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‘Hellboy' Helmer Hopes to Bow Two DVDs

13 Apr, 2004 By: Fred Topel

Guillermo del Toro, director of Columbia TriStar/Revolution Studios' box office hit Hellboy, has always been a fan of DVDs with extensive content. He plans two separate DVD editions of Hellboy, a personal passion project based on his favorite comic book character.

“The first edition is going to be a double disc hopefully, and the second edition is going to be a long cut of the movie, 20 minutes added, and you add a third disc to it,” del Toro said. “I think you have the chance of the more casual fan just buying the first one, and the guy who really is hardcore going for the second one.”

The extra scenes will develop subplots with one of the villains, Rasputin (Karel Roden), and a love triangle with Hellboy (Ron Perlman), Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) and Agent Myers (Rupert Evans). In the film, there is only one scene where Sherman and Myers seem to be developing a romantic relationship that makes Hellboy jealous.

“There is a little subplot that was taken from the movie that involved Rasputin's eyes,” del Toro said. “That adds a layer of strangeness and beauty to him. There are more scenes between Selma and Rupert, and there's a little bit more of being able to follow those subplots. I feel that they couldn't be in the movie because the theatrical cut has to be a cut that moves to a pace that any casual fan or nonfan can enjoy, and the DVD is hardcore.”

Actress Blair, whose screen time was dramatically cut for the omission of the subplot, recognized the difference between the two versions. “They just didn't see the need to strengthen that relationship as much in this film,” Blair said. “It would just be too much torture for Hellboy. It would just be too distracting. And I think it works with Liz being more of a presence, instead of having her more realized.”

Del Toro's plans for additional features will be consistent with his past special editions, like Blade II. “I think that if you're a casual fan, it will feel like we went beyond the call of duty, but if you're a fan or you're going to study the movie and really have a great, healthy peek behind the scenes, you're going to get that,” del Toro said. “In my mind, DVDs are the cheaper, more direct route to film school for people who cannot afford the $30,000 tuition fee. I plan to make it very candid, like Blade II was a candid type of commentary and look behind the scenes, and very informative and very incredibly exhausting.”

The release dates for the DVD editions are still only tentative. “They're talking about August for the first one and December for the second one, but anything can move,” del Toro said. “Nothing's set in stone.”

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