'Hellboy' To Be Played By Former Beast, Pyro Selma Blair Helps With Baddies

Comic-book flick tentatively scheduled for summer 2004 release.   

Selma Blair played prissy gals in "A Guy Thing" and "Legally Blonde." But in the upcoming "Hellboy," currently shooting in Prague, Czech Republic, she gets to tackle a role with a bit more fire. 

"I do get the guy — finally!" Blair said recently. "And I'm not a country-club ninny. I'm a secret agent. I felt the same way when Todd Solondz cast me in 'Storytelling.' Like, 'Wait, someone's going to actually believe that I can do something other than these mutations of country club girls?' "

Based on comic auteur Mike Mignola's comic book cult hit, "Hellboy" is a large, red and powerful creature with hooves and a tail that, despite being summoned from another dimension by the Nazis, now works as a force for good. Ron Perlman, seen recently in "Blade II" and "Star Trek: Nemesis" but best known as Vincent on television's "Beauty and the Beast," stars as the title character.

"I play Elizabeth Sherman," Blair said. "When I'm about 11, I kill my entire family and town. I'm a fire-starter. I have these supernatural, telekinetic powers. The kids all make fun of me. I'm always a bit different. And this rage and sadness lead me to self-combust and I burn up my entire town. I'm a good girl. And that's my tragic flaw — I've killed everyone I loved. I'm this tragically flawed superhero, in a way, when I'm taken in by the government to help them with their research on paranormal phenomena."

Blair's character grows up in a government program, where she meets Hellboy. "I live with Hellboy and some other people that have these powers and are in this secret division, helping the government with the baddies," she continued.

A self-confessed "Richie Rich" girl, Blair missed out on the "cooler" comics as a kid, but she's since caught up.

"I've read all the 'Hellboy' comics now," the actress explained. "[Liz] is always around in the comics, but she is more in the movie, being the only woman. It's just a great energy to have with all these guys. But the comics are beautiful. Mike Mignola [is] one of the best artists. And [director] Guillermo Del Toro is certainly doing him justice. This has been in his heart and soul for a couple of years. I know he directed 'Blade II' primarily to show the studio what he's made of with special effects. The movie is very dark, but very full of hope."

A big fan of the original "Crow" film, Blair would like to pursue roles in more comic-book movies, or at least one in particular: Brett Ratner's "Superman" (see "Ashton Kutcher, Josh Hartnett Considered For 'Superman' "). "I would die to be Lois Lane! And that's something I'm fighting tooth and nail for. But they will be shooting it at the same time as 'Hellboy,' so it's going to be a struggle."

Whether or not she winds up in "Superman," Blair will not return in "Legally Blonde 2" (see "Luke Wilson Admits To Playing Himself In 'Legally Blonde 2' "). "They're shooting that right now, and there's no more room for Vivian. She kind of played herself out, her arc. This one's all about Reese's character going to Washington. And she's much more of a woman. It's really her having her own thing instead of a buddy next to her."

"Hellboy" is tentatively scheduled for a summer 2004 release.