Who should you call when you’ve got a box office flop on your hands? Ryan Reynolds, apparently. “Stranger Things” Emmy nominee David Harbour recently told GQ magazine that he contacted Reynolds to help him process the debacle around Neil Marshall’s 2019 “Hellboy” reboot. Harbour led the reboot in the title role, but the movie misfired with critics and only grossed $21 million in the U.S. on a $50 million production budget. Even at the worldwide box office the film tapped out at $44 million.
“I know [Ryan Reynolds] a little bit,” Harbour said. “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 fuck is that like, because I think I’m going to hit that right now. Am I gonna be okay? Am I gonna survive this?”
Harbour said Reynolds was “sweet” about the whole situation, but “Hellboy” bombing at the box office remained a tough experience. As Harbour explained, “It was a very difficult experience because I wanted a lot out of it. I really like [Mike Mignola, Hellboy creator], I like that character. And then immediately when it 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.”
In a May 2020 Instagram post, Harbour linked his “Hellboy” movie’s failure to fans of Guillermo del Toro’s 2004 “Hellboy” movie and its 2008 sequel not wanting the reboot to succeed.
“I think it failed before we began shooting because I think that people didn’t want us to make the movie,” Harbour said at the time. “Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman created this iconic thing that we thought could be reinvented and then [fans] certainly — the loudness of the internet was like, ‘We do not want you to touch this.’ And then we made a movie that I think is fun and I think had its problems but was a fun movie and then people were just very very against it and that’s people’s right but I learned my lesson in a lot of different ways.”
Despite the box office failure of “Hellboy,” Harbour continued to find success with a starring role in the MCU’s “Black Widow” and the everlasting popularity of Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” The fourth season of the streaming series just became Netflix’s most-watched English-language TV season and only the second show to cross 1 billion hours streamed.