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Del Toro goes ‘inSANE’ for game

Helmer branches out with new horror adventure vidgame

Easily one of the busiest filmmakers in Hollywood, with an ever-growing slate of movies in development, Guillermo del Toro has added another project to his resume: a videogame.

Del Toro and videogame publisher THQ are producing “Insane,” a horror adventure that will bow in 2013.

The property, which is being planned as a trilogy, marks del Toro’s first foray into the videogames biz, a sector of entertainment the filmmaker has long wanted to develop for considering he’s an avid gamer.

“With this new series of videogames, I want to take players to a place they have never seen before, where every single action makes them question their own senses of morality and reality,” del Toro said.

Del Toro will serve as external creative director for the “Insane” games, working closely with Danny Bilson, THQ’s executive VP of core games; Paul DeMeo, THQ’s director of fiction development; and Volition, the inhouse studio that will develop the trilogy for THQ.

Volition’s credits include the “Red Faction” and “Saints Row” franchises.

The gamemakers are keeping a tight lid on the overall concept beyond revealing a title and logo as a teaser during Spike’s Video Game Awards on Saturday, but del Toro and THQ envision the property as more than just a game, with the duo also collaborating on other forms of entertainment tied to “Insane,” such as books, animated films, toys and other licensed merchandise.

Naturally, “Insane” could wind up being adapted into a full-length feature, as well. THQ owns the intellectual property rights to the “Insane” games, while del Toro will maintain the film rights.“We’re really focusing on the game first,” Bilson told Daily Variety. “We’re not worrying about if it’s a good movie or book. We’re focused on making a fantastic videogame. Later on we’ll discuss it.” Bilson added that while THQ is actively looking at film versions of its other games, “It’s funny that the one we’re making with a great filmmaker is the one we don’t talk about.”

With Bilson having penned such films and TV shows as “The Rocketeer,” “The Flash” and “The Sentinel” before going on to help create multiple games based on the James Bond franchise, THQ has been keen on attracting more established filmmakers to develop games for the publisher.

“We are excited to bring (del Toro’s) talents to our medium,” Bilson said. “We are confident his unique point of view will create visually stunning adventures, filled with rich and rewarding game play.”Del Toro is fitting development of the games in between directing duties on a number of films, including a 3D adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness,” for Universal, with James Cameron producing.

He also has his own versions of “Frankenstein,” “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Slaughterhouse Five” in the works, as well as Disney’s “Haunted Mansion,” the animated “Trollhunters” and the return of the Incredible Hulk to TV for Marvel.

That’s in addition to three-book series “The Strain,” which del Toro is writing with Chuck Hogan.

“Insane” announcement also follows this week’s formation of Mirada, a Marina del Rey-based creative studio founded by del Toro, helmer Mathew Cullen, cinematographer Guillermo Navarro and executive producer Javier Jimenez.“We have never felt like we have any access problems, any focus problems, or any lack of passion for what we’re doing (from Del Toro),” Bilson said. “We’re trying to create what we think genre fans would enjoy the most in a next generation cinematic videogame experience.”

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