Opening against Disney’s new animated feature, Home on the Range, is Sony/Revolution Studios’ digital effects extravaganza Hellboy. Tippett Studio, The Orphanage, CafeFX, Hatch FX, Spectral Motion, Eden FX, Fantasy II, DDT Efectos Especiales, HimAnI Prods. and The Pit Crew all contribute hellish visuals to the possible franchise tentpole.
Directed by genre favorite Guillermo del Toro (Blade II, Mimic, Cronos), Hellboy is based on the comic book series of the same name by Mike Mignola. Ron Perlman (Alien: Resurrection, T.V.’s Beauty and the Beast) dons makeup by latex legend Rick Baker to assume the title role, a demon conjured up by Nazis who decides to fight for good rather than evil.
In a marketing first, Sony and Revolution Studios have been distributing free preview DVDs at Best Buy stores, showing concern that the $60 million effects film may have trouble drawing audiences not familiar with the fairly obscure comic book. It is important to note, however, that blockbusters such as Men In Black and the Blade series had the same beginnings.
Hellboy visual effects supervisor Nick Allder discusses the challenges of bringing a comic book to life in the April issue of Animation Magazine.