The 2019 reboot of Hellboy was easily one of that year’s biggest cinematic missteps. The film was not only a critical failure, scoring a low 17% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but also one of the year’s biggest box office flops, making only $41 million worldwide on a $50 million dollar budget. Lead actor David Harbour (Stranger Things) stated in an interview why he think the new reboot flopped: it was due to the love fans had of the original Hellboy movies by Guillermo Del Toro.
Harbour stated that the film got a bad reputation before it even went into production, as fans were heavily against the idea of a Hellboy reboot, especially since Del Toro’s Hellboy 3 sequel had in development hell for such a long time. Harbour expanded on this fan backlash to the new movie by stating, “Guillermo Del Toro and Ron Perlman created this iconic thing that we thought could be reinvented and then [fans] certainly — the loudness of the internet was like, ‘We do not want you to touch this”. Harbour then commented on the film itself, saying that it was still an enjoyable movie despite the issues and mentioned that fans still have the right to have their opinions on the film, even if they did not like it.
Also during the interview, Harbour mentioned that even Hellboy‘s comic creator Mike Mignola was against the idea of making a reboot. Mignola stated that having two different film versions of the character was too confusing for general movie audiences. With that in mind, along with fan disappointment in Del Toro’s third movie getting scrapped and competition from other successful comic book movies like Shazam and Avengers: Endgame, it was clear that Hellboy did not have a strong chance. Fortunately for Harbour, he still has Black Widow coming up later this year, which could definitely give him a boost.