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David Harbour’s failed Hellboy reboot impacted him in a big way

David Harbour's Hellboy reboot was a flop, and it turns out its failure impacted Harbour more deeply than you might have previously realised

David Harbour as Hellboy

Everyone seems to love David Harbour, and the Stranger Things actor has been getting involved in increasingly large blockbuster action movies. These include Black Widow, and the upcoming team-up MCU movie Thunderbolts. Before that, however, was his failed Hellboy reboot, and it turns out the superhero movie flopping had a pretty big impact on him.

Harbour’s Hellboy reboot released in 2019, and aimed to reinvigorate interest in the Hellboy series after Guillermo del Toro’s movies fizzled out in the late 2000s. However, it did so unsuccessfully and was both a critical and commercial bomb. Despite its modest budget, the action movie, which starred the Netflix series star in the leading role, failed to recoup its costs.

The movie was also slammed by critics, who were unimpressed by the film’s rehashed origin story, and lacklustre attempts at horror and atmosphere. Harbour initially said that the failure of the movie was down to it being drowned out by other, more mainstream Marvel and DC movies, but the director of the reboot would go own to entirely disown it, saying that it had a “shit” script, and that working on it was bound to fail because “You can’t polish a turd.”

Now, Harbour has opened up on the impact of the movie’s failure on him personally. In a conversation with THR, he described feeling that it’s reception would stick with him “forever” and that he still felt its failure in his “core”.

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Harbour said “Yeah, absolutely [Black Widow served as a palate cleanser for Hellboy]. I mean, I don’t know that your palate is ever really cleansed. Life is a series of failures and successes, both of which stay with you, but the failures, mainly, lodge themselves deep into your core and remain there forever. So [he] cleansed as much of my palate as possible.”

It’s clear that Harbour felt, and continues to feel the criticism of his Hellboy reboot very deeply. As he says, however, some failures are inevitable and especially in a creative industry, can help actors and directors get a better sense of where they want their careers to lead in the future. For more on David Harbour, check out our guide to Stranger Things season 5.