Lionsgate’s “Hellboy” reboot will go down as one of the biggest misfires of 2019 thanks to its abysmal reviews (16% on Rotten Tomatoes from 192 reviews) and lackluster box office (it barely made over $20 million in the U.S. opposite a $50 million production budget). David Harbour was not one to defend the movie during a recent chat with DigitalSpy and other press at London’s MCM Comic-Con, saying the film had “major problems” and admitting that not all of the ideas that went into the reboot worked out. Harbour starred in the title role, replacing Ron Perlman on the big screen after the latter starred in Guillermo del Toro’s “Hellboy” and “Hellboy II: The Golden Army.”
“We did our best, but there’s so many voices that go into these things and they’re not always going to work out,” Harbour said of the movie. “I did what I could do and I feel proud of what I did, but ultimately I’m not in control of a lot of those things.”
While Harbour admits his “Hellboy” remake was far from perfect, he did allege that reception around the film was made worse because in today’s Hollywood landscape most tentpole films or comic book adaptations get unfairly compared to “Marvel stuff.” The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become so dominant in the comic book movie genre that, at least according to Harbour, no film can get released without being compared to it.
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“The problem that I have with comic book movies nowadays is that I think, and it’s a result of the power of Marvel stuff, it’s like chocolate, it’s a flavor. So everybody [says] chocolate is delicious and these guys make the best chocolate. So as you judge the movies, it’s like, ‘Well, it’s not as chocolatey as this, this does not taste like chocolate at all.’ And I sort of want a world where there’s more flavors than just comparisons to chocolate. So in that way when ‘Hellboy’ is viewed on the chocolate spectrum, it does very poorly. That being said, it also has major problems.”
Harbour continued, “I think as a rental or as a movie that you see on an airplane, I think you’d be like, ‘Oh that was fun’ because it’s a fun movie, and I think it was unfairly bludgeoned as a result of these comparisons.”
Oddly enough, Harbour chose to focus on people comparing “Hellboy” to the MCU films and not the more common criticism that the move failed to match the heights of del Toro’s much superior “Hellboy” movies. While he struck out with “Hellboy,” Harbour fortunately has an easy rebound ahead with the release of “Stranger Things” Season 3 on Netflix this July. The actor is also reportedly involved in the Black Widow standalone movie, which will officially bring him to the MCU.