Speaking with the press in Beverly Hills, Guillermo del Toro casually tossed off a line that sums up the spirit of his most recent film, Hellboy II: The Golden Army and the tone he and his cast achieved: "When you go see a movie called "Hellboy," already there's an implicit, assumed certain sense of goofiness; you have to then say 'Look, we know we're pulpy, we know we're different, but we take ourselves seriously, and we want to entertain." Mike (Mignola, creator of the Hellboy comics) said it: He's not the Hell Knight, he's not the Hell Spawn, he's not the Hell Lord, he's the Hellboy. ... "
Much of the pleasure in the Hellboy series comes from the mesh and mix of the sensibilities of del Toro and Hellboy's creator Mike Mignola; I asked del Toro about the challenge of adapting someone else's material. How much of it is a struggle, and how much of it is a pleasure, to find ways to make someone else's creation yours? "I said in the past that, obviously, no matter how respectful you are of the material there's a moment ... I made the analogy that it's like marrying a widow; you have to be very respectful about the late husband, but at some point, you're going to get in bed, and the late husband is not gonna matter anymore, or it better not. And I think it's the same with material; there's a point where you go "I have only my instincts to guide me through this section ..." But, it's co-exploring. In the case of Hellboy, I've been blessed with a guy like Mike (Mignola), who is the most generous landlord of the Hellboy real estate; he says, essentially, move in, decorate as you want and make it yours."