|GUILLERMO DEL TORONIGHTMARE ALLEYCATE BLANCHETTSEARCHLIGHTMINDHUNTERFOX|
David Harbour is a charming guy, a good actor, and a genuinely beloved figure. So it pains me to see him talkin’ crazy about his failed Hellboy reboot. According to Harbour, the film’s failure was primarily due to fans of the Guillermo del Toro movies who were angry about a reboot. And while it’s certainly true that fans of the del Toro movies were unhappy the Oscar-winning filmmaker wasn’t allowed to complete his trilogy, that’s certainly not the reason the Hellboy reboot failed.
Pretty much no one liked the Hellboy reboot. And while David Harbour did his best, and wasn’t half-bad as the demon superhero, it wasn’t enough to salvage the film. There were also reports of behind-the-scenes problems involving the script, and that certainly played a part in the failure. But according to Harbour, the real culprit here are the fans of Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy movies.
On Instagram via Screen Rant, Harbour opened up about the film’s failure, saying:
“I think it failed before we began shooting because I think that people didn’t want us to make the movie and for some reason there was like a big… Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman created this iconic thing that we thought could be reinvented and then they 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 way.”
To be fair to Harbour, fans of the del Toro/Ron Perlman movies were pretty ticked-off at the idea of a reboot. But the failure of the new Hellboy can’t be blamed on them. Instead, it boils down to the simple fact that the movie just didn’t look very good, and received dreadful reviews. Plus, it wasn’t like del Toro’s movies were huge box office blockbusters.
The 2004 Hellboy earned $99 million worldwide against a production budget of $66 million, and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army drew in $160 million against a $85 million budget. Those are good numbers, but they’re not exactly grand slams. The truth is that while Hellboy has a strong cult following as a comic book character, it’s not exactly the most beloved property for mainstream audiences. Couple that with poor trailers and even poorer reviews, and it’s easy to understand why the Hellboy reboot failed.
Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” is suspending production indefinitely amid the coronavirus pandemic. The decision was made on behalf of Disney, which is putting a hold on nearly all of its live-action productions at the moment, including 20th Century and Searchlight projects via Deadline. Additional projects going on hold include Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel,” starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Rob Marshall’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” remake, “Peter Pan & Wendy,” “Home Alone,” and the Josh Gad-starring “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” sequel “Shrunk.” Earlier this week, Disney put a hold on the production of MCU tentpole “Shang-Chi” after direct Destin Daniel Cretton went into isolation while waiting for coronavirus results.
A Disney spokesperson confirmed the production suspensions in a statement that reads: “While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our productions, after considering the current environment and the best interests of our cast and crew, we have made the decision to pause production on some of our live-action films for a short time. We will continue to assess the situation and restart as soon as feasible.”
Del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” is adapted by the filmmaker and film critic Kim Morgan from the 1946 William Lindsay Gresham novel of the same name. The project is Del Toro’s first since “The Shape of Water,” which took home top Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. The ensemble cast includes Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, and David Strathairn. Del Toro kicked off production at the end of January and had been shooting the film in Toronto.
“Nightmare Alley” casts Cooper as an ambitious carnival worker with a talent for manipulating people with his words. Cooper’s character uses his gift to carry out con jobs, but his life is thrown into disarray after he falls for a mysterious psychiatrist Blanchett who proves far more dangerous than he could ever image. The carnival cast includes carnival worker Molly Mara, head barker Clem Willem Dafoe, and del Toro’s “Hellboy” actor Perlman as Bruno the Strongman. Jenkins, an Oscar nominee for “Shape of Water,” stars in the part of the high society crowd as wealthy industrialist Ezra Grindle.”
Disney and Searchlight never assigned a release date for “Nightmare Alley,” but many were hoping the movie would turn up on the fall festival circuit and be ready for the upcoming awards season. Those release wishes are now in jeopardy now that production is on hold indefinitely.
We know the adage that if we don’t learn from history, we’re doomed to repeat it. And as we live through this current dark timeline you’d assume it’d be too much to watch a nine-episode series about the continued oppression of women and the creation of the political divide we’re seeing play out today. In reality, what creator Dahvi Waller does with “Mrs. America” is tell a story about the numerous ways to be a woman — and that lack of unity is what ultimately keeps us divided. The A-list directors and cast do their part to create a work with so many moving parts, so many storylines and nuances worthy of their own series, that the series could easily lend itself to a book of essays.
Taking place between 1971-1980, it’s remarkable that each episode packs in so much history in a way that never feels superfluous. Each episode is titled after the woman who is the primary focus, with the first being conservative gadfly and face of the conservative women’s movement Phyllis Schlafly Cate Blanchett. With her pearl necklaces and toothy grin, Blanchett is the picture perfect embodiment of the happy housewife that Schlafly spoke for, raising six children with her husband, Frank John Slattery by her side. It’d be easy for the script to turn Schlafly into a one-dimensional, fire-breathing harridan — and with Blanchett simultaneously inhabiting the role of elegant villainess so many times before, her casting implies a lean in that direction — but, like womanhood in general, that’s too simplistic and easy.
With its marketing heavily using the Guess Who’s “American Woman,” it would imply “Mrs. America” to be more rebellious than it is. What Waller and the various directors — including Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, as well as Amma Asante — do is interweave the ERA fight with all the nuances of feminism that have kept women divided to this day. Schlafly’s crusade is the obvious adversary, but the series actually brightens to life more when it’s looking at the role of privilege and status that plays between the lines. Schlafly’s “Stop ERA” group becomes a cadre of mean girls on the small scale, led by Melanie Lynskey’s brown-nosing Rosemary. Schlafly’s desire to win at all costs eventually opens the group up to accepting racists and attracting the Klan.
Sarah Paulson’s Alice, Phyllis’ best friend who brings the ERA into Phyllis’ worldview, takes the reins for the second half of the series, turning in a bravura performance. The character appears to be fictional, which allows for her to develop from Phyllis’ lapdog to a woman who wishes to be better: more outspoken, more dignified. Presented alongside her is Pamela Kayli Carter, a scared housewife so desperate to escape her life yet...
Two more Disney-owned films are getting early digital releases. 20th Century Studios’ Jack London adaptation The Call of the Wild and Searchlight Pictures’ comedy Downhill will both be available to buy digitally in the U.S. starting tomorrow. These two films are the latest to receive early digital releases in the wake of the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.
Walt Disney Studios announced that The Call of the Wild and Downhill will both be available to buy digitally and on Movies Anywhere beginning March 27 in the U.S. Both films can be purchased on digital platforms in the U.S. for $14.99 for The Call of the Wild and $9.99 for Downhill.
This digital release comes about a month after the two of them hit theaters in February — The Call of the Wild on February 21, and Downhill on February 14. Most films are available to buy digitally about 74 days after they first arrive in theaters, but studios are breaking that tradition by releasing their films on VOD mere weeks after, or even on the same day of, the theatrical debut as the coronavirus pandemic shutters theaters across the country. Universal was the first to kick off this practice, announcing the day-and-date release of Trolls World Tour and the early digital releases of their films The Invisible Man, Emma., and The Hunt.
The Call of the Wild is an adaptation of the Jack London book of the same name starring Harrison Ford and a CGI dog. It’s mostly okay, but it is the kind of family film that would do well in the time of self-quarantine, as families are running out of options to watch.
Meanwhile, the Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy Downhill is a fine English-language remake of a far superior Swedish dark comedy that received the ironic Valentine’s Day release back when we were still casually going to movie theaters. It might make a dryly funny date night movie, but its depiction of a family on the brink of collapse may hit a little too close to home for families stuck together for the foreseeable future.