Hellboy reboot star David Harbour has stated that the film had significant problems. The anticipated reboot opened last month to scathing reviews, a minimal box office and disappointed fan reactions, all killing any chance the franchise may have had to continue.
Based on a series of dark fantasy comic books by writer/artist Mike Mignola, Hellboy is a demon who was summoned to Earth as a baby by the mad monk Rasputin wielding black magic on behalf of the Nazis. Taken in by the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, he grows to adulthood as a champion of humanity, defending the world against a nigh-constant onslaught of magical monsters and creatures from folklore, all the while attempting to defy his own prophesized destiny as a harbinger of the apocalypse. Upon the resurrection of a vengeful Dark Ages witch who wants to bring about the end of the world, Hellboy and his allies must stop her, all while battling his own nature and trying to figure out where it is he truly belongs.
As reported by Digital Spy, Harbour made the comments at the weekend while appearing as a guest at MCM London Comic Con. He stated that because of there being “so many voices that go into these things,” not everything that gets put together will properly fuse into a cohesive whole. He also felt that the film was unfavorably compared to the MCU, and with that cinematic behemoth having become the benchmark for comic book adaptations it’s unfair for a film to be viewed unfavorably as a result of being something different. He likened it to chocolate:
“It’s like chocolate, it’s a flavor. So everybody goes ‘Chocolate is delicious and these guys make the best chocolate.’ So as you judge the movies, it’s like, ‘Well, it's not as chocolaty as this; this does not taste like chocolate at all.’ And I 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.”
Hellboy previously made his way to the big screen in 2004 and 2008 in a pair of movies directed by Guillermo del Toro that fared far better with both audiences and critics. Aside from the prologue of the first film depicting Hellboy’s summoning that was taken from the opening of the comic’s first issue, the films only loosely followed the comics’ events, instead taking the ideas portrayed in them and crafting something new using the varied cast of characters made up of humans, monsters and an entire spectrum in between. A third film was planned to cap off the trilogy, but became repeatedly delayed due to del Toro’s ceaseless work schedule, and was ultimately scrapped after the studio viewed it as too much of a financial risk.
Harbour is far from the only one who believes the Hellboy had fundamental issues; most viewers and critics would agree with him. It features not so much an actual story, but more a series of vignettes linked by a vague narrative thread akin to an assemblage of studio notes without the substance to properly coalesce into a coherent plot. Reports of a troubled production didn’t help matters, with the wrangling for control over the production making the end result suffer. There are ideas that appear in one scene and are completely forgotten in the next, characters come and go with varying relevance and purpose, and attempts to reference the comics fall flat. There may be some truth to Harbour’s belief that the film was compared unfavorably to the MCU, but any possible effect of that perception could in no way wholly account for the level of derision aimed at it. If Hellboy had been more concerned about remaining its own thing rather than being conscious of what everyone thought it was supposed to be, it might have ended up as something at least partially enjoyable rather than the disassociated mess that we ended up getting.
Source: Digital Spy