During the promotional tour for his newest film Crimson Peak, Guillermo del Toro created a bit of a stir with news that his next project would be a smaller film, something in the vein of his 2006 film Pan’s Labyrinth. But now it turns out that will not be his next project, we’ll try to clarify all the details.
“I’m doing a small movie next, really strange, much more strange than normal. But I love it, its a small movie of the size of Pan’s Labyrinth and equally weird,” the director said in a recent interview and thus began a roll of confusion among different articles as to what exactly that new “smaller, stranger” movie may be.
Silver was originally thought to be del Toro’s next film, which would have been a Spanish-language film that follows a Luchador, who discovers that all politicians are vampires and sets out to vanquish them. Which, by the way, sounds weird in the best kind of way.
Hitting Twitter yet again, del Toro clarified that the movie he shoots next year is something different, and will be in English, but probably on a smaller budget still.
So, Silver will happen but it won’t be the next film for the visionary director, that will be a smaller, English-language film with a possible role for John Hurt. The confusion may have come from a vastly circulated quote from a source speaking of del Toro’s earlier life traumas.
‘Silver,’ which he sees as a black-and-white, low-budget project, was a casualty of the early termination of his film-making career in Mexico; his family fled the country for Toronto after his father was kidnapped and the family paid a ruinous ransom.
What makes the quote interesting is how little of it actually has much to do with the Luchador-Vampire Politicians-driven plot summary del Toro himself confirmed for Silver.
The director has expressed his desire to return to smaller films and has been very vocal, as of late, to his diminishing enthusiasm about being offered the chance to direct larger studio films such as entries in a superhero franchise:
“What I can tell you quite safely is, I don’t intend to keep on doing big, giant Hollywood movies for much longer. ‘Crimson Peak’ is a great permit for me to work on a smaller scale. I mean, it’s big for a drama, but it’s a much smaller undertaking than ‘Pacific Rim’ or ‘Hellboy.’ I can’t say which ones, but I’ve been offered gigantic movies in the superhero genre, but I don’t like the superheroes that are… nice. I like the dark ones, so ‘Blade’ and ‘Hellboy’ were right for me. The mechanics of action only interest me when it’s a universe very, very close to my heart, which ‘Pacific Rim’ is, and I love it. I’m not going to pursue action movies or superhero movies at all any more. I hope I can go back to doing the smaller, weirder ones.”
Going back to the connection of Pan’s Labyrinth and del Toro’s next film, it’s interesting to note that he considers his latest movie, Crimson Peak to be very much in the vein of his two Spanish fantasy/horror films, The Devil’s Backbone and Pan:
“It is very much of a piece with them. I wanted to try and do an adult movie in English, because after doing ‘Mimic,’ I decided I would do my pulp, youngish, light movies in English and do adult stuff in Spanish. Because I had such a bad experience doing that movie…I honest to God was hoping to make a great, giant insect movie and it was very disappointing to find out that the studio had other plans. Unfortunately for me with Legendary and Universal, they gave me creative freedom and they just said, ‘look we got to stay on a budget because we don’t want you to make it incredibly expensive.’ So we were very smart and very frugal with how we made the movie look bigger than it really is.”
As for del Toro’s myriad of projects he has his hands in goes, Pacific Rim 2 still seems to be on the roster. Though Universal and Legendary recently broke the news that the film had been put on hold indefinitely, del Toro offers up a more recent update:
So let’s keep our hopes up that we can at least get a second Pacific Rim. I mean, they’re going to make four more Transformers movies, it would be great to have a better giant robot movie to throw into that mix.
Del Toro’s 2006 film Pan’s Labyrinth was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, (losing to Little Miss Sunshine) and is usually considered the high-watermark in the illustrious director’s career.
Crimson Peak is now out in IMAX and conventional theaters.
Images: Universal, Legendary, Warner Bros, Picture House