The instantly lovable Guillermo del Toro received possibly the most attention of any person in the Saturn Awards press room Thursday night, surrounded by a crowd of reporters for a good 25 minutes as he talked not only about his disappointment of leaving The Hobbit but updated a slew of other projects he’s been rumored to direct. Frankenstein fans in particular will probably come away from this one smiling.
Honestly, I just wanted to hug Guillermo del Toro every second I was in his presence; he’s like an old movie-geek friend you never knew you had. Backstage at the Saturn Awards Thursday night, he was gregarious, infinitely approachable and more than happy to pose for photos with anybody that wanted one. I almost forgot I was there as a journalist, so happy I was just to hear him talk about anything at all. But talk he did, updating us on future projects, including his hoped-for adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein:
“I’m presenting the storyline to Universal…but I think that I wanna be if possible shooting in May next year,” said del Toro. “So I need something that’s ready to go into pre-production immediately.”
In fact, the project is so achingly close they’re even already doing makeup tests with Doug Jones, set to play the Monster in the remake:
“We’re doing tests…we did all the sculpting already. He’s completely done, the body, the face, all the parts, including the nuts, which are something to behold. [Laughter] But we are doing a test with Doug very soon.”
Of course, there’s that whole thing about needing a screenplay to actually make a movie (well, usually), and on that front (sounds like he’s really going for a faithful adaptation of the novel) del Toro still doesn’t feel it’s quite there:
“The screenplay’s not ready. That’s the problem…it’s not an easy screenplay to crack. There’s been so many versions, and I really would love to bring something new, and I believe what we’re doing is something new, without changing the novel. That’s the curious thing. I think by endearing ourselves to what the novel proposes is just the approach that is new. But if I say what it is, I spoil it completely.”
As for Hellboy 3, looks like it might be a few years before we can expect that sequel to see the light of day:
“The thing with Hellboy 3 is the same. We would need to write the screenplay. The `Hellboy’ screenplays are not quick to write. For whatever reason, they end up being very complicated to write. And I don’t know why, so if we went and did Hellboy it would need to be the next movie after this one or whatever, but I don’t know yet.”
He also explained why Lovecraft adaptation At the Mountains of Madness hasn’t come to fruition, and why it may never (thanks a lot, Hollywood):
“I’m like a broken record, I’d love to be doing Mountains of Madness. But still, even now, it’s very difficult for the studios to take the step of doing an R-rated, tentpole movie with a tough ending, no love story, set in period from a writer…[who has] a readership as big as any best-seller, but it’s [tough] to quantify because his works are in the public domain. But…they have been reprinted for so many decades and they have captured the imagination of so many filmmakers is how powerful this guys is. But since it doesn’t look like I can do Mountains of Madness, I have now [narrowed down] the projects that I am interested in to three.”
So when will we know which it is?
“The announcement may come at Comic-con or a little after Comic-con. But right around that time, I’m not sure still.”
Also at Comic-Con, you can expect a presentation of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, the remake of the John Newland-directed 1973 T.V. movie about a young couple tormented by demon-creatures in their new home that del Toro is producing:
“We are going to present Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which is the…movie I did with Mark Johnson and Troy Nixey directing, Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce starring. That’s a remake of the TV movie that destroyed my childhood entirely. I mean, I was so scared by that original movie that it stayed in my mind forever. We’re gonna present that.“