Guillermo del Toro Signs Overall Deal With Fox Searchlight

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Fox Searchlight Pictures has signed an overall deal with Guillermo del Toro that covers live-action feature films to be written, produced, and/or directed by the filmmaker.

The company is also creating a new, soon-to-be-named label, which will serve as a home for projects in the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres, including those produced and curated by del Toro. The movies will be financed, marketed, and distributed by Fox Searchlight.

“For the longest time, I’ve hoped to find an environment in which I can distribute, nurture, and produce new voices in smart, inventive genre films and channel my own,” del Toro said. “In Fox Searchlight, I’ve found a real home for live-action production — a partnership based on hard work, understanding of each other and, above all, faith. After the wonderful experience I had with Fox Searchlight on ‘The Shape of Water,’ I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the relationship.”

Fox Searchlight Pictures presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced the deal on Tuesday.

“Throughout the process of ‘The Shape of Water’ coming to life, we have observed first-hand Guillermo at work as a director, a writer, a producer — a creator. We believe in him and the vision for a new Searchlight label and we are eager to embark on this journey with him,” Utley and Gilula said.

The first pic under the deal will be “Antlers,” a story about an elementary school teacher who takes in a troubled student that harbors a mysterious family secret with deadly consequences. The movie will be directed by Scott Cooper from a script written by Nick Antosca & Henry Chaisson, based on Nick Antosca’s short story “The Quiet Boy.” Del Toro, David Goyer, and J. Miles Dale will produce, with Kevin Turen executive producing.

Del Toro won the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director for “The Shape of Water.” The fantasy romance also won the Oscars for production design and original score.

Del Toro’s other credits include “Pan’s Labyrinth” as the director, writer and producer. He first gained recognition for the 1993 Mexican-American co-production “Cronos,” which he directed from his own screenplay after beginning his career working as a special effects makeup artist.

Del Toro’s other films include “Mimic,” “The Devil’s Bakcbone,” “Blade II,” “Hellboy,” “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” “Pacific Rim” and “Crimson Park.” He was represented by WME, Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment, and attorney George Hayum from the law firm of Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman LLP.