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Church defends decision to allow 'Hellboy' to film in 900-year-old cathedral

(Wikimedia Commons/Arpingstone)The inverted arch in Wells Cathedral in Wells, Somerset, England is featured in this image.

Church officials in Somerset, England are defending their decision to allow the filming of "Hellboy" at the Wells Cathedral following criticisms from some parishioners.

The film involves a half-demon summoned by Nazis from Hell to help them win the Second World War, but goes on to fight on the side of the Allies. According to Somerset Live, the cast and crew started shooting a scene of the film at the 900-year-old cathedral on Sept. 16.

The decision to allow the filming drew some criticism from worshippers, such as Pamela Eagan who lives opposite the building. "For heavens's sake. Are we losing sight of what this was built for? I have to say I am surprised and shocked," she said, according to BBC.

Cathedral officials said that they realized that the decision might cause concern, but they allowed the filming after doing some research about the story.

In a statement, the cathedral staff explained that despite appearances, "Hellboy" has a strong Christian message.

The staff contended that the movie symbolizes the "eternal battle of good over evil" which encourages "an intelligent faith which does not hide from controversy and one that looks for the good inside people no matter their outward appearance."

"Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen," is a reboot of the comic book superhero that has been featured in two movies by Guillermo del Toro in 2004 and 2008.

In the reboot by Neil Marshall, Hellboy must return to England to defeat Nimue, Merlin's consort and the Blood Queen.

Locals have initially speculated that the crew was shooting for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" or the new series of "Doctor Who." But it was soon revealed that they were filming "Hellboy" when passers-by noticed that the names on the trailers corresponded to characters in the film.

A spokeswoman for the cathedral said that it accepted "bookings from a range of organisations for the use of its space," adding that the Dean and Chapter agreed to let the crew use the building to film a "small element" of the upcoming film.

"Hellboy originated, in fact, as a superhero in a series of novels created by Mike Mignola," the spokeswoman explained. "His true nature is one of a hero and he becomes a defender against the forces of darkness," she continued.

The upcoming film, which is expected to hit the theaters next year, will star David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane and Daniel Dae Kim.

The cathedral had maintained that there had been no complaints about the filming, and it was only responding to "questions" from the public.

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