He may be one of the most beloved entities in all of Hollywood right now, but even David Harbour’s friends were wary of him stepping into Ron Perlman’s beloved boots for the upcoming Hellboy movie reboot. Fan have held out hope that Perlman would revisit his popular role for years, which is why the announcement that Harbour would instead be taking over the role of Big Red from Perlman – via a relaunch of the Hellboy films – proved controversial.
Harbour always knew his work was cut out for him, even from the start. He’s done all he can to separate himself from Perlman’s legacy while still paying respect to his predecessor. Harbour has already discussed his intention to play Hellboy as much more insecure than Perlman’s masculine version, even hinting that his version of Hellboy may sing in the movie reboot. In spite of all that, Perlman continues to be a looming presence over the film production, much to his own dismay. The incessant requests for Perlman’s opinion on the reboot became too much, prompting Harbour to implore the media to give Perlman a much-needed break.
It turns out that Harbour not only had to face criticism from media and fans for agreeing to play Hellboy, but even his own friends too. Speaking to THR, Harbour admitted that several of his close friends, who also happen to be rather “prominent nerds,” told Harbour not accept the role of Hellboy. Harbour said he respected his friends’ opinions, but he obviously chose to ignore their well-intentioned advice.
Harbour reasoned that there can be more than one great performance by more than one great actor for any given iconic role. As an example, Harbour revealed his love for both Michael Keaton and Christian Bale’s performances as Batman. He further explained his train of thought by saying he had respect for both Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger’s Joker, before seemingly taking a jab at his Suicide Squad co-star, Jared Leto, saying “There’s other Jokers I don’t have to like“. Harbour again aired his intention to separate the two performances, saying his Hellboy will be more faithful to the comics, which he finds to be “macabre [and] melancholy.”
The Hellboy movie reboot will also star Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Penelope Mitchell, Sasha Lane, and Daniel Dae Kim. Daniel Dae Kim joined the cast after Ed Skrein stepped down from the role of Ben Daimio, after his casting led to backlash and accusations of whitewashing. The film has been promoted as being quite different than the typical superhero movie nowadays, and is described as having a scary monster movie vibe.
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