Neil Marshall, the director known for The Descent and the misfire that was the Hellboy reboot, opened up recently as to why the film was such a terrible mistake for him to be a part of.
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Speaking with The Critical Drinker on his After Hours show, Marshall recounted that there was too much studio interference which wasn’t helped by the screenplay being so lackluster for the filmmaker.
The experience “was sh-t” he says with a laugh. “It was the worst professional experience of my life.”
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Sold on the pitch from Lionsgate – to make a dark horror version of Hellboy – Marshall quickly realized he was caught in a trap with a bad script that wasn’t ever going to get better. “You can’t polish a turd,” he quipped.
Creative control was taken from him right away and he was unhappy with the CG gore done in post-production. None of it was his idea but some people still think he was leaving his mark on the film.
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Quite to the contrary, Marshall swears there is very little of himself and his trademarks in Hellboy and he doesn’t consider it part of his “canon.”
Used to writing his own films, from Dog Soldiers to Doomsday (2008), Hellboy’s script was one Marshall did not pen in a first for him. “I won’t make that mistake again,” he said, adding it was a learning experience.
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To that point, Marshall was dealing with the biggest budget he’s ever had (an estimated $50,000,000) and he was eager to get back into feature films when he hadn’t made one in a decade. Happy enough to sign on, he made it to the set and the rest was messy history.
“It’s a shame because I think there is a good Hellboy movie out there to be done but that’s not it,” said Marshall.
The Hellboy we got, he explained further, was the result of studio people butting in and giving actors new directions in the midst of filming which is bad for everybody – save for maybe star David Harbour who blamed Guillermo Del Toro fans and Marvel for the film’s failure.
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