The spooky doors to “Crimson Peak” open next week, which means Guillermo del Toro will be in full force doing the press rounds, and as he is wont to do, gladly talking about any subject you wish to discuss. And considering he generally has a dozen or so projects on the go at any one time, he’s a got a lot to say. Thus, it’s not a surprise that when Happy Sad Confused chatted with the director, their one hour conversation covered a lot of ground.
Del Toro is, if nothing else, always totally earnest in everything he does. “Even when you do a project as insane as ‘Pacific Rim,’ giant robots, giant monsters: I do it straight. I believe in giant robots, I believe in giant monsters, I’m not being ironic or post-modern. Same with Gothic romance, [‘Crimson Peak’] has a heightened tone of melodrama and I went for broke.”
But probably what’s on everyone’s minds at the moment is “Pacific Rim 2” which was seemingly canceled/halted indefinitely, then taken off the schedule, but not before the studio could restate their commitment to the project. What’s really going on? Well, as you’ve heard, del Toro is going to go off and make another film first and return to it afterwards
“It’s certainly not my next movie,” he told the HSC host. “With the push, I feel compelled to do something small and weird, because I need a breather and a little bit more madness in my life.”
What might the details of that movie be? He’s playing it close to chest. “I learned through the years, you wanna make God laugh? Tell him what your next movie is,” the filmmaker said also lamenting throughout the podcast how all his projects are over-reported and gives an example of friend Alfonso Cuaron who apparently had three films on the go that didn’t happen before “Gravity.” Though later in the interview the director did say, “I feel more and more inclined lately to do more and more strange stuff. Like doing stuff that is a little bit more cagey, a little bit more quirky.”
So does “Pacific Rim 2” have a timeframe? No, and despite the studio’s public-facing commitment to the project, he says they still have to decide whether they want to make it on a reconfigured budget and aim. “In three weeks we are delivering a [new] budget and a schedule and a new draft of the screenplay. And then the studio knows how much it costs, what is it about and then they’ll decide if they go ahead or not.”
Remember when del Toro said he’d love to do a Jabba The Hut “Star Wars” spin-off film? Well, it sounds like he at least talked to the “Star Wars” producers about it, no doubt when they were just meeting with everyone to get their take on possible interest. “When I spoke to them, when I spoke to [Lucasfilm’s Chief Creative Officer/Senior Visual Effects Supervisor, Industrial Light & Magic] John Knoll, I said to them, if I ever do one, I would love to do a Jabba The Hut Scarface—his ascension in the crime family.” However, the filmmaker stressed yet again, this is not an actual go-project or even something in development. “I’m not announcing it, please don’t pick it up!” he said to the blogosphere.
As for “Hellboy 3” del Toro admitted he and Ron Perlman recently met to discuss it, they would love to do it, but studio interest is flat. “No one is knocking,” he said, noting that the early success of the “Hellboy” films was on Blu-Ray and DVD, but now that those markets have been devastated, there’s far less financial appeal (evidently the studio wanted people like Nicolas Cage or Dwayne Johnson for the role way back when). Asked about “The Hobbit” films that he worked on so dearly for two years, the filmmaker equated it with an ex-lover. He said he was on good terms with Peter Jackson, and doesn’t see the upside to watching how those films turned out.
“Peter and I are in a great relationship, the communication is clean and we’re very friendly,” he said. “And it’s like a sign of respect for me. It’s almost like watching footage of your ex wife on the beach. Why would you [want to do that?]. If it’s good, it’s bad, if it’s bad, it’s worse. There’s no upside to it and I respect and love his work as a filmmaker and I’d rather be happy that I was part of it.”
“Crimson Peak” opens on October 16th. Listen to the full podcast below.