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The Hellboy reboot finally arrives in theaters tomorrow, and thus far the early reception to it has not been stellar. It’s received a lot of negative reviews from critics and ranks (at the time of this writing) at a measly 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. Now word has come in that Hellboy reportedly dealt with a lot of behind-the-scenes drama during the production process, namely between director Neil Marshall and producers Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin.
According to The Wrap, Neil Marshall had a series of disagreements with Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin that “boiled over” when the producers replaced Marshall’s cinematographer, Sam McCurdy, with Lorenzo Senatore. Two people familiar with the situation who spoke to the outlet allege that McCurdy was fired because Gordon and Levin were trying to send a message to Marshall that even though he was Hellboy’s director, he was not truly in charge. While he wouldn’t comment on the reasoning behind McCurdy’s firing, Levin’s attorney, Martin Singer, responded that it was a “group decision” that wasn’t about sending a message, and accused Marshall of encouraging this story.
But this is just one clash that supposedly occurred during the making of Hellboy. Other issues reportedly included Lloyd Levin repeatedly interrupting Neil Marshall as he was rehearsing the actors to give different directions; David Harbour walking off set several times and refusing to deliver the extra takes Marshall wanted; and the script being rewritten throughout production, with one rewrite being handled by Harbour and co-star Ian McShane, among others.
However, perhaps the most bizarre issue that reportedly popped up during the making of Hellboy was a disagreement over a “surreal tree” that appears in the movie. Neil Marshall wanted the tree to be asymmetrical and “realistic-looking,” but Lloyd Levin ignored that request and had the tree be symmetrical, though the tree ultimately became asymmetrical as originally intended during postproduction.
Furthermore, after Neil Marshall handed in his cut of Hellboy, the producers allegedly took over and applied their own changes to the movie. Martin Singer claims that Marshall had never been promised the final cut on Hellboy.
It’s hard to say just how much of this information is accurate and who is truly responsible for what, but it sounds like the Hellboy journey was a long and difficult one. Unfortunately, it’s not like this story is anything new in the Hollywood sphere. There’s no shortage of reports about behind-the-scenes difficulties during the making of a major motion picture, like the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot.
It’d be one thing if despite all these disagreements, Hellboy still managed to come together as an exceptional product, but evidently that’s not the case going off the overall critical reception. It’s safe to say that this will not go down in the film history books as one of the more beloved comic book movies, but as far as this behind-the-scenes drama goes, it’s possible this isn’t the last we’ve heard about it, and that more details will be revealed in the near future.
You can judge Hellboy for yourself starting this weekend, but if you’re interested about what other movies are opening this year, look through our 2019 release schedule.