Well, it turned out to be a working vacation. In addition to approving artwork via laptop on another project, I finished the script to The Phantom Claw. So the script is in Mike's hands right now and I await his notes. There are many added scenes that weren't in the treatment, most about Kate and Hellboy but some added paranormal elements and villain motivation. Fingers crossed.
Of course, Mike just got back from the London production office of HB2. I'm sure Guillermo ran him ragged so I'm not sure he's even awake yet.
Meanwhile, no green light yet but when I have time I proceed as if we have one so that means organizing reference for my crew. As I've said previously, The Phantom Claw highlights the "mad scientist" side of Hellboy and nobody designs a mad scientist lab like Mike Mignola. This collage, along with several others, showcase the retro look to the equipment that Rasputin and his followers used to bring Hellboy to Earth. The images should not only help the design of background layouts but a variety of props too.
As Mike has also mentioned in various interviews, Hellboy: Blood and Iron has the feeling of a Hammer film and The Phantom Claw will have more than a wink and a nod toward the classic monster movies of Universal Studios. So I've also been watching The Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein. Those films had fantastic art direction, twisty staircases, incredibly high ceilings, and strange shadows.
Too often, animated backgrounds smack of rulers and T-squares. Hallways are rectangular, furniture generic. Mike and I hope to use the Universal masterpieces to inspire the crew to create a truly unique Castle Drachespitze, the scene of most of the action.
So the delay may end up helping us gather all the cool reference we need before the starting gun. Once production starts, there's little time for this sort of thing. But now, with two movies done, there aren't as many questions as to what a Hellboy movie should look like so there's lots of icing we want to add to our cake. --Tad