'Hellboy' star David Harbour says fans were 'against' the movie before they even started shooting

David Harbour in the title role of 2019's 'Hellboy' reboot. (Credit: Lionsgate)
David Harbour in the title role of 2019's 'Hellboy' reboot. (Lionsgate)

Hellboy actor David Harbour has revealed that he believes the film was doomed from the start, as fans simply didn’t want a new version of the character,

The 44-year-old said the R-rated reboot, directed by The Descent and Game of Thrones helmer Neil Marshall, was always going to exist in the shadow of Guillermo del Toro’s “iconic” pair of movies.

Hellboy received savage reviews from critics — it stands at just 17% on Rotten Tomatoes — and floundered at the box office, earning just $45m (£38m) from a $50m (£42m) budget.

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Speaking to his followers via Instagram Stories, Harbour said the movie “failed before we began shooting”.

He said: "I think that people didn't want us to make the movie.

David Harbour attends the New York premiere of "Hellboy" on April 9, 2019. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)
David Harbour attends the New York premiere of Hellboy. (WireImage)

"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.

“That's people's right, but I learned my lesson in a lot of different ways."

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The original two Hellboy movies — released in 2004 and 2008 — were cult classics, despite fairly modest box office returns.

Del Toro gave his blessing to the Hellboy reboot in 2017, stating that he was lucky to be able to make two movies and that the character’s creator Mike Mignola was free to shepherd a new version.

Guillermo del Toro poses with the monster El Angel de la Muerte from "Hellboy" at the "Guillermo del Toro: At Home With My Monsters" exhibition in Mexico. (Photo by Ulises Ruiz/AFP via Getty Images)
Guillermo del Toro poses with the monster El Angel de la Muerte from Hellboy (AFP via Getty Images)

Harbour previously acknowledged that Hellboy has “major problems”, but said comparisons to Marvel tend to hurt all other comic book movies.

He said: “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 flavour.

“And I sort of want a world where there’s more flavours than just comparisons to chocolate.

“So in that way, when Hellboy is viewed on the chocolate spectrum, it does very poorly.”

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Milla Jovovich, who plays the villainous Blood Queen in the movie, also remains a fan and has said she believes Hellboy will become a “cult classic” in the future.