He’s got the greenlight for “Pacific Rim 2,” is editing “Crimson Peak,” is a producer on “The Strain” and “Book of Life” and a writer on “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”
But what multi-hyphenate Guillermo Del Toro is most excited about is his “little black and white movie” that he’s planning to write, produce and direct as soon as post-production wraps on “Crimson Peak” and while “The Strain” is still shooting.
Currently untitled, Del Toro says his project will be an “intimate story with a few characters and one creature,” and completely in his control. He’s working up the budget on the film now, but said it will be as intimate as the project itself, a big change from “Pacific Rim,” which carried a $190 million pricetag.
Call the untitled black and white film his “Much Ado About Nothing.” (When Joss Whedon was in post on “The Avengers” he needed a smaller project to invigorate him and shot “Much Ado” at his home with friends.)
Like many successful Hollywood filmmakers, Del Toro finds himself regularly subject to the desires of the studio first. During Saturday’s Universal/Legendary panel to discuss “Crimson Peak,” his upcoming thriller starring Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston, he asked the 6,500-person crowd to give him some feedback on the possibility of a “Hellboy 3.” (The first two, which were made for $66 million and $85 million respectively, globally grossed $99 million and $160 million, respectively.)
“I jumped protocol,” the director told Variety. “I just really wanted to do something, I wanted to say something to the fans. I wanted to say, ‘let’s tell the studio, it’s not me, but let’s tell them if there’s a desire for that.’ I’m not the obstacle and Hall H is the perfect environment.”
He also asked the fans about “At the Mountains of Madness,” a project Del Toro holds exceptionally near to him. In fact, he wears a class ring from Miskatonic University, a fictional higher learning institution in the fictional town of Arkham. He wears that ring over his wedding band. Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s work of the same name, Del Toro has been struggling to bring the novella to the big screen for years.
While Legendary topper Thomas Tull didn’t answer the fans outright, he did promise to entertain the possibility of the two projects after the director fulfills his obligation for “Pacific Rim 2.”
“Hollywood is the land of the slow no,” said Del Toro. “In development can mean anything. It takes an actor four to five weeks to say no, it takes a studio five to six years and that’s where you are in development. It’s not development hell, it’s really development purgatory.”