Willard Huyck’s Howard the Duck is now a cult classic, but the Marvel film’s stars knew early on that it was going to be a flop.
Director Willard Huyck’s 1986 film Howard the Duckhas since gone on to become beloved for all of its raunchy weirdness. But when the movie—based on the Marvel Comics character—was first coming into shape back in the ‘80s at Lucasfilm, many of the people involved almost immediately had concerns about whether it would work, and not just because of its…weird subject matter.
Even by today’s standards, a character like Howard the Duck’s a bit of an odd choice to build an entire film around, if only because he doesn’t have quite the same name recognition as other Marvel heroes like the Avengers or the X-Men. Back in the ‘80s, the idea of a live-action Howard the Duck vehicle was even more absurd, but due to a contractual obligation, Lucasfilm charged forward with the project and set out to cast its duck-billed star.