Hellboy is unlike any other hero who's graced the big screen in a blockbuster comic book adaptation, and it's not just because he has red skin. As implied by his name, Hellboy hails from the Biblical hell, making him a literal demon who just so happens to be one of humanity's best defenses against demonic forces. Because of his origins, some real-life Christians would rather not allow a movie with the word "Hell" in its title to be shot on the premises of a holy building - but this was not the case for Wells Cathedral in Somerset, England.
The only catch, though, was that the staff at Wells Cathedral had to double check if Hellboy really was a hero before allowing the cathedral to be used as a location for Big Red's upcoming movie.
Yes, Hellboy Really Is One Hell Of A Hero
Since Hellboy owes quite a lot to religions and ancient myths, it makes sense for the latest movie to have some scenes shot in historical places of worship. Wells Cathedral, which is dedicated to Saint Andrew the Apostle, looked like the perfect shooting location to the movie's scouts, so they asked permission to use the cathedral as a set.
However, due to Hellboy's name and the world he lives in, the cathedral's caretakers were initially hesitant about letting Neil Marshall and his crew film in the 900-year-old landmark. But apparently, they changed their minds after they did some research on who Hellboy was and what he stands for. The decision, however, did not go without controversy. Pamela Eagan, a resident who lives near the cathedral, voiced her displeasure to BBC.
"For heavens's sake. Are we losing sight of what this was built for? I have to say I am surprised and shocked."
In a press statement, the cathedral's staff reassured parishioners and defended their decision to allow a movie with a story that has deep ties to the occult and the Biblical Hell to be filmed within its premises. They also stated that despite his name and origins, Hellboy has a strong Christian message in his actions.
"We realize that the idea of this filming may cause concern with some people who aren’t familiar with the stories and character. Hellboy originated, in fact, as a superhero in a series of novels created by Mike Mignola. His true nature is one of a hero and he becomes a defender against the forces of darkness. The eternal battle of good over evil which this story examines helps us to encourage an intelligent faith which does not hide from controversy and one that looks for the good inside people no matter their outward appearance.”
The staff, however, refused to comment when asked how much #Lionsgate paid them to use Wells Cathedral as a set.
One of the central themes in Hellboy's stories is the difficulty he has in reconciling the fact that while he wants to protect humanity, his birthright is to bring about mankind's end. Because of his demonic ancestry, some characters refuse to work with him, but Hellboy does whatever he can to keep the world of man safe from the forces of evil.
Ironically, this was reflected in real life, with Hellboy's initial appearance and description scaring the people who take care of Wells Cathedral. But just like Hellboy's friends at the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (#BPRD), the staff at Wells Cathedral were able to see past Hellboy's intimidating appearance and see him for the hero he really is.
What do you think of Wells Cathedral's decision? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Source: Bleeding Cool]