Take a Look Inside Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II Diary
With Hellboy II: The Golden Army due out in theaters on Friday, the New York Times brings us an incredible jewel for anyone that is a fan of Guillermo del Toro and his immense talent for crafting monsters: excerpts from the director's diary he keeps during a film's production. I won't give away too much of Hellboy II now (you can read all about it in my review tomorrow), but del Toro's latest effort is near his best yet - it's at least his most ambitious in terms of scale and variety. The article shows us some of the characters from the movie and provides a glimpse into the birth of such dark, inventive creatures. Warning: Some of the information below might be considered spoilers insofar as revealing these characters' roles in the film. However, they speak to initial ideas, not 100% what you'll see on screen.
"The original idea is that the Elf Prince would use sort of obliquely fairytale weapons...a magic bean...a giant beanstalk. It turned out that the beanstalk was an elemental creature that then proceeded to start destroying neighborhoods. I like the idea that the face is plates with negative spaces for the eyes. And the stalks of the beanstalk form a tentacular middle structure."
This is definitely one of del Toro's more complex creatures with a surprising duality that you'll see in the film.
"I had the idea of creating a character that looked kind of regal. Somebody that instead of thinking about his own city, he kind of carried it around."
A number of characters in Hellboy II have this somewhat wood-like structure. Originally, del Toro intended there to be little people walking around the city on his head, but budget constraints nixed that level of detail.
"I wanted show the size of him against Abe. The idea that he can hold the entirety of Abe's head with a single hand and then wack him with the other first. The idea was to create a reverse creature of Hellboy."
Del Toro does an amazing job with rendering Mr. Wink's size and texture. The result is impressively real.
The Deadly Root
"The idea, again, was the Prince using sort of natural things -- a root that feeds on the humidity in the body, but really fast. And he would throw it at somebody. The root would immediately grow inwards seeking saliva and juices and everything, and grow very fast on the face, asphyxiating the host."
Sort of like the facehugger in Aliens.
Despite this monster's complexity and detail, it's only shown very briefly in the film.
You can read more, see more photos from the diary, and listen to Guillermo speak over at the New York Times. I can't tell you how much fun it is to see this type of raw creative. I could listen to del Toro talk about these critters for hours. The director says that he might one day publish a book containing such musings. Oh what a wonderful day that would be! But speaking of monsters, del Toro says of Hello Kitty, whom his daughter prefers, "I still think [it's] a hydrocephalic mutant of a cat." I can't get enough of the guy! Be sure to check out Hellboy II: The Golden Army in theaters this weekend.