David Harbour recently explained why he believed Hellboy flopped at the box office, blaming Guillermo del Toro fans.
As reported by ComicBookMovie, Harbour recently did a live Instagram Q&A with his fans where he detailed his reasonings.
Harbour stated, “I think it failed before we began shooting because I think that people didn’t want us to make the movie and for some reason there was like a big…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.'”
He added, “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 and that’s people’s right, but I learned my lesson in a lot of different way.”
Harbour’s Hellboy, which also starred Milla Jovovich as Nimue, the Blood Queen, Ian McShane as Professor Bruttenholm, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan, and Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio was more than likely doomed to fail when it found itself embroiled in a casting controversy involving the Ben Daimio character.
Kim, who eventually was cast as Ben Daimio, replaced Ed Skrein, who had initially been cast in the role.
Skrein’s casting came under fire with the reasoning being it did not accurately reflect the comic book character.
The actor would eventually post a statement announcing he was exiting the role:
“It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voice in the Arts. I feel it is important to honor and respect that.”
Lionsgate, who produced the film, would release their own statement:
“It was not our intent to be insensitive to issues of authenticity and ethnicity, and we will look to recast the part with an actor more consistent with the character in the source material.”
No other studio adapting comic book films has made such statements. In fact, most of them are fully embracing changing characters races, genders, and sexuality from their source material. Just look at the upcoming Batman film as well as Marvel Studios’ The Eternals.
Not only would the film face this casting controversy, but screenwriter Andy Cosby would rail on President Donald Trump supporters leading up to the film’s release.
He wrote on Twitter, “It’s a mistake to assume all Trump supporters are stupid. There are plenty of smart racists out there as well.”
It’s a mistake to assume all Trump supporters are stupid. There are plenty of smart racists out there as well.
— Andrew Cosby (@andycosby) March 5, 2019
He would later double down writing, “Sorry. Not willing to curb my personal or political views to bolster my career or for the sake of financial gain. We’ve already got a President who does plenty of that.”
Sorry. Not willing to curb my personal or political views to bolster my career or for the sake of financial gain. We’ve already got a President who does plenty of that.
— Andrew Cosby (@andycosby) April 9, 2019
He then added, “One of my anti-Trump tweets has supporters in an uproar and they are now threatening to boycott my new movie. That’s okay. They already have their own demonic superhero. The rest of us choose Hellboy. His hands are bigger anyways. Especially the right one.”
One of my anti-Trump tweets has supporters in an uproar and they are now threatening to boycott my new movie. That’s okay. They already have their own demonic superhero. The rest of us choose #Hellboy. His hands are bigger anyway. Especially the right one.
— Andrew Cosby (@andycosby) April 9, 2019
Following the film’s premiere, critics would lampoon the film and it would receive a 10% on the Tomatometer with the consensus reading, “Bereft of the imaginative flair that made earlier Hellboys so enjoyable, this soulless reboot suggests Dante may have left a tenth circle out of his Inferno.”
Milla Jovovich would respond to those critics reviews on Instagram calling them “f****** hilarious” and declared that the film would become a “cult classic” like her Resident Evil films.
The film bombed with audiences as well as it currently has a 49% Rotten Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film ultimately earned a total of $40.7 million at the global box office according to The-Numbers. It only earned $21.9 million domestically. It would earn $11.4 million in domestic video sales.
The film had a reported $50 million production budget.
I don’t think blaming Guillermo del Toro fans for the failure of Hellboy is anywhere close to accurate, and I would argue it’s disingenuous to even suggest so.
What do you make of Harbour’s comments?