Monday, September 13, 2010

New Interview with GDT reveals alot

Guillermo is an amazing interview - when he gets the right questions, he can really give you some food for thought. Sometimes I find his words downright inspiring. I just love to hear what the man has to say. And sometimes, I get REALLY lucky and stumble on a great interview that isn't just his thougths on certain project, but really delves into his core beliefs as a filmmaker - and that to me is great reading.

So today I found a Q&A with GDT from from the Toronto Film Festival (Guillermo is there promoting JULIA'S EYES). It is a great, great read - check it out here.

For posterity's sake, here are some of the quotes that I particularly enjoyed, or found enlightening.

"When the economic crisis hit, we were in the middle of the largest box office year in the history of cinema. Everybody got conservative, and the contraction led to a dismal things. It won't get better unless you get bold. This timidity has done a lot of damage in the most fragile places. Imagine, there is almost no possibility for a foreign language film to be distributed in America right now. That doesn’t just make the industry poorer, it makes the landscape of cinema poorer, in America. The impossibility to get a good release on a really good European, Latin American, Asian movie is a tragedy."

"In Julia’s Eyes, Guillem put in the screenplay that for the next 20 minutes, while Julia has bandages on her eyes, the audience won’t see the faces of the characters. We will hide them.’ I told him, that’s nice to say, but you can’t. He said, you’ll see. I didn’t believe it, but then you see the movie, and it’s fantastically daring. It’s easy in retrospect to say, of course Guillermo would produce The Orphanage. But when you haven’t made the movie or seen any work by that filmmaker, it’s a true bet and you are putting your name on the line and saying to the director, either we both swim to land, or we sink together."

"When I was going to produce The Orphanage with Bayona, I had a lot of notes, and out of 20, Antonio took 2. My notes took the movie in such a different direction, which is what I thought it should be, that I told Juan Antonio, I’ll come on board, but I want to remake the movie after, as producer. I believe there is a second chance at the same tale, from a very different perspective." (Interesting - I had never guessed that GDT had an English remake in the mind from the beginning)

"When I see a short schedule, my question to the director is, are you really comfortable with this, or are you doing it to be a good boy? At the end, you only win the medal if the film is good, you don’t win a medal if the movie is on time."

(On ATMOM) "Part of my speech was, I’m putting all the chips I have accumulated in 20 years as a director, betting them on a single number. This is not just a movie and then move on to the next. It’s do or die time for me. Cameron does his movies like that every time and I find it surprising the way people judge success in retrospect, like, of course, I would have done that. Avatar was the largest gamble, again, so were Titanic and Terminator 2. I love that type of filmmaker, with those gigantic stainless steel balls, Alec Baldwin-style in Glengarry Glen Ross, fucking clanking together. You can’t explain success in retrospect. The moment you leap into the void, that moment is impossible to negate, after success. He leaped into the void. Peter Jackson leaped into the void with The Lord or the Rings. George Lucas did with Star Wars."

"This is the time to be bold. There is a saying in Spanish, ‘The raging river is a fisherman’s gain.’ Which means, when the river is raging, few people jump in, but they bring out a lot of fish. This is the time to be bold. If we are not, the self fulfilling prophecy is dying. I love that Chris Nolan did Inception. He did it because he can, but I assure you, this was not easy to push through. Whether bold movies succeed or fail, they don’t go unnoticed. Movies that are timid definitely are not succeeding in this time. The problem we have as a craft and artistry medium, we can only hope to be defined by our hearts."

Read the whole article yourself and post your reactions below!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

GDT at SDCC: In Summary

Yeesh - I wish had more time to get some blogging in - but better late than never.

I just wanted to quickly summarize a lot of the GDT news that came out of SDCC for the "casual" observer.

It got an R rating for "pervasive scariness", which Guillermo took as a badge of honor. They were going for a PG-13 rating, but got the R just out of scariness alone - no gore, sex or cursing. Apparently the scares did the trick - it was one of the more popular panels at SDCC and the buzz on Twitter was that people jumped in their seats during the clips.

Doug is still in the driver's seat to play the monster, and they are doing make-up tests very, very soon. GDT has said that Bernie Wrightson's drawings are the inspiration for the creature, and of course, he was brought in for the creature design. Also of note is that GDT said the film's colors will be very CLOSE to black & white - I'm very curious how that will look.

GDT's Gus Grimley stop motion PINOCCHIO project is under development and actively being worked on.

The DOUBLE DARE YOU production label that GDT formed with Disney to create scary animated films fell through, apparently because of THE HOBBIT delays.

The biggest news is GDT's involvement with Disney on THE HAUNTED MANSION, a film based on Disney's famous theme park ride. Guillermo will write the script with Matthew Robbins and produce, but not likely to direct. His goal is to make a fun, scary family experience in 3D, much like the ride itself.

Finally - what will Guillermo's next directing project be? We know for sure it is a HORROR film, and it is a "known" commodity.

FRANKENSTEIN still seems like a long shot. The project has to be ready to go by May, and I don't think there is a script yet. Still, GDT has been hesitant to comment on this project...moreso than usual.

DR. STRANGE has been rumored on the internet, but I don't think that would fall in the HORROR category. Sorry, don't think that is happening.

Could we finally see AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS? Maybe - that would be a major coupe, but something tells me that the studios aren't ready to commit to that one.

GDT says this is a project that he started years ago, and it has finally come full circle. Could it be the MEPHISTO'S BRIDGE project (based on the novel SPANKY)?

Don't know for sure - I think this new directing project will be well recognized, whatever it is. Can't wait to find out.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Doug Jones on the Latest GDT Rumors

I love Doug Jones - he is such a happy, friendly soul - but he's also pretty darn smart too. I caught this interview with him on and he says all the right (and accurate) things. See for yourself!

Now...a lot of you might be wondering if Doug will still show up in THE HOBBIT. Well, not sure. If I was a betting man, I would say No - but the good news might be that GDT might tie up Doug in some soon to be named project(s). We just don't know.

I do know this - Doug is a smart cookie - and he's not holding anything back when he says he doesn't know what he will be doing next for Guillermo. I just hope we'll see him in something soon. He is a great talent, and the success couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

GDT at SDCC: Friday Recap

Where was I when Guillermo was making his future known to the world at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con?

I was sitting in an air conditioned car slurping a MooLatte at Dairy Queen with my kids.

What can I say? I'm a family guy. But I was following tweets of GDT's panel for DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK while slurping my delicious coffee treet. We learned a lot of interesting stuff today.

Yesterday we learned that GDT will be writing and producing a HAUNTED MANSION movie for Disney. Today we got even more interesting news. Fortunately for us, CinemaBlend was there to blog the whole thing live. Here is what we learned form CB's report:

1. The DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK teaser trailer was scaring the bejeezus out of Hall H. Sounds like GDT and director Troy Nixey has some classic scares for audiences. Guillermo has said the teaser should hit the internet soon.

2. Del Toro has plans to make a premium cable horror series.

3. He has an idea for a vampires vs Mexican wrestlers movie. Also thinking about a Mexican folklore animation project.

4. Development has begun on his Pinochio stop motion film. Read more about that here.

5. He says he will announce a horror project that he will be involved with that will start in May. This tidbit grabs my attention: I would imagine that his next directing project will start in May...sounds like his next film will be of the horror variety. ATMOM? FRANKENSTEIN? That seems to be the buzz on the internet right now...stay tuned!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gentle Gian's PAN'S LABYRINTH Busts

It has been several years in the making, but Gentle Giant is close to releasing their PAN'S LABYRINTH busts. You can check them out this year at SDCC - but if you can't wait (or won't be there) here are some pictures and details:

Faun Mini Bust
Price: $70.00
Limited Edition of 500
Designed in 1:6 scale

Pale Man Mini Bust
Price: $70.00
Limited Edition of 500
Designed in 1:6 scale

Guillermo Del Toro and Doug Jones will be signing at the Gentle Giant boot at SDCC 2010. Check schedule for times!

Friday, July 2, 2010

What Next?

Remember when we were asking that same question after HELLBOY 2? All kinds of speculation on what project would be next. The assumption would be some long-gestating project that GDT had in a file drawer somewhere.

Then THE HOBBIT came out of left field.

Well, we are in that situation yet again - what next?

Lots of rumors floating around, so let me tell you what I know.

There are three projects Guillermo is considering doing. What they are, I don't know. But I have some guesses.

First of all, Guillermo, in his words, is not going to do a "rebound" movie. Whatever he does, it will be a project meaningful to him.

Second, he wants to get going in May, so that means the script is ready, or almost ready, to film. That takes out HELLBOY 3, which does not have a script ready.

So what are the potential projects on his plate that we know about? I'll go through them and weigh in on their likelihood:

Won't happen because GDT still has not lined up the studio support. This is a difficult film to sell to a studio - $70 to $80 million budget, no happy ending, no love story, tent-pole horror. It is just a tough sell. With the lackluster success of SPLICE, it makes it even a harder sell, in my opinion.

This could happen. I don't know where the script is at, but I know this is a project that GDT is passionate about and they've already starting testing makeup on Doug Jones (G's monster of choice).

One of GDT's pet Spanish language projects, like PAN'S LABYRINTH. The script isn't ready yet, so count this out.

I'm not hearing much buzz on these, so I'm not sure there is a script ready here.

This is Guillermo's fantasy western based on the Count of Monte Cristo. He shelved this script around 2002 because there were multiple Monte Cristo movies. But GDT loves this script and I would consider this a dark horse favorite. GDT mentioned in an interview that his next project will likely be something that they started development on 15 years ago. DARKNESS is right in that timeframe.

A script GDT wrote based on a book by Christopher Fowler entitled SPANKY, about a man who makes a deal with a demon. This is another dark horse pick, because this is a project that he worked on some time ago.

So, again, here is my top 3 ranked "most likely" picks for "What Next?"

1. An Unknown Project - my gut is that we will hear an announcement at this year's SDCC on something that is a complete surprise. Just like THE HOBBIT.

2. FRANKENSTEIN - this is my second favorite because this is a project G loves and it is a marketable project by studios.

3. LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS - it meets the qualifications for a lot of hints Guillermo has been throwing around. Would love to see this project happen.

Stay tuned folks...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Believe this - Guillermo is leaving THE HOBBIT

Calling it "the hardest decision" he has ever had to make - GDT is leaving THE HOBBIT production after two years in pre-production. He will continue polishing the scripts over the next couple of months, but after that he is moving on.

The reason is clear - MGM's continued financial crisis was pushing the start date farther and farther back, and Guillermo's commitment to other long term projects was making it difficult to stick around. A three year commitment was turning into six.

One can only imagine the frustration of waiting and waiting and waiting for a green light to come, with no end in sight. According to the LA Times, everything was ready to go. Guillermo said in a press conference for SPLICE that "we have designed all the creatures, the sets, the wardrobe, animatics and planned action sequences, and we are very, very prepared for when it is finally triggered. We don't know anything until the MGM situation is resolved."

Apparently, GDT will help with the scripts for the next several months, and it is on to the next project...which Guillermo says is "TBD soon!".

One might expect the backlash from Tolkien fans to be one of betrayal - but I don't get that sense at all. Loyal fans over at TORN are sad, but understanding of the situation Guillermo was in - he had given so much to them by joining in on their message boards and keeping an active dialogue going - that he was embraced. Any anger or resentment has been directed primarily at MGM and show business in general.

This is as an amicable break-up I've seen for such a high profile picture. The fans are in Guillermo's corner, Jackson has praised him and been thankful for his contribution, and GDT had given so much - moving his family to New Zealand for multiple years, working two years on pre-production,etc.

GDT fans have echoed the same sentiment as the Tolkien fans out there - sadness and they feel for Guillermo, but at the same time they have a reason to be optimistic. GDT fans have had mixed feelings about THE HOBBIT - excited to see Guillermo part of such an ambitious project, but quietly lamenting the fact that it would take up so many years of his time.

For a website like, news and rumors and can start cranking again as we wait to see what will happen next. Will it be a Universal project (FRANKENSTEIN, DROOD, SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5)? Will it be DISNEY? Could it be one of Guillermo's small independent projects (SATURN AND THE END OF DAYS)? Be patient, friends.

It is time to get excited again.