New Helstrom teaser sends Marvel into horror territory
Essentially, Marvel's first foray into horror and terror, the show follows Daimon (The Royals' Tom Austen) and Ana (Succession's Sydney Lemmon) Helstrom, the son and daughter of a powerful serial killer. Daimon is an ethics professor and Ana runs a successful auction house; however, both of them also hunt demons. (In the comics, Daimon and Ana are half-demons known as Son of Satan and Satana, respectively). The creepy trailer teases their institutionalized mother Victoria (Homeland's Elizabeth Marvel) may be responsible for one of the monsters the duo is hunting.
"Mommy dearest, I think you set something loose on this world. What was it?" Ana asks Victoria in the preview.
"I think you know," replies Victoria with an unsettling and demonic rasp.
During the Comic-Con panel, the cast and showrunner/executive producer Paul Zbyszewski (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) teed up the show's concern with the family and the many different shapes it could take.
"It’s a family story, not just Daimon, and Ana, and their mom. It’s about an extended family. It’s about the family we’re born with and then the family we create," said Zbyszewski. "It’s a nature vs. nurture story. It’s about the stuff we’re born with genetically that we inherit and we carry with us because we have to. And it’s about environment. It’s about how we were raised, and who raised us, and what values we are imprinted with as we grow older, and that affects our ability to judge right from wrong, and our morality."
For Daimon and Ana, that means exploring their complicated relationship. "It’s a real messed up and vulnerable dynamic for both of them, I think," said Austen, with Lemmon adding, "Ana and Daimon are different because they respond differently to [their traumatic history], but they're similar because I think at the end of the day, they want the same thing, which is I think the thing that every person wants: safety and love and understanding. But they try to get after that in really different ways, and that's where the tension, I think, is born."
To play Victoria, Marvel had to develop a demonic voice, which she discovered from screaming at the news, and she found the character physically by watching Anthony Hopkins. "It is a story of a mother who loves her children and yet is overtaken by something out of her control that separates her from her love and that overtakes her and drives this other thing in her. So, her children never know who they’re dealing with: Are they dealing with the loving mother, or are they dealing with the monster?" said Marvel. "Then, there’s a whole other level, which is the comic book world that rides on top of all that subterranean territory that then is incredibly playful and funny and wild. It’s so interesting for me, as an actor, to inhabit this particular territory because it’s almost Shakespearean that way."
Helstrom was ordered to series in May 2019 along with Ghost Rider, both of which were supposed to kick off a slate of terror-focused superhero shows referred to as "Adventures in Fear." Unfortunately, that didn't come to pass because Hulu announced it wasn't moving forward with Ghost Rider last September. With S.H.I.E.L.D. ending in August, it looks like Helstrom will be the final show from the Jeph Loeb-led era of Marvel Television, which was also responsible for Marvel's Runaways and the Marvel-Netflix shows. Last December, Marvel Television was folded into Marvel Studios, which is overseen by MCU architect Kevin Feige.
Watch the trailer for Helstrom above. The show, which is executive produced by Loeb and also stars Robert Wisdom, Ariana Guerra, June Carryl, and Alain Uy — premieres Oct. 16 on Hulu.
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