Hellboy reboot production

The new Hellboy movie is currently sitting at a miserable 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. Our review calls it “one of the worst comic book movies ever made.” When that level of negative buzz swirls around a movie, it’s inevitable that stories will begin to emerge which attempt to lay the blame at someone else’s feet – because if there’s one thing that’s remained true in Hollywood since its earliest days, it’s that nobody is going to willingly accept blame if it can be shuffled off elsewhere.

So in the wake of such a poor critical reception, it’s not surprising that a new report has arrived detailing some production troubles on the Hellboy set, including claims that the producers attempted to undermine director Neil Marshall (one of the producer’s attorneys denies this), star David Harbour butted heads with Marshall, and more.

The Wrap has a deep dive into all of the behind-the-scenes troubles that apparently plagued the Hellboy production, and their sources on the movie explained how two of the film’s 16 – count ’em, 16! – producers repeatedly clashed with Marshall. Sam Curdy, Marshall’s regular cinematographer, was replaced during shooting, according to The Wrap’s sources, as part of a power play move by producers Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin, who reportedly “were trying to send a message to Marshall that despite being the film’s director, Marshall was not in charge.” (Levin’s attorney says that wasn’t the reason Curdy was replaced.)

Other problems include claims of Levin undermining Marshall in front of the cast and crew, going as far as to give direction that contradicted Marshall’s (the attorney says this also didn’t happen); Harbour walking off the set repeatedly “refusing Marshall’s request for more takes”; the script being rewritten on the fly; and a “prolonged dispute over a surreal tree that figures prominently in the film.”

I must admit, from the outside, none of these details sound too shocking. These types of squabbles and this head-butting behavior is commonplace on most movie sets, but we often just never hear about those moments during the press rounds. Film is a collaborative medium made by people with outsized personalities, and there are bound to be differences of opinion that result in arguments, people occasionally storming off, and power plays being made from every angle. But it’s easy to see why no one wants to step in front of a bus marked “12% on Rotten Tomatoes” and take that hit to their career, so it’ll be interesting to see what other stories about this movie end up bubbling to the surface.

Hellboy arrives in theaters on April 12, 2019.

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