“It’s a little heartbreaking, without getting too personal,” he told the Empire Podcast. “It came to us as a bit of a shock because we had screened this movie to so many people, and we’d had reactions from so many people that we felt we knew what we had and we knew how it was affecting the audience. And that actually hasn’t changed. It affects audiences in the same way that we thought it would.”
“We did not anticipate that level of vitriolic dislike for the film,” he added. “In the end, do I want to be somebody who pleases both audiences and critics? Absolutely. Is that hugely disappointing? It is.”
“The Book of Henry” was ravaged by critics, with a 23% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. In his review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman said the movie is “the kind where the badness expands and metastasizes, taking on a jaw-dropping life of its own, pushing through to ever-higher levels of garishness.”
Despite the reactions from critics, Trevorrow defended the film. “I do stand by the movie. I know it’s something I am very proud of, and everyone who made it is very proud.”
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“Please go see the movie and recognize that there was a lot of thought and care put into telling the story,” he went on.
His comments come during a rough week for “Star Wars” fans. Negative reviews for “The Book of Henry” made fans nervous for the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode IX,” which Trevorrow is directing. Meanwhile, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the “Star Wars” Han Solo spinoff.
The entire Empire Podcast can be heard here. “The Book of Henry” opened last Friday and is in theaters in limited release.