A few days ago, fans were excited by the upcoming debut of “Hellboy.” Even though the film doesn’t feature Ron Perlman as the titular character nor Guillermo del Toro as the director, there was some buzz about this new, R-rated version of the red-skinned demon with the right hand of doom. Well, today, it appears that much of that goodwill has evaporated as the reviews have been terrible and a new report from The Wrap reveals behind-the-scenes strife that probably doomed the film before it was even complete.
The timing of the new behind-the-scenes report couldn’t come at a worse time. “Hellboy” is hitting theaters this weekend and is expected to kick-start a new franchise based on the popular comic book character. But it appears that, unbeknownst to fans, this reboot was experiencing troubles well before now.
The Wrap reports that star David Harbour, director Neil Marshall, and producers on the film found themselves at odds multiple times during the making of the film, leading to an uncomfortable set and what would appear to be the undermining of the filmmaker. And interestingly enough, one of the biggest issues comes down to a tree.
The trouble really began when producers Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin fired the cinematographer, Sam McCurdy, who is a long-time collaborator of Marshall’s. The report states that many believe the producers fired McCurdy as a warning and proof that they were in charge of the production, not the director. This in-fighting would continue to boil over when it came to the actors, as well.
After Marshall lost his cinematographer, his power was further diminished when actors Ian McShane and star Harbour were said to be re-writing their own scenes on set, ignoring direction from Marshall, and taking the advice of the producers, instead.
Then there’s the tree. Apparently, the film prominently features a creepy-looking tree. Marshall wanted a realistic-looking, asymmetrical tree. The producers wanted something more symmetrical. A disagreement ensued, and it appeared that the producers would win. However, in the finished product, the tree is said to be asymmetrical.
Ultimately, it would appear that the troubled production led to many of the issues that are in the final film, with the producers also stepping in during the post-production and not allowing Marshall to have any say. WIth many of the reviews talking about an incoherent story, terrible editing, and questionable choices being made, they paint the picture of a film that was at war with itself. Not that surprising when you consider the war that was allegedly happening on set.
Speaking of reviews, the current Rotten Tomatoes score for “Hellboy” sits at 9%. That’s not just bad. It’s downright horrific. If the troubled production reveal didn’t exist, it’s likely that the reviews, themselves, would be enough to ensure the reboot becomes a box office disaster. But hey, stranger things have happened and maybe fans won’t pay attention to the stunningly bad buzz surrounding the film.
We’ll soon find out, as “Hellboy” hits theaters tomorrow.