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Something feels off within the shadowed halls of the Osiris Club, the headquarters of this secret society ripped straight from the pages of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comics. Creature remains decorate the trophy room, per usual, from petrified bones of a vampiric mermaid to the spindly legs jutting out from a human skull that rests on a podium. But shelves have been raided, relics have been toppled, and Hellboy — the new Hellboy by way of David Harbour — stands at its center, examining the dead body of the Osiris Club’s resident seer, Lady Hatton (Sophie Okonedo).
Instead of familiar franchise faces like Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman, the beast of the apocalypse is now flanked by Major Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim), a scarred B.P.R.D. agent with the lycan-like ability to transform into a were-jaguar, and Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane), dubbed by Daimio as “a human ouija board” ready to commune with spirits.
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“You may want to leave, Major. This kind of thing isn’t very pretty,” Hellboy warns, shortly before a blood-curdling shriek heralds the arrival of Hatton’s ghost, hovering in a spectral white haze above the pentagram etched in the floor.
Fans of Guillermo del Toro’s two Hellboy movies may think they’ll bow out, too, because this isn’t like the Ron Perlman era of the antihero. But that’s also why director Neil Marshall welcomed the challenge of doing something completely different with this comic book material — something R rated.
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“I’ve been attached to this for over two years, maybe even longer now that we’re talking about it,” Marshall says after a long day of shooting the Hollywood reboot in Bulgaria. “I was first approached about the possibility of doing a Hellboy 3 and my response to that was, ‘Well, that’s somebody else’s terrain and I don’t want to step on that turf....
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