Whether he’s writing the screenplay, directing the film or overseeing a project as an executive producer, Guillermo del Toro has been involved in some way or another in some of the genre’s biggest movies. Not only is he directing ‘Pacific Rim,’ he co-wrote the screenplay to ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ is the executive producer for ‘Rise of the Guardians,’ just got a pilot order to bring his graphic novel ‘The Strain,’ to the small screen in which he will co-write, direct and executive produce and is developing a myriad of projects including a dark version of ‘Pinnochio,’ a revision of ‘Haunted Mansion,’ and the third installment of ‘The Ring.’ But it’s his ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Hulk’ projects that del Toro was talking about at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences earlier this week.
Del Toro was on hand to introduce the screening of the newly restored prints of ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’ and was honored that he was asked to be a host. “The most exciting thing for me,” he explained, “is to think that as a kid – this in my biography – there was a moment of pure joy. Because I’m here talking about movies I love that I discovered as a child, that discovered for me a whole different way of making horror films, with humanity and beauty, with compassion, with power. And I really, really couldn’t be happier to be here. I know it sounds like a cliche, but it’s a dream come true.”
Since the event was to kick off the month long ‘Monstrous Centennial: Universal’s Legacy of Horror’ film series, del Toro was asked about his own version of the Mary Shelly novel ‘Frankenstein:’
“Yeah, actually [Universal Pictures Co-Chairman] Donna Langley just put us on track to write the screenplay. So, we’re going to start writing the script. It’s a very long endeavor for me; it’s going to require a couple of years just to write it. But it’s been put back on track by Donna.”
As for whether his version would be a loose interpretation or be faithful to the actual story, del Toro answers:
“I think the moment that the only quality you can claim is faithfulness… It’s a very difficult, tricky slope. Because then anytime that you deviate from that, you’re betraying the very goal you submitted. I’m being very faithful to trying to encompass the whole narrative of the novel. I’m being very faithful in that I’m trying to capture the spirit of the novel, when I read it as a kid, and how it impacted me. I recognize that it’s both biography and prophecy about my life. It’s a very personal film. In many ways it’s the most personal film I’ll ever make, because my connection with the creature is very profound and deep and I don’t think there’s any other monster that has affected me as much.”
While ‘Frankenstein’ may not be ready for production for another few years, one project many comic book fans are wondering about is del Toro’s ‘The Incredible Hulk’ television series. With the big news that S.H.I.E.L.D. is moving forward and is now casting the leads for its show, del Toro was asked about the progress of his Marvel superhero series. Last heard (which was 2 months ago) Marvel had wanted to bring in a high profile writer to work on the script. Well it looks like del Toro and the gang are still waiting for the writer to free up his schedule:
“Right now all I know is the official word I was given is that there’s a writer they want. They are very interested in me meeting with him. He’s very, very busy. The official word is we are holding, but I don’t know… After Avengers having the success it had, perhaps the fate of the project may change. Right now officially what I know – and I’m not hiding anything off the record or anything – is that we were told we were waiting for this writer, and we were going to do it with him.”
One thing for sure, however, is that once the ‘The Incredible Hulk’ series moves forward, del Toro would love to direct the pilot as he has a penchant for superheroes that are also monsters:
“The reason is that the superheroes I like and that I would like to get involved with are all monsters. Be it Swamp Thing, Etrigan [the Demon], Doctor Strange – which is not a monster, but… Certainly supernatural. I would love to do Morbius [the Living Vampire], Blade – they have to be monsters for me to be involved.”
Doctor Strange? Hm…Wonder if Marvel spoke to him about that project as well?
Regardless, del Toro is a very busy man and hopefully we won’t wait too long before his next project is in production.
For the full interview head over to STYD.