Stranger Things actor, David Harbour, was recently featured on billboard posters of the Hollywood reboot production of Hellboy (2019). The original Hellboy film, which had been released 15 years earlier, was directed by Guillermo del Toro and featured the legendary Ron Perlman in its lead. The 2004 film has since grown to cultivate a cult following status among movie buffs and lovers of horror fantasy action flicks but wasn’t, however, capable of being treated with the same adoration that comes with time and nostalgia for hellish landscapes navigated through the eyes of del Toro.
As such, it was up to David Harbour to prepare himself for the possibility of surviving the curse of a flop in case the Hellboy reboot failed to live up to the reputation and legacy left behind by the Pinocchio director.
Also read: Hellboy Reboot: What Went Wrong?
David Harbour Calls Ryan Reynolds For Advice After Hellboy
When David Harbour was employed in the Neil Marshall re-production of the iconic and horrific 2004 film, perhaps the first thought to filter through the commercially successful actor was not the fact that the reboot could tank at the box office immediately upon release. But, once faced with the reality of that happening, the aftermath of the event was even more comical than the film’s 17% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
David Harbour revealed in an interview with GQ UK, Ryan Reynolds was the person that he went to when Hellboy was definitively taking a hit in the global market, and that the Deadpool actor was very “sweet” about Harbour asking him for advice —
“I know [Ryan Reynolds] a little bit. I called him and I was like, ‘Hey man, I just need to know something. You know ‘Green Lantern?’ Huge flop for you. What the f*ck is that like, because I think I’m going to hit that right now. Am I going to be OK? Am I going to survive this?’”
Also read: ‘People didn’t want Hellboy reinvented’: Stranger Things Star David Harbour on How Hellboy Nearly Tanked His Career
Ryan Reynolds had infamously flopped hard after his 2011 DC adventure as Hal Jordan in Green Lantern. Over the course of the decade that followed, the actor equipped with his ingenious wit and humor was able to rise above the critical failure by mocking his own role in the film multiple times during his other onscreen appearances.
Hellboy Fails to Utilize the Antihero’s Hellish Potential
One of the primary reasons why the Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman film was a critical and commercial success was the film’s scripted genius which, unlike the 2019 reboot, did not make comedy its first armor of defense. The del Toro production had been unabashed and unafraid in exploiting its hellish antihero and did not pull the punches wherever necessary, literally and metaphorically.
Also read: ‘Red Guardian served as a palate cleanser’: Thunderbolts Star David Harbour Calls MCU Role His Redemption After Hellboy Debacle
David Harbour’s Hellboy, on the other hand, was not to savor the taste of success after the film’s disappointing attempt at using over-used one-liners and a predictable plotline throughout its 121-minute runtime. He later claimed, “immediately when [Hellboy production] began, even when it was announced, I realized that people did not want that character reinvented. I was very naive and optimistic about what we were going to do.”
No wonder the Stranger Things actor ran to Reynolds to find solace in the fact that Hollywood does forgive failures in the face of overwhelming fan favoritism.
Both productions of Hellboy (2004 and 2019) are now available for streaming on HBO Max.
Source: GQ UK