David Harbour Teases ‘Hellboy’ Reboot As ‘Darker,’ ‘More of a Character Piece’

“Stranger Things” actor tells TheWrap R-rated movie is set to begin shooting in September

David Harbour just wrapped filming the second season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Now he’s preparing to start shooting “Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen,” which he teased as “darker” and “more of a character piece” to TheWrap.

“We’re supposed to go in September, I hope,” he said during a recent interview with TheWrap. “It’s good. It’s a whole new thing. I’d always been a fan of the comics and there’s a darker tone to it and I think in the climate we have now there’s kind of a darker… a desire for more of that… the script is good and this guy Neil Marshall is directing who’s really good and the aesthetic is great.”

In April, “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola announced the R-rated reboot of the franchise with Marshall (“The Descent”) as the helmer of the project. Andrew Cosby, Christopher Golden and Mignola are writing the script. The news came two months after Guillermo del Toro, who directed 2004’s “Hellboy” and 2008’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” with Ron Perlman playing the titular character, announced “Hellboy 3” would not happen. 

In weeks prior, the filmmaker had teased fans with “Hellboy 3,” putting polls on Twitter about the threequel and writing that he met with Perlman, who is “in for the sit down.”

That didn’t pan out, unfortunately, as del Toro is not attached to the upcoming reboot in which Harbour will play the titular hero. Harbour credited his performance as Jim Hopper in “Stranger Things” as the reason he will play Hellboy.

“It’s a character that I love, and sort of in the way, I think Mike [Mignola] and a bunch of other people saw me in ‘Stranger Things’ and wanted me to play Hellboy and I think he has some parallels to him. I think he’s another complicated anti-hero who is not strictly good or bad, he’s just trying to do the right thing. I think he’s a demon, he’s crazy, and he’s also sweet and vulnerable and neurotic […] so there’s a lot of complexity there.”

All in all, Harbour just wants to make a “good movie.”

“So often, the superhero movies can be really fun and I want this to be really fun, but I also want it to be more of a character piece and more about this dude’s struggle. I think it could be interesting,” he added. “I don’t know, I just hope we make a good movie. We’ll see. You be the judge!”

The first “Hellboy” earned a worldwide total of $99 million at the box office and starred Perlman and Selma Blair. Its sequel performed better, earning $160 million worldwide. Although the movies weren’t runaway smash hits, critics loved them, both earning a score in the 80s on Rotten Tomatoes.

Years ago, Harbour came close to starring in another superhero film when he auditioned for a “Wolverine” movie. The actor told TheWrap that he was body-shamed while auditioning for The Blob in one of the “Wolverine” films — he says a director actually told him he was too fat for the role.