Returned to his horror roots with his new project, ‘The Reckoning’ director opens up about what he learns from taking on a big franchise which ended up becoming a flop in 2019.
“Hellboy (2019)” revamp director Neil Marshall will think twice about taking on another big franchise after feeling “handcuffed” by the creative process of the 2019 film flop.
The filmmaker has returned to his horror roots with his new movie, “The Reckoning“, and he made a conscious decision about the kind of project he wanted to pursue after being disappointed with the way things worked out on the comic book reboot, which featured “Stranger Things” star David Harbour as the titular comic book character.
He told SFX magazine, “I was kind of handcuffed on that film. It was really miserable, because I didn’t get any creative input in the project. And so for this one I deliberately sacrificed having a budget for having complete control over the film. It was rough, but it was a way more satisfying experience. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved out of very little.”
“The Reckoning”, based on a historic witch hunt in 1665 England, centers around Grace Haverstock, played by Marshall’s real-life partner and co-writer Charlotte Kirk, who is accused of being a witch after losing her husband in the plague.
The movie was filmed in Hungary in the summer, and Marshall had a say about it. “I’d imagined filming it in the UK, in winter, and it being kind of rainy and bleak and moody. But of course we ended up shooting it in Hungary in the height of summer,” he first opened up.
“Certainly the fields and the trees pass for England, and that’s absolutely find, but my worry was the weather. I was thinking, ‘Oh, that’s just not the vibe I want…,’ ” he continued. “So I flipped it on its head. I thought, ‘We’ve got characters riding around on horses, they’ve got big hats and they carry guns.”
Marshall went on recalling, “And there’s a town, and a corrupt guy ruling the town, and then there are farmsteaders… this is a Western! So why don’t we just take onboard that aesthetic and make it hot and dusty and ‘Once Upon A Time In The West… of England!’ ”