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Sunday, November 23, 2003


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Guillermo del Toro, director of the upcoming Hellboy movie, said that the trailer released this week was "the layman's trailer."

"Which is for those people who don't know Hellboy, and we believe there are a few, and for those people who will react to the word 'hell,' as there will be," said del Toro, who was appearing with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola at a Wizard World Texas panel on Saturday. "We decided to do a basic trailer that would show the organization, and not only showcase Hellboy. What you get is a taste of that.

"We are about 10 percent through the visual effects right now. And the next trailer you'll get is going to be a 30-second spot on the Super Bowl, and you'll get a few more monsters and a few more weird images.

"And hopefully by then the audience will be familiar. The first thing we want people to do is go, 'Hellboy?' Then, eventually get them to know that this is a character-driven movie -- and this character drives better."

Del Toro said that giant banners will be appearing in theaters in two weeks, spotlighting the "good guys" on one and the "bad guys" on the other. "The funny thing is, it's hard to distinguish them," he said, drawing a laugh.

The banners won't be the images that Dark Horse displayed at Comic-Con International in San Diego last summer, del Toro said.

Both del Toro and Mignola acknowledged that the film's title might be a harder sell that some super-hero films, but said it shouldn't prevent it from being successful at the box office when it opens April 2.

"One of the things that I like about the comic is that everything is self-depricating," del Toro said. "He's like the Amazing Screw-up. It's the same thing with Hell-boy. It's not like with Spawn, 'Ooh, that's so daunting.' With Hellboy, it's like, 'C'mon, relax.'"

"I imagine at some point there will be some flack from somebody about something called Hellboy," Mignola said. "But it will be flack from some people who don't go see the movie and they make up their mind about what it is. I assume there will be some of that. But certainly if you see the movie, you'll see he's a simple guy."

Added del Toro, "The greatest thing about the character both in the comic and in the movie is that he's just a regular Joe."

Hellboy is a potential franchise, and del Toro said he might be interested in doing another film.

"If we can come up with a great idea, yeah," del Toro said.

"With a sequel ... I did one with Blade II, where I really just said, for good or bad, I want it very different from the first one and try to experience something different. I think the same should be true with Hellboy. If there is a second one, it should explore a different side."

(Look for more from the Hellboy panel this week here in The Continuum).

E-mail the Continuum at RobAlls@aol.com

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