Guillermo del Toro's Long Roadmap to 2017
by Kevin Powers
September 4, 2008
We're about to start seeing a lot more out one of the most creative monster minds in the motion picture industry today - Guillermo del Toro. Variety tells us that the Hellboy series writer and director has many, many projects on the horizon, so much so that he might be booked up until 2017! As most know, for the immediate future - the next five years, in fact - Del Toro is to be working on the upcoming Hobbit films (two in total) alongside acclaimed Peter Jackson. During this period, del Toro will begin work on a variety of other projects (e.g. hiring writers and such) while working closely with executive producer Gary Ungar at his own production studio. As for what these projects might be, take a look at the long list below.
Universal executives feel Drood might be del Toro's next project following the Hobbit films. Based on a forthcoming novel by Dan Simmons, Drood "supposes that survival from a catastrophic train crash changed author Charles Dickens, plunging him into the depths of London depravity and possibly turning him to murder before he wrote his final novel, 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood.'" If you didn't know, Dickens was involved in a serious train crash in 1865 in which seven cars plunged off a bridge, leaving only one first-class car on the track, which happen to be the author's. Simmons' imagining that such an experience would drive the author to the dark side sounds like a pretty interesting movie concept. Donna Langley of Universal said, "It's the fantasy and gothic horror world Guillermo finds comfortable. It feels like a great fit for where (we expect) Guillermo will have evolved as a filmmaker five years from now."
On the horizon is also a remake to the classic monster tale, "Frankenstein," a story del Toro has loved for some time, particularly the 1931 film released by Universal. Of the mythology, del Toro said, "To me, Frankenstein represents the essential human question: 'Why did my creator throw me here, unprotected, unguided, unaided and lost?' What I'm trying to do is take the myth and do something with it, but combining elements of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein without making it just a classical myth of the monster. The best moments in my mind of 'Frankenstein,' of the novel, are yet to be filmed." It's pretty much a safe bet that we'll see del Toro's Frankenstein eventually, as he added, "With that one, they will have to pry it from my cold dead hands to prevent me from directing it."
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Directing)
Almost as retold as many times as "Frankenstein" is the story of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." For the new film, apparently del Toro, "wants to stick more closely to Robert Louis Stevenson's prose and explore the addictive high the repressed Jekyll experienced as his murderous alter ego." Stevenson released the split-personality psycho-tale in 1886, which has seen countless adaptations in the media since, both on the big screen and otherwise. Last I recall seeing the character was in the embarrassing comic book extravaganza League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003. I definitely welcome del Toro's fresh new take.
As for a revisit to the 1972 original Slaughterhouse-Five, "Del Toro plans to provide a more literal interpretation" of Kurt Vonnegut's original story: "[focusing on] a prisoner in a German WWII POW camp who travels through time and space." Del Toro said, "There are ways that Vonnegut plays with and juxtaposes time that was perhaps too edgy to be tackled on film at that time." Definitely more odd than most stories, Slaughterhouse-Five originally presents "a first-person narrative from the point of view of Billy Pilgrim, who becomes 'unstuck in time' and experiences the events of his life in a seemingly random order, including a period spent on the alien planet of Tralfamadore… [and] his experiences during World War II."
At the Mountains of Madness (Directing)
Less-formed than the four other films, At the Mountains of Madness is a pet project of del Toro's. As we mentioned of the intended adaptation of the 1931 H.P. Lovecraft novella back in May, the story surrounds an expedition to Antarctica in which various manner of terror and creature is discovered, of which del Toro remarked, "I think we need to re-create the tentpole studio horror film." While Universal "has its sights set" on the adaptation, del Toro previously ran into financing trouble with Warner Bros, who apparently was "very nervous about the cost and it not having a love story or a happy ending." Perhaps Universal now agrees with del Toro that "it's impossible to do either in the Lovecraft universe." Thank goodness there is someone out there who understands that!
Hellboy III (Directing)
This one is a longshot at this point, but another installment to the Hellboy series would be most welcome considering the mild success ($101 million worldwide) of Hellboy II: The Golden Army this summer. Of the possibility for a third, del Toro, said "I think they'll decide when the last euro hits the piggybank. We laid the groundwork to have a magnificent third act. I'd like to return to an action franchise with 60-year-old actor Ron Perlman, because he'll be scratching at that age when I get to it."
Another one that is on the horizon and a tad less soft than the rest is the adaptation of David Moody's novel "Hater", which is a thriller about an epidemic of random violence in which ordinary people strike lethally without warning or remorse. Del Toro said previously, "I'll carry my weight on the creative side, in choosing elements and storyboarding, but it will be up to [co-producer Mark Johnson] and the director we choose to execute the day to day. The Hobbit is a monumental task, and I don't want to do anything that detracts from my attention to that."
Crimson Peak (Producing)
This is a new project, which at this point is actually only "a gothic romance spec script by del Toro and his Mimic collaborator Matthew Robbins." Even though there is hardly any details, you can still count me in.
Damn! That is an incredible amount for one guy, and I'm sure I missed a few other possibilities and rumors that have stuck in the air for a while. All parties seem pleased with this outlook, with del Toro saying, "I consider (the new deals) the renewal of my marital vows with Universal," and Universal commenting, "Guillermo is in the most prolific time of his life. Joe Johnston on The Wolf Man showed us the importance of entrusting the Universal franchise monsters to experienced filmmakers with voices. That was a big impetus for our decision to go with Guillermo to put his creative stamp on these properties." I couldn't agree more. Finally a smart Hollywood studio. Which projects are you looking forward to?
Slaughterhouse-Five seems interesting.
Skeeter on Sep 4, 2008
Wow! All of those sound great! del Toro is a real contemporary Speilberg for a younger generation I think it is fair to say. Can't wait to see his next works.
Ryan on Sep 4, 2008
Last hellboy kinda sucked, exept for perlman, whos portrayed HB incredibly correct, true to the comics i mean...not...that i read them...cuz...i have a life and everuthing :))
sng. Sheep on Sep 4, 2008
so it's strange how he's into all these projects and he hasn't even really had a big hit i'm not that big a fan of his, although his visual style is unique, and i do look forward to his future films
zombie peter jackson on Sep 4, 2008
I think Slaughterhouse Five is one of those books that really can't be effectively translated to film, though if it ends up being well done it'd be quite an achievement.
Will S. (Co Springs) on Sep 4, 2008
We need another Hellboy now!
dac_fan on Sep 4, 2008
Great news! I am a huge fan of del Toro's work. It's no surprise that such a talented and visionary writer/director has been booked for this long. Although he hasn't had a big blockbuster(that will change when "The Hobbit" hits theaters), he has had several modest hits and "Pan's Labyrinth" has made him a household name. Keep up the great work, Guillermo! Viva Mexico!! 😀
Spider on Sep 4, 2008
Silver on Sep 4, 2008
damn i really wished del Toro would direct a Dr. Strange movie oh well maybe in 10 years 🙂 Hellboy 2 was great but that was the dumbest move ever putting it against the Dark Knight. It would have been a perfect movie movie for the Halloween weekend (it definitely had a fall movie feel and would have fit in perfectly with the spirit of Halloween). Am I right?
Silver on Sep 4, 2008
There was a British TV show on the BBC called "Jekyll" a little while back that was fantastic. I would highly recommend checking it out if you get a chance. It's the best screen version of the Jekyll and Hyde story I've seen.
Ben on Sep 4, 2008
I somehow doubt all of these will actually happen.
Skeptical on Sep 5, 2008
Del Toro just keeps on bringin more and more amazing fairytale-movies. He puts a down to earth-feel into the fantastic, making them credible in spite of the incredible.. I would love to see Del Toro and Neil Gaiman in a co-op.
Anton on Sep 5, 2008
i quite liked the 1972 Slaughterhouse Five
guy with a wang on Sep 5, 2008
Slaughterhouse-Five (Directing) OMG, i cant wait. Man Del Toros track to 2017 looks hot...one of the finest directors ever.
Nikhil Hariharan on Sep 5, 2008
SillySil on Sep 5, 2008
This list restores my faith in cinema for the next decade. Makes me want to re-read Frankenstein asap. I have a vague idea which scenes he might b talking about, but Ithink I could use a refresher.
Djo on Sep 5, 2008
DUDE! You didn't mention SPLICE, now in post! The trailer at the American Film Market last year looked awesome! I nearly missed it too. Me: This SPLICE brochure looks cool. Do you have a trailer for this one? Guy: No. Sorry. Gal: Yes we do! Guy: No we ... do we? Gal: Yes, it's right... here we go. Guy: Oh! So I watched it - Teaser Trailer - very brief Guy: So that's all there is. Me: All there is? That could be pretty wicked! Guy: Yeah? Good. SPLICE is directed by Vincenzo Natali (CUBE) Stars Sarah Polley from DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
Feo Amante on Sep 5, 2008
Guillermo Del Toro-A GODSEND:) How about The Hunchback of Notre Dame directed by GDT? Takers? Bring on the Frankenstein in the meantime! WOO!
Borrego on Oct 16, 2008
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