One of the smaller reveals at Comic-Con was yesterday’s look at Leprechaun: Origins, the new WWE-branded reboot of those terrible films where Warwick Davis would put on a hokey green Halloween costume and murder teens, Irish folklore, and good taste.
For the eighth film in a franchise taken seriously by no one, ever, Leprechaun’s offering of a trailer and poster weren’t gonna cut it; not when Christopher Nolan could descend at any moment and whisper, “Spaaaaaaace,” inciting mass panic in the streets. So Leprechaun: Origins upped its game the only way it could: revealing the yet-to-be-revealed design of its new, Hornswoggle Leprechaun. And for those who just asked, “What’s a Hornswoggle?,” he’s a WWE wrestler (real name: Dylan Postl) who happens to be a dwarf, and also happens to wrestle in a leprechaun outfit, because the WWE is where good taste is body-slammed until it is dead.
The reveal came in two ways- one, in a new piece of Leprechaun: Origins artwork, and the second in new trailer (which is almost identical to an older trailer, only with a few extra seconds of Hornswoggle in monster makeup at the end). See the artwork above, and the trailer below.
Our first impression? Totally not a leprechaun. But let’s give Leprechaun: Origins a chance to explain itself.
In the image, we get a pretty decent look at whatever passes for a leprechaun these days. Its face is a skull, kinda rodent-like, with the necessary movie monster fangs. It looks like a person, only with monster mask features- the same “add some sharp teeth and call it a day” designs from Feast or C.H.U.D. or The Descent. None of those movies were about leprechauns; likewise, if you glanced at this particular creature, there is absolutely no reason for you to think of diminutive green Irishmen.
The trailer, at least, gets us a little closer to the explanation. Pay attention around the 1:25 mark. In our conveniently placed Big Book of Irish Folklore, we’ve found our ratman, complete with a chunk of old Irish script that translates to “leprechaun.” There’s our explanation- the leprechauns of old were really horrible hairless rodents, and centuries of oral tradition warped them into the surly little Notre Dame mascots we know today.
During the big unveiling, Postl and Leprechaun: Origins director Zach Lipovsky did a little interviewin’ with Bloody Disgusting, and said more or less the same thing:
“We looked into making the origin story of a creature that maybe thousands of years ago the Celtics met in a cave or something that was really scary. They would tell their stories and those stories are told to the present day. Back then there was actually something that was terrifying at the root of the lore.”
Obviously, none of that is real. The word in that book appears to be “Luchorpan,” and luchorpans were actually an old-timey way of saying “leprechaun” in old-timey Irish folklore. But in their earliest mentions in Irish legend (“The Saga of Fergus mac Léti”), luchorpans were dwarves that would try and drown you in your sleep for no reason (also, they could grant wishes!). No mention of craving human flesh. No mention of gnarled skin and terrifying features.
So… the rat dude is still the manatee in Leprechaun: Origins’ manatee-to-mermaid legend, just a made-up version that was seen millennia ago, forgotten to time, and also remembered to time because it’s clearly notated in a book that doesn’t look that old.
Conclusion: the origins of Leprechaun: Origins are confusing, and its monster is definitely not a leprechaun, just a little goblin man that the WWE will probably trot out in future wrestling matches.
But hey, at least there’s a bright side: were you really going to see Leprechaun: Origins in the first place?