SDCC 2020: Venture into Family and Fear with Marvel’s ‘Helstrom’

Comic-Con at home brought a little horror this week through Marvel’s Helstrom in a virtual panel to meet the cast of the upcoming Hulu show and showrunner Paul Zbyszewski.

Starring Tom Austen and Sydney Lemmon as Daimon and Ana Helstrom, siblings who hunt the worst of humanity with their skills and abilities as children of a mysterious and powerful serial killer.

Based on Marvel characters Daimon and Satana Hellstrom, the duo are the progeny of the demon Marduk Kurios and a human woman, Victoria Wingate Hellstrom. When Victoria discovered her husband’s true identity, she went mad and was institutionalized. Daimon was sent to live in a Jesuit orphanage while his sister was taken to their father’s hell dimension and raised there. The brother rejected his demonic heritage while Satana embraced it.

The cast in attendance were Tom Austen (Daimon Helstrom), Sydney Lemmon (Ana Helstrom), Elizabeth Marvel (Victoria Helstrom), Alain Uy (Chris Yen), Ariana Guerra (Gabriella Rossetti), June Carryl (Louise Hastings), and Robert Wisdom (Caretaker).

During the panel, Zbyszewski expressed that the core of the show is family, both the one you are born with and the one you create. He was initially drawn to the comic because he wanted to bring a darker tone to the Marvel television offerings. It is certainly darker as fans were also treated to a teaser trailer (see above) with shots of a mental institution, an unstable mother that released something mysterious into the world, lots of fire, a family picture with dad’s face scratched out, and various weapons.

Here are the most notable tidbits revealed:

  • The first season is based on Son of Satan.
  • The series deals a lot with family dynamics, nature vs. nurture, decisions and consequences, and characters dealing with their own personal demons.
  • Among all the characters on the show, Daimon and Ana are both the closest and furthest apart. Both have created their own worlds as adults, and, when they meet up together, they’ll have to navigate how to deal with their childhood trauma.
  • Both siblings have abilities. Zbyszewski reveals that they can manipulate energy in different ways.
  • Victoria’s voice was developed by Marvel screaming in her hotel room while watching the news. At one point, while doing her vocal warm up, security came into the cast tent thinking there was a bear. She also took inspiration from Anthony Hopkins and researched addiction because it related to how there were two sides of her character: monster and mother.
  • Caretaker’s character has been reimagined, though there will be lots of nods to his comic book origins. He ends up tending to a soul that had been shattered.
  • Gabriella and Daimon have a very complicated relationship, and it starts with a lot of tension because of their different perspectives. She comes from a very religious and logical angle and eventually discovers Daimon’s background. She is then able to relate to him by seeing his love for his mom and his past trauma.
  • Chris and Ana originally meet through foster care, and their bond is forged through that shared experience. They are both able to survive and even become successful as adults.
  • Louise ends up inheriting a person, whom she ends up providing both tough love and gentle nurturing. Her character initially doesn’t know who she is until she gets tested.
  • There will be lots of comic easter eggs on the show in the form of props, character stories, and more!
  • Austen teased that by episode five and six, the show will flip on itself. He’s really excited to see how fans will react to it.

Helstrom is now the only Marvel live action show outside of Disney+. Ghost Rider had originally been in development as well but was axed last September. At one point, Hulu was also developing Howard the Duck, Tigra and Dazzler, M.O.D.O.K., Hit-Monkey, and The Offenders.

The series also features Daniel Cudmore and David Meunier. All episodes will be released on October 16, 2020 on Hulu.

Watch the full panel now:


For more Comic-Con at home coverage, click HERE.

Nicole C
Nicole C
Nicole is the Features Editor for The Workprint. She may or may not be addicted to coffee, audiobooks, and sci-fi.

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