Our first look at the new Neil Marshall helmed Hellboy reboot has come a day early in all of it’s splashy, monstrous glory. The first Hellboy movie since Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy: The Golden Army in 2008, fans are equal parts excited and apprehensive for this new take on their favorite demonic hero–especially since the tone of this initial trailer doesn’t seem all that new to begin with, with a few notable exceptions.
The roster of characters populating the new world is almost entirely new, with some conspicuous fan favorite absences like the amphibious Abe Sapien who has not been announced or, as far as we know, cast for the movie at all. The rest of the more monstrous members of the BPRD as well, like the ethereal Johann or the Roger the homunculus are missing in action as well, replaced by other characters from the Hellboy comics pantheon like Alice Monaghan and Ben Daimio.
In fact, if you’re strictly a fan of the Del Toro movies, there’s a good chance the only characters you’ll recognize from this trailer are Hellboy himself and Dr. Trevor Bruttenholm–but that’s far from a bad thing. After all, who doesn’t love expanding their comic book horizons?
And to help you do just that, we’ve compiled a list of every character we were able to spot in this first trailer–and one we know to expect, but didn’t see.
David Harbour as Hellboy
Surprise! The first trailer for the Hellboy reboot prominently features Hellboy himself. Who could have guessed? Based on the first trailer, we can expect the Hellboy we all known and love without many surprise twists or turns–he’s a surly, hulking demon with a massive Right Hand of Doom and has perpetually shaved down horns–and though he may look like a monster, he acts like an extremely normal person. This is largely because he was raised from childhood on Earth by Dr. Trevor Bruttenholm, one of the BPRD’s (the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) founding members after being accidentally summoned by a cabal of Nazi occultists during World War II.
Hellboy’s backstory is a little mythologically complicated in the comics canon (his mother was a human witch and his father was a duke of Hell named Azzael), and it’s uncertain based on the first trailer just what is or isn’t being adapted this time around. Chances are, we can expect some of the historical flavor to come into play care of the movie’s main villain, Nimue aka The Blood Queen, but how much we’ll see of Hellboy’s own past remains a mystery. We can assume, thanks to a brief glimpse of Nazi soldiers in the trailer, that his WW2 summoning, care of the ill fated occult Ragnarok Project experiment, will probably remain the same, but whether or not it will be engineered by Rasputin (yes, that Rasputin) in this version of events is anyone’s guess.
Ian McShane as Dr. Trevor Bruttenholm
Dr. Trevor Bruttenholm was a British academic and member of the British Paranormal Society during WW2 which lead him to Rasputin’s Ragnarok Project and the summoning of Hellboy. Bruttenholm rescued baby Hellboy from the chaos and took him in, becoming like an adopted father to him before going on to join the BPRD with his son in tow.
It seems like Hellboy and Bruttenholm have some level of disconnect over their BPRD involvement, based on the trailer. Hellboy seems to resent being treated like a weapon–though he apparently continues to work for the organization regardless. Given Ian McShane’s age relative to the apparently modern setting of the movie, it seems like there might be some adjustment needed to make the timeline work correctly if Hellboy is indeed keeping his WW2 origin story.
Milla Jovovich as Nimue the Blood Queen
Though the title may make her seem like a vampire, Nimue is actually a witch–maybe the most powerful witch in history, dating all the way back to Arthurian legend where she was close with Merlin and known as “The Lady of the Lake.”
We only see a couple of brief shots of Nimue in the trailer, but it’s enough to understand that whatever she’s planning, it has potentially catastrophic consequences. Interestingly, there are also a few shots of giant, dragon-like monsters which may also be Nimue in a different form–she was transformed into a beast in the comics before she was ultimately defeated–but it’s too early to tell if that’s actually what’s happening in those scenes or not.
Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan
Hellboy’s lady companion this time around is not the pyrokinetic Liz Sherman, who is conspicuously absent from any and all casting announcements, but another BPRD agent named Alice Monaghan.
Alice actually wasn’t a member of the BPRD in the comics, but a human that Hellboy rescued from the Doaine Sidhe as a child. Her time spent in the fairy realm slowed her aging and gave her some insight into the realms of magic, which she eventually used to become a sort of honorary guardian over the fairy kingdom.
It looks like Alice is getting a major overhaul for the movie, however, given how much of the fighting we her doing–expect to see her considerably changed.
Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio
Ben Daimio’s one of the easiest new characters to spot in the trailer, so you probably don’t need any help picking him out of a line up–and if you do, the horrible facial scarring will certainly help.
Daimio’s a seasoned BPRD agent who joined the team after having risen through the ranks of the military. It was a pesky brush with death and mysterious resurrection that brought him into the supernatural fold. Though he’s technically a human, Daimio is also a were-jaguar (sort of–he’s got a mythical jaguar spirit inside of him, don’t worry too much about it) who transforms under extreme stress.
We don’t know whether or not Daimio’s jaguar powers are going to make themselves known for this movie or not, but the presence of his facial scarring would indicate that it’s definitely a possibility.
Douglas Tait as Gruagach
Blink and you might miss him in this trailer, but we do get our first look at Gruagach of Lough Leane for a few fleeting seconds. He’s the giant boar-ish looking monster man skulking around Nimue and fighting Hellboy in a church.
Though you’d never guess it from his completely understated presence in this first look, Gruagach is actually a pretty central figure to not only Nimue’s story in the comics, but to the origin of BPRD agent Alice Monaghan as well. He’s a vengeful magical creature, one of the Doaine Sidhe fairies, who blames Hellboy personally for a whole laundry list of humiliations and defeats in his past.
Missing in Action: Thomas Haden Church as Lobster Johnson
Perhaps the biggest named and confirmed character missing from the trailer is Lobster Johnson, a character who’s place in the Hellboy mythos is actually a little bit tricky to sort out. He’s, essentially, an in-universe fictional comic book hero who was the star of pulp serials set in 1930s New York.
Hellboy was a huge fan of Lobster Johnson stories and, eventually, learned that he hadn’t been so fictional after all and was, in fact, based on a real man who was now an extremely powerful ghost.
Where exactly this will place Lobster Johnson in the reboot is completely up for debate. Will he be a flashback character to flesh out the BPRD’s history? A little bit of in-universe fictional flavor? Something else entirely? Your guess is as good as ours.