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    Thursday, April 01, 2004
    It's Hell in Hollywood - If You've Got Brains

    I was tipped off to this story about the new movie Hellboy via Bookslut. I've never read the Hellboy comic and have no feelings about the movie one way or the other, but I think the interview with the director brilliantly illustrates the current mindset in Hollywood regarding ideas for films:

    "An executive said to me, `What about a regular actor who gets angry and turns into Hellboy?'" said del Toro, wrinkling his face in disgust. "I go, `That's ... not ... very good."

    "Then they would say, `What if you call him Hellboy and he comes from Hell and all that, but he looks like a guy?' Then they would suggest things like, `Can he have a Hellmobile?' `Can he have a dog? A pet dog that comes from hell and is red?'

    "It's funny when you say it," del Toro said in his Encino, Calif., office while the film was being edited. "But it's not funny when it happens."

    Hellboy has no problem surviving a battle with a gargantuan monster tentacle, but he nearly didn't make it through the pummeling of bad ideas del Toro faced as he shopped his vision of the story from studio to studio.

    "I always was thinking, `The movie's never going to be made. Don't get your hopes up,'" said Mike Mignola, the comic book artist who created the character in 1993.

    I may have to go and see the movie after all, just to register support for any director that was smart enough to hold out for five years to hire Ron Perlman to play Hellboy instead of coming up with a computer-generated animation of the character instead. (Anybody else remember Beauty and the Beast? Man, he was good in that.)

    The line that really cracks me up here, for some reason, is: "Can he have a dog? A pet dog that comes from Hell and is red?" Hollywood can pick good directors but can't trust them to do a good job after they're hired for some reason. Actually, the reason is easily identifiable: too much money, not enough brain cells.



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