Media screenings and review embargoes for the “Hellboy” reboot were held back until the last minute, lifting late yesterday. As reaction went up however, the reason was understandable.
With 58 reviews counted, the film sits at a dismal 12% on Rotten Tomatoes with the film widely panned for practically every element – labelling it loud, incoherent, and empty.
In the wake of the reviews, a new report has gone up at The Wrap suggesting there’s a reason for this. The trade says the end result is due to disagreements between the film’s two main producers (out of sixteen total), Harbour, and director Neil Marshall.
The site alleges producers Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin fired Marshall’s go-to cinematographer Sam McCurdy for doing his job, and the decision to do so was “to send a message to Marshall that despite being the film’s director, Marshall was not in charge”. Lorenzo Senatore ultimately served as cinematographer.
That was just one of the numerous apparent disagreements on set. Others allegedly included Levin interrupting Marshall frequently in front of the crew and gave actors different directions than the director, Harbour repeatedly walking off set, Harbour and Ian McShane reportedly rewriting their own scenes and ignoring direction from Marshall, and a prolonged dispute over the design of a tree that’s core to the film’s story.
In addition, it says after Marshall handed in his cut of the film the producers reportedly took over as they never promised him final cut. Gordon and Levin worked on the previous “Hellboy” films and are teaming up again for HBO’s “Watchmen” series.
Marshall, Harbour, McShane, Gordon and a Lionsgate spokesman declined to comment for the story, but Levin’s attorney Martin Singer responded to basically every accusation in the story and says it sounded like it was “shaping up as a puff-piece for Mr. Marshall while tarnishing ‘Hellboy’ and my client.”
The previous “Hellboy” films opened at $23 million and $35 million domestically, with the new one projected to earn $17-20 million this weekend.