By the time “Pacific Rim” hits theaters next summer, it’ll have been a disappointingly lengthy five years since Guillermo Del Toro had a film in theaters (“Hellboy II: The Golden Army” was released in the summer of 2008). It’s probably been frustrating for the filmmaker, who lost several years to “The Hobbit” before eventually bailing on the film, but it seems like the director has no intention of hanging around once his giant monster epic is in theaters, as he’s been lining up multiple projects to move on to.
There’s no exact word on what his next feature will be, bar the animated “Pinocchio,” which he’ll be co-directing, but the ever-busy Mexican helmer has just lined up another project that we could see sooner than most, as The Hollywood Reporter say that Del Toro is heading to the small screen for the first time. The trade bring news that Del Toro is attached as director and executive producer to “Nutshell Studies,” an adaptation of the 2004 book “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death” by author and photographer Corinne May Botz.
The book was an investigation into forensic pioneer Frances Glessner Lee, who founded Harvard’s Department of Legal Medicine in the 1930s, and later became a captain in the New Hampshire Police. Along the way, she constructed a series of dioramas based on real-life cases which are still used for training purposes today. The HBO project, which Del Toro would direct, and which will be written by crime novelist and “Southland” writer Sara Gran, seems to revolve around a fictionalized version, centering on a 1950s housewife who becomes obsessed with solving murders, so it seems to be a loose, “Hitchcockian” adaptation, although we imagine the diorama reconstructions will play a key part in things.
What isn’t clear from THR’s story is if “Nutshell Studies” is envisioned as a one-off movie, a miniseries, or an ongoing series (we imagine the latter is more likely). It’s not Del Toro’s only TV project — he’s been developing a “Hulk” series for ABC for some time, although it’s showed little sign of moving forward, and we imagine the character’s revival in “The Avengers” might have put that on ice. But while this is a little ways off yet (HBO, quite rightly, don’t rush their development processes), this could well end up being the first thing we see from the director after “Pacific Rim,” which hits theaters on July 12th, 2013. And you know he’s going to have some fun with the creepy doll house crime scenes…