In 1986’s critical and financial flop Howard the Duck, Back to the Future star Lea Thompson played Beverly Switzler, a Cleveland singer who serves as the titular duck’s love interest even as she helps him return to his home planet. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Movies, Thompson took pride in her role in the oft-maligned film and dubbed herself “the first Marvel queen.”
“I am the first Marvel queen, ladies and gentlemen!” Thompson said. “I am the queen with the crimson hair and the guitar, doing my stunts with my short dress with no kneepads.”
Asked if Howard the Duck‘s bad rap was undeserved, Thompson responded, “People love that movie! They’re releasing it again in Blu-ray or something. They don’t just do that because they’re nice. People really love Howard the Duck. It’s a hilariously bizarre movie. The only thing I can say that I don’t like about it is that I thought it was a little long. I love that it’s had a resurgence. I love all the fans because they’re iconoclasts. They don’t like to be told what to like and what to hate.”
Flying into theaters in 1986, the movie was the first theatrical release for a Marvel property since the Captain America serials in the 40s, and also the first critical flop for executive producer and Star Wars creator George Lucas. The film performed poorly at the box office, only earning around $15 million domestically on a budget of $37 million. Despite its negative reception, Howard the Duck has developed a cult following nonetheless.
The character has had cameos in both of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy films, and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige once teased that the character might appear in more MCU movies. Gunn has previously mentioned that he loves Howard the Duck, but that he dislikes Lucas’ film. Chip Zdarsky, who did a run with the character in 2015 and 2016, has once said that the film holds a special place in his heart, and he even featured Thompson as a main character for one of the book’s plotlines.
Howard the Duck is available on Blu-ray and DVD. The Willard Huyck-directed film stars Chip Zien as Howard T. Duck, Lea Thompson as Beverly Switzler, Tim Robbins as Phil Blumburtt, Jeffrey Jones as Dr. Walter Jenning, David Paymer as Larry and Paul Guilfoyle as Lieutenant Welker.
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