It’ll go down as a great shame that Guillermo del Toro never got to finish his planned Hellboy trilogy. The director clearly has incredible passion for the source material, and the first installment and follow-up The Golden Army were packed full of fantastic world-building and incredible production design. However, the movies did solid-if-unspectacular box office business and despite trying to get the project made for almost a decade, del Toro could never secure the funding from the studio and ultimately walked away from the franchise.
As is the case whenever a brand with some kind of name recognition and built-in fanbase is left dormant though, a reboot was swiftly announced that would see Neil Marshall behind the camera, with Stranger Things star David Harbour replacing Ron Perlman under the prosthetics in a spot-on piece of casting.
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Unfortunately, the latest version of Hellboy was nothing short of awful despite the best efforts of Harbour as the title character, and the comic book flick tanked spectacularly at the box office in the wake of extremely negative reviews. Now, in a recent interview with Architectural Digest, Harbour poked fun at the movie’s negative reception, comparing it to 1987 misfire Masters of the Universe, a poster of which he has framed in his home.
“It has Frank Langella in a ton of prosthetics as Skeletor. I heard him interviewed where he considers it one of his greatest roles of all time, and I just like the fact that a really great actor that I admire could do a film in full prosthetics that wasn’t received very well.”
If Harbour seeks to emulate Frank Langella’s career, then starring in a critical and commercial bomb under a ton of heavy makeup certainly meets the requirements. Whether or not he’ll remember playing Hellboy as fondly as Langella enjoyed chewing the scenery as Skeletor remains to be seen, but it seems unlikely that this year’s reboot will go on to enjoy a second life as a cult classic like Masters of the Universe did.