David Harbour blames Marvel comparisons for 'Hellboy' reboot's flop

Hanna Flint
Contributor
David Harbour blames Marvel for Hellboy not doing well (Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

David Harbour says Marvel’s success is partly to blame for Hellboy flopping.

The reboot, which saw Harbour replace Ron Perlman as the title character, told press at London’s MCM Comic-Con that even though the film had “major problems” audiences were too used to the comic book movies coming out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“We did our best, but there’s so many voices that go into these things and they’re not always going to work out,” said Harbour, who is also appearing in Marvel’s Black Widow 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. 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,” he continued.

“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.’

Read more: Hellboy star says flop will become a cult classic

“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.”

Release just over five weeks ago, Hellboy earned negative reviews from critics and secured just a 12% approval rating on the reviews aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

A disappointing box office followed with the film earning a dismal $40 million (£31.8m) worldwide against a reported $50 million (£39.5m) budget.

Criticism for the movie began before the production had actually started as many fans were hoping that Perlman, who had played the hero in Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy and Hellboy II : The Golden Army, would complete the trilogy.

However, because of differences between del Toro and Perlman with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, who had penned his own script with Andrew Cosby, the third film was cancelled and a reboot with director Neil Marshall and David Harbour was greenlit.

Read more: David Harbour explains Hellboy post-credits scenes

Controversy continued after white actor Ed Skrein was given the role of Asian-American soldier Ben Daimio. He dropped out due to accusations of white-washing and was replaced by Daniel Dae Kim.

When production began, even more reports surfaced of conflict emerged regarding an alleged power struggle between Marshall and producers Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin.

According to The Wrap, the director and producers clashed frequently with Levin and Gordon allegedly trying to take creative control over the film

Harbour was also said to have refused to adhere to Marshall’s requests for more takes and walked off the Hellboy set "frequently.”