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Comic-Con: Guillermo del Toro Talks Hollywood’s ‘Gender War’ at Legendary Panel

During Comic-Con’s Legendary panel on Saturday afternoon, auteur Guillermo del Toro admitted that “Crimson Peak” was his opportunity to flip the script on some of the tropes of the horror genre and create a female-centric gothic romance.

“Many times in some of these movies, the girl ends up being a damsel in distress,” del Toro noted. “I wanted to create a classical, gothic romance, but with certain twists that are a little more gender liberating, a little more about being yourself.” As a father of two daughters, del Toro noted that he’s conscious about the representation of women on film, telling the at-capacity Hall H crowd, “There is a secret gender war going on, and as storytellers, it’s our duty to take these genres and retell them and be conscious of that.”

Del Toro also said that he felt creatively liberated by Legendary and Universal, since the studios allowed “Crimson Peak” to be the R-rated film he envisioned: “I’m very happy to say I felt for the first time to be completely free to make an adult movie in the English language — I hope you enjoy the hell out of it.” Not that he’s biased, del Toro added, but “it’s one of my three favorite movies I’ve done and in my opinion the most beautiful film I’ve made.”

The Legendary panel also played host to Michael Dougherty’s Christmas horror movie “Krampus,” which star Adam Scott said reminded him of “Gremlins,” “Goonies” and “Poltergeist” when he read the script, noting that Dougherty is “carrying the torch of those character-driven horror films from the ’80s that everyone could enjoy,” right down to the practical effects.

“I wanted to build puppets so that I could attack our very talented actors,” Dougherty gleefully admitted. “When you see a teddy bear attack them, I wanted it to feel very tactile.”

Duncan Jones’ “Warcraft” closed out the panel, taking over Hall H with immersive, wrap-around screens that stretched along both walls of the cavernous room to show fans first-look footage from the fantasy epic.

Star Travis Fimmel (Anduin Lothar) expressed his admiration for the effects, which were the first he’d seen from the project. “I saw broomsticks with foam on the end [on set] — good work, man. It looks amazing, I’m very impressed,” he told Jones.

Rob Kazinsky (Orgrim) was a World of Warcraft fan before joining the project, and admitted he’s racked up 600 days of play-time on the game. “There was a time when I wasn’t in the ‘Warcraft’ movie. I was unemployed and I spent a lot of that time eating cake and playing Warcraft,” he quipped, noting that he lost a relationship because of the game. “She left me because of Warcraft, and now I’m like, ‘who won this round?'” As a fellow fan, Kazinsky reassured the crowd, “Duncan Jones has made the movie that we wanted to see.”

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