Thomas Haden Church has some cred as a comic book movie veteran, having played Flint Marko a.k.a. Sandman in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 – but it looks like he may soon be adding to his resume. Earlier this year he teased his return to the genre in an interview, and now it’s looking like the role he was teasing was playing the vigilante Lobster Johnson in Neil Marshall’s upcoming Hellboy.
This update comes from DiscussingFilm, though it should be noted that the site doesn’t name the source of its information, and didn’t receive comment from Thomas Haden Church’s representatives. That being said, the timing does line up. Hellboy was in production from September to December in 2017, and Church first teased his next comic book movie role in February.
Created by Mike Mignola and introduced to Hellboy canon in 2011, Lobster Johnson is a crime-fighting vigilante who operates in 1930s New York City. He is actual a kind of pop culture icon, being the subject of popular pulp series, but it’s not widely known that he was an actual person.
In the comics it’s canon that he died while trying to stop a Nazi missile launch during World War II, but his existence continues as an immensely powerful ghost who operates with the BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense).
Had things gone as initially planned, we would now be just about two months away from the release of Hellboy, but those plans shifted earlier this Fall. In late September it was reported that the movie was going to be changing its theatrical strategy, moving from its spot in January to April 12th. Obviously that’s more waiting time, but the idea of Thomas Haden Church as Lobster Johnson has us all the more excited.
The full promotional tour for Hellboy hasn’t started in earnest just yet, though we do know that footage cut into trailer form does in fact exist. The movie held a panel at New York Comic-Con a few weeks ago, and while nothing from the film was made available for the public, the audiences at the presentation were treated to the first look at the feature. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we get to see it for ourselves.
Very little is known about the plot of this new Hellboy, which exists entirely separately from the Guillermo del Toro movies starring Ron Perlman. Stranger Things star David Harbour will be playing the World Destroyer this time around, and he is joined by some awesome names with or without Thomas Haden Church as Lobster Johnson. Ian McShane, Daniel Dae Kim, and Milla Jovovich are all confirmed for key supporting roles – specifically Professor Bruttenholm, Ben Daimio, and Nimue the Blood Queen, respectively.
At the very least we should be seeing the first Hellboy trailer released online before the end of the year, so stay tuned for that and more details about the movie in the coming weeks and months.