Neil Marshall’s Hellboy reboot got sentenced to a fiery judgement when it was released in April last year. The film starring David Harbour and Milla Jovovich was critically panned, earning a 17% rotten rating on the Tomatometer. To rub the salt into its wounds, it came in just six percent short of its $50 million (USD) budget, making it one of 2019’s tragic flops. Many despised its nitwit script, bloated screenplay, and overall lack of direction.
David Harbour took to Instagram recently to engage with his fans and one of the topics that was touched upon was the ill-fated Hellboy film. As a performer who had been so passionate about the project at the time, he clearly expressed his disappointment in its failure. Nevertheless, he also believes that a certain live-action version could be to blame. Here’s what he said on Instagram Live (via Screenrant):
I think it failed before we began shooting because I think that people didn’t want us to make the movie and for some reason there was like a big… Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman created this iconic thing that we thought could be reinvented and then they certainly – the loudness of the internet was like, “We do not want you to touch this.” And then we made a movie that I think is fun and I think had its problems but was a fun movie and then people were just very very against it and that’s people’s right but I learned my lesson in a lot of different ways.
Director Guillermo del Toro had previously helmed two adaptations of the comic-book property in 2004 and 2008. On the contrary, those were well-received by fans with many clamouring for a third film with Ron Perlman. Alas, it was not to be a s the studio ultimately went with a new creative direction altogether, spawning the reboot.
Now, Harbour does have a point. Some were disinterested in Neil Marshall’s film from the get-go because of how well del Toro handled the Mike Mignola property, not to mention the lovable charm Perlman infused into the crimson demon. del Toro’s Hellboy flicks won the hearts of audiences so much that it was deemed heresy to have someone else take over so soon. The trailers for the reboot were not well received and once the reviews rolled in, BAM, the public went ballistic with the “I told you so” sentiments without even watching it.
That’s not to condone the cinematic sins this movie committed. If the Ghost Rider was to show up and use his penance stare on Hellboy, the film would be hurled 60 x 6 feet into deep soil. While shining in the gore department, the film cockily relied too much on its comic-bookiness, ending up as a hollow, dull, and outlandishly corny metal concert. And what the hell was that scene with Ian McShane ‘umbilically’ tethered to ‘whateverhernamewas’s mouth?
Nonetheless, David Harbour need not worry about this particular dark journey through the Netherrealm. He’s still got work to do, setting up his return as Jim Hopper in Netflix’s Stranger Things and playing a superhero in Marvel Studios’ Black Widow. Both releases have been delayed due to the Coronavirus, but at least Harbour’s still got a future to look ahead to.