The Hellboy reboot production was reportedly a huge mess. The news drops as the movie is about to hit theaters and was slammed with a wave of negative reviews. As of this writing, the movie only has a 12% Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes as a result of angry critics calling it garbage, with many claiming the reboot was “unnecessary,” which is something some fans have been saying ever since it was officially announced that Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman were not making a third chapter in their original franchise. As it turns out, there were quite a few problems behind-the-scenes.
According to insiders, who wished not to be named, David Harbour walked off the Hellboy set more than once after being asked by director Neil Marshall for more takes. The actor has not commented on this matter as of yet. It has also been reported that Harbour and co-star Ian McShane rewrote parts of the screenplay while they were shooting scenes, but this is only the tip of the iceberg for the reboot production as things look like they got pretty bad.
Neil Marshall is the director on the Hellboy reboot, but from the sound of things, he wasn’t given a whole lot of say before and after the cameras were rolling. Cinematographer Sam McCurdy is one of Marshall’s go-to people in the industry and he was fired early on in the process by producers Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin, who were reportedly trying to send a message to Marshall about who is really in charge on the set of Hellboy. It has also been reported Marshall is encouraging the story to make himself look better in this current situation.
Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin would allegedly interrupt Neil Marshall on the Hellboy set while he was giving direction to actors, which seems to go with the narrative of taking control from the director. The producers would reportedly often give the actors conflicting directions, adding to the confusion behind-the-scenes and very well may have been why David Harbour reportedly walked off of the set. After the movie was turned in, Gordon and Levin took over and claim they never offered Marshall final cut on the reboot. While that sounds like a lot, there is more and it gets a bit weird.
One of the big points of contention between Hellboy director Neil Marshall and producers Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin was over a prominent tree shown in the movie. Marshall reportedly wanted an asymmetrical tree, while the producers wanted a symmetrical version. The producers ended up winning that battle. However, in the post-production phase, the tree became asymmetrical again, leading to further confusion.
All of the claims made above have been disputed by Martin Singer, lawyer for Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin. It’s important to note that the producers previously worked on Guillermo del Toro’s two Hellboy installments, which may have been where some of the alleged sticking points came from. Singer denies all of the claims and says the tree, like everything else in the movie went through the “exhaustive design and evolution process.” Regardless, it sounds like working on the Hellboy reboot was not a lot of fun. Making matters worse, the movie is expected to pull in less money at the box office than originally thought. The Wrap was the first to report about the messy production of Hellboy.