"I was like, 'Hey man, I just need to know something…Am I gonna be okay? Am I gonna survive this?'"
When "Hellboy" didn't do big numbers at the box office, David Harbour sought out help from Ryan Reynolds -- who experienced a similar comic book movie-related failure with "Green Lantern."
Speaking to GQ Magazine, the "Stranger Things" star opened up about making the superhero film, calling his 2019 reboot "a very difficult experience," despite his hopes for the film's potential.
"I really like [Mike Mignola, Hellboy comic creator], I like that character," Harbour said. "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."
The 47-year-old's reboot followed in the footsteps of Guillermo de Toro's beloved 2004 original "Hellboy" and its 2008 sequel of "Hellboy II: The Golden Army." Neil Marshall directed Harbour's rendition of the superhero classic, and the movie saw $12 million in its opening weekend. It went on to gross a little over $55 million globally, per Box Office Mojo.
When it became clear his version would not do well at the box office, Harbour sought out advice from Reynolds, who found massive success following his flop thanks to "Deadpool." Back in 2011, Reynolds had starred in Warner Bros.' "Green Lantern," which pulled in $219 million globally against a $200 million budget.
"I know [Reynolds] a little bit," Harbour recalled his conversation with Reynolds. "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 f--- is that like, because I think I'm going to hit that right now. Am I gonna be okay? Am I gonna survive this?'"
Although the "Black Widow" star wasn't clear about what advice the "Free Guy" actor gave him, David shared that Reynolds was "sweet" about the situation.
Harbour's "Hellboy" was criticized by both critics and audiences, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a rating of 18% certified fresh score. When the film was released in 2019, the actor told the Digital Spy that he believed that "Hellboy" was "unfairly bludgeoned" by fans despite the "major problems" production faced.
"We did our best, but there's so many voices that go into these things and they're not always going to work," he said. "I did what I could do and I feel proud of what I did, but ultimately I'm not in control of a lot of those things."
He continued, "That being said, it also has major problems. I think as a rental or as a movie that you see on an airplane, I think you'd be like, 'Oh that was fun' because it's a fun movie, and I think it was unfairly bludgeoned as a result of these comparisons [to other Marvel movies]."