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Mike Mignola talks about Baltimore, Hellboy 3, Lobster Johnson

Posted by LiveFor on November 12, 2008

MTV have spoken to Mike Mignola about many wonderful things

While the success of the “Hellboy” franchise hasn’t made series creator, Mike Mignola, a household name…yet…that doesn’t mean the highly influential writer/artist has had any downtime in terms of upcoming Hollywood projects. Quite the contrary, Mignola has his hands — and slate — full between his current creator-owned properties in development, as well as his ongoing comic book work.

And for those of us out there who look forward to pretty much anything with Mignola’s name on it, the folks at managed to catch up with him for updates on his numerous projects, kicking off with a status report on “Baltimore,” which as has been reported will be produced by David Goyer.

“It is banging around,” said Mignola in the interview. “[Writer] Chris [Golden] and I have co-written a screenplay, and it’s sort of in development, and we’re kind of going in to do another rewrite on the screenplay.”

Mignola also commented on the screenwriting process, something in which he’d never been a part of.

“It’s an interesting process,” he explained. “This is much different than adapting ‘Hellboy’ to the film, because del Toro adapted ‘Hellboy’ to the film. It’s a very different process adapting your own work to the film. So I’m having conversations on ‘Baltimore’ that, fortunately, I never had on ‘Hellboy,’ because del Toro had those conversations. Del Toro fought with the studio. And, unfortunately, with ‘Baltimore,’ I’m in those meetings. [It] makes you want to stay and draw comics.”

However, what most fans want to know is when can we expect “Hellboy III.”

“Guillermo has been talking about Hellboy III, I think, ever since the first film and certainly on the second film, anything that he came up with that didn’t fit into the second film, all that stuff’s obviously going to go into the third film, including Lobster Johnson’s supposed to be in the third film,” hinted Mignola. “If he puts everything into the third film that he says he’s going to put in the third film, the third film’s going to be about 67 hours long. The truth is, by the end of Hellboy II, the character’s veered so far away from the character in the comic that I have no idea what Hellboy III would be. It’s completely, 100 percent now in del Toro territory. It doesn’t relate to what I do at all, so I’d be very curious to see what Hellboy III would be.”

So while we wait, how about any new “Hellboy” animated features?

“We wrote a third one, but that thing kind of came to a screeching halt,” said Mignola. “The third animated film was actually a retelling of Hellboy’s origin and connecting him to my World War II era pulp character, Lobster Johnson. So it’s one that the fans were super-excited about. It, of course, was the best of the scripts that we wrote, and, of course, it’s in a drawer someplace.”

I hope we get to see Lobster Johnson on the big screen. The action figure of him adorns my work desk and he is just cool. Hellboy 2 was excellent as well and Baltimore intrigues me. I wrote a bit about that a while ago. Click on the tag for that below to read more on that one.

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Baltimore, or the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire – The next Mignola inspired Movie after Hellboy?

Posted by LiveFor on October 3, 2008

This comic has totally slipped by me. MTV have more on it’s movie adaption.

David Goyer’s got the next “Batman” and “Super Max” on his mind, but after that, he’s got a little trip to “Baltimore” to make.

“We’re now in the process of working out with David Goyer and the producers the notes on the first draft of the script, so we can start the next draft immediately,” said Christopher Golden.

Baltimore, or the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire,” is an illustrated novel co-written by Golden and “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola, with art by Mignola, in which a captain in the British infantry, Lord Henry Baltimore, mistakenly wakes up a vampire with the blood on a battlefield during World War I. Golden is writing the script for New Regency with input from Mignola.

“The first thing that had to be fixed from moving from book to screenplay was the vagueness of the book,” Golden said. “You need something to hang the movie on, a propulsion engine. So there are lots of things we hint at in the book, regarding the Red King and the source of supernatural evil, but in the script we bring it to the surface and make it more clear what they’re up against.”

Golden has also strengthened the characters, so that the relationship with Baltimore’s friends is more “interesting.” “We’ve been able to look at the dynamic more closely, and it’s important who they are as individuals as well as who they are to each other,” Golden said. “I think we have a better sense in the film how Baltimore mattered to them and the impact on their lives. And for each of them, they’ve lost something vital in their lives, and they’ve done so because of their encounters with the supernatural.”

Golden imagines Paul Giamatti in the role of the doctor friend when he’s writing him, “but that doesn’t mean he will say yes!” he laughed. “I have no control over that.” Plus, though he imagines different actors in different roles, Goyer has ideas of his own, Golden said, and some of those ideas are even better — and he trusts him, Golden said, because he “gets it.”

“We were assuming that everyone in Hollywood would say dump the three stories about the three friends since it doesn’t connect to the throughline and the telescoping of time,” Golden said. “But David said those are his favorite things and he wants to preserve them as much as possible. He’s been entirely supportive of the quirky things.”

And as they get further along with drafts of the script, Golden welcomes Goyer taking a crack at it, if he were so inclined. “I would love for David to take a turn,” Golden said. “I was about to suggest a new prologue [that wasn’t part of the novel], and he suggested it before I could suggest it. It’s nice to know we’re on the same page.”

Sounds pretty interesting and suitably weird. Does it get your imagination going? Have you read the comic? If so can you shed any more light on the plot and feel of the story?


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What’s going on with X-Men Origins: Magneto?

Posted by LiveFor on October 2, 2008

MTV spoke to character designer Aaron Sims about the other X-Men origin movie that isn’t Wolverine.

“Unfortunately, because of the writers strike, it got pushed off,” Sims said. “But they’re now back to the rewrites.”

Since “X Men Origins: Magneto” is still in conceptual form, it’s too soon to say much about it, except that obviously, like Wolverine, it will be an origin story — “where he started, where he got his powers, the very beginning.”

“Remember the scene [from ‘X-Men’] in the concentration camp where you see Magneto as a young boy? It just continues from there,” Sims said. “Some people thought that might be too dark, but I really like that. It’s a lot of death and mayhem.”

Magneto won’t be the only mutant — just like in “Wolverine”, there will be new mutants aplenty to keep Sims busy coming up with something to please and yet surprise the fans. “The fan base has a vision of what they should look like, and that’s always the challenge,” Sims said. “It was the same with ‘The Hulk.’”

But since director David Goyer is still finishing “The Unborn” and also has several other movies on his plate (from “The Invisible Man” to “Super Max” to “”), Sims doesn’t have to realize his character designs too quickly, which is a good thing, since he’s also in the middle of designs for “The Invisible Man,” “The Clash of the Titans,” “Paradise Lost,” and “Green Lantern” — for which he did the suit and Kilowog. (This, after finishing matte paintings for “The Spirit” and designs for the robot and the spaceship in “The Day The Earth Stood Still”).

“David’s like me,” Sims laughed. “He works nonstop. He’s not one of those kinds of writers or directors who ever stops. I’m surprised he has any time at all. But I’m fortunate to work with directors like him who I admire. I can’t say no to him.”

I think if they stick to their guns and try and keep it serious then the Magneto movie could be quite the epic. What do you think? Better than the forthcoming Wolverine movie?


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