzy that will alter the world. For Hellboy, we're in the middle of a 4-book arc that will alter that character. I'm running the show, so I can say that this character isn't intended to last for a hundred years so he can sell underwear for some company. He's going to change and it's not going to be just a change of costume. We can cut off a leg and it will stay gone.
Click to view Plus, there's good news for those of us who adore Mignola's non-Hellboy stuff:
I'm starting a Victorian occult detective series set in the Hellboy world. There are also some non-Hellboy stories I've been talking about doing. Maybe companions to The Amazing Screw-On Head.
By writing his Victorian detective story, and returning to Screw-On Head, which takes place during the Lincoln Administration in America, Mignola is returning to historical territory he wants to explore more.
I love the nineteenth century. I love it visually, and as I'm writing the Victorian occult detective book – I can't draw it, I don't have the time - but as I write it it's just made of scenes I wish I could draw. That's part of the future of Hellboy that I envision – we may see some of that [Victoriana].
Finally, we asked Mignola what he thought of the new adolescent angst vampire movie Twilight. He said:
My daughter is very excited about it, but I'd rather not watch it. Twilight is too much the real world, it's not my kind of vampire. I prefer an old-school vampire. I co-wrote an old-shcool vampire novel with Christopher Golden [called Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire], and we've been struggling with a screen adaptation of it. We're trying to make an old school vampire movie. But the problem is that if nobody's made one in the last five years – nobody wants to make one.
The movie is slated to come out in 2010, with David "Dark Knight" Goyer as director. Here's hoping they can keep it old-school.