In a recent interview, actor David Harbor spoke a bit about the Stranger Things season finale (he hasn’t seen it yet) and at greater length about surviving the notable failure that was Neil Marshall’s 2019 Hellboy reboot. Harbor led the reboot, and told GQ how he managed to get through its frosty reception.
“I know [Ryan Reynolds] a little bit,” Harbor said. “I called him and was like, ‘Hey man, I just need to know something. You know Green Lantern? Huge flop for you. What the f*** is that like, because I think I’m going to hit that right now. Am I going to be okay? Am I gonna survive this?”
Harbor said that Reynolds was “sweet” about the whole situation–though offered no other details about their exchange. Looking back, Harbor said it remained 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.”
At the time, Harbor essentially chalked it up to too many cooks and audiences to please with any comics adaptation. In an interview he gave back in 2019, he went on describing the problem that all comic book movies have when compared to Marvel’s output–and in doing so came up with the concept of the “the chocolate spectrum.”
“The problem that I have with comic book movies nowadays is that I think, and it’s a result of the power of Marvel stuff, it’s like chocolate, it’s a flavor,” he said. “And I sort of want a world where there’s more flavors than just comparisons to chocolate. So in that way when Hellboy is viewed on the chocolate spectrum, it does very poorly. That being said, it also has major problems.”
For what it’s worth, in 2021, Reynolds sat down sat down to watch his much-maligned superhero movie Green Lantern for the first time, and got a pleasant surprise. It turns out the film isn’t nearly as bad as he thought it might be.
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