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Guillermo del Toro Has Spent ‘Roughly 16 Years’ Writing Screenplays That Never Got Filmed

Del Toro estimates he has written a total of 33 screenplays over his career so far.

Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Guillermo del Toro will be back in theaters later this year with “Nightmare Alley,” and he’s already at work on his follow-up project with his Netflix-backed stop-motion “Pinocchio” movie. But as much as del Toro fans look forward to his new releases, they also reflect obsessively on the dozens of films the director planned but never got to make. The director revealed on social media this week that he’s written “about 20 screenplays” that have not been shot (via ScreenCrush), which equates to well over a decade of work gone unseen.

“By my count I have written or co-written around 33 screenplay features. Two to three made by others, 11 made by me (Pinocchio in progress) so- about 20 screenplays not filmed. Each takes 6-10 months of work, so, roughly 16 years gone. Just experience and skill improvement.”

The list of del Toro’s unmade film scripts include the following titles: “The Witches,” “Justice League Dark,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “At the Mountains of Madness,” “Fantastic Voyage,” “The Count of Monte Cristo,” “Mephisto’s Bridge,” “Pacific Rim 2,” “Secret Project (Untitled),” “Superstitious,” “Nightmare Alley,” “Haunted Mansion,” “The Buried Giant,” “The Coffin,” “Drood,” “List of 7” (co-written with Mark Frost), and “Wind in the Willows.”

In some cases, fans will never get to see a script materialized into an actual feature (del Toro said his “Pacific Rim 2” script was “very different” from what ended up being “Pacific Rim Uprising”), and in other cases the projects have evolved with Del Toro moving into a different capacity (del Toro is a producer on last year’s “The Witches,” but it was directed and written by Robert Zemeckis). “At the Mountains of Madness” was a film del Toro spent years trying to make, and he has admitted the intended R rating is what got it killed.

As for “Nightmare Alley,” the pandemic-delayed film noir is on the release calendar for December 17 from Searchlight Pictures. “Pinocchio” is expected to arrive on Netflix next year.

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