Trivia / Howard the Duck

The comic book

The movie

  • Big Name Fan: Seth Rogen has mentioned that Howard was one of his favorite movies as a kid, albeit in a chiefly ironic way.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $37 million. Box office, $37,962,774.
  • Creator Killer:
    • Before the release of the movie, Willard Huyck had directed three movies, and he and wife Gloria Katz (who co-wrote Howard the Duck) had collaborated with George Lucas on many projects like American Graffiti, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and even A New Hope. Since the failure of Howard, they haven't worked on a single theatrical release, with their only subsequent credit being Radioland Murders — and even then they only got credit based on a draft of the screenplay dating back to 1974.
    • The film also caused Frank Price to resign as the head of Universal Pictures (the movie's production allegedly led to a fight between him and MCA boss Sid Sheinberg, which the two men denied happened). Variety reported it with the headline "'Duck' Cooks Price's Goose". Price would reappear at Columbia Pictures a few years later.
  • Franchise Killer: The negative fallout from this movie's creation and bombing, along with the newly christened Walt Disney Company complaining about Howard looking like Donald Duck, resulted in Marvel pushing Howard onto the backburner of their comic book lineup for decades, until Disney actually purchased them under Bob Iger's orders in 2009.
    • This was the highest-grossing Marvel movie until Blade. Which probably explains why it took to the 21st century to get more Marvel films (DC shooting their entire dominance in the foot fatally with Batman & Robin and Steel also helped pave the way for Marvel to become what it is today).
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Due to its less-than-glorious reputation, it was only recently officially released on DVD.note 
  • Money, Dear Boy: George Lucas pushed for this film's wide release to pay of the debts for his divorce and the expansive Skywalker Ranch he had just had built (which had also cost him his Pixar division, which Steve Jobs and ex-Disney animator John Lasseter bought, and it would be 26 years before the two companies were fully reunited under Disney's banner, which included Howard copyright holder Marvel).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The DVD featurettes of the film mentions that the writers were talking about the film being worked out as an animated film. The featurettes also mention that the idea to make the film animated was scrapped because the studio wanted the film to be released in the summer of 1986, and there's wasn't enough time to produce an animated film. One can wonder what would have happened if we had gotten an animated feature of Howard the Duck. The closest thing we can get, is this fanmade animation of Howard.
    • Rob Paulsen and Townsend Coleman of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) fame had both auditioned for the voice of Howard, as did Martin Short and John Cusack.
    • Paula Abdul, Kim Basinger, Jodi Benson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lori Singer, Tori Amos, and Phoebe Cates were all considered for the role of Beverly.
    • John Landis was originally slated to direct the film.