Del Toro Enrolls In Nutshell Studies

Guillermo's crime-solving drama for HBO

While other people take breaks and find hobbies, Guillermo del Toro isn’t happy unless he's developing some new project. And because he didn’t have enough to be overseeing already between movies, books, comics and other TV shows, Del Toro has partnered up with TV writer / producer Sara Gran to adapt Corinne May Botz’s Nutshell Studies.

No, it’s not squirrel porn: Botz’s 2004 non-fiction tome permits a glimpse into the mind of a master criminal investigator. In this case, one Frances Glessner Lee, a wealthy grandmother. But far from just dabbling in crime solving a la Jessica Fletcher, this real-life ‘tec founded the Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard in 1936 (despite being denied entry to the college because of her gender when she was younger) and was made an honorary captain of the New Hampshire Police.

Lee became even more famous for her “Nutshell Studies” in the 1940s and 50s, where she created miniature dioramas based on real cases that helped train detectives in looking for clues. Her methods are still used today.

Lee’s life will be the driving force behind a new drama that Del Toro and Gran are developing for HBO with Botz on board as a consultant. Gran is an established crime novelist who is also developing a series based on one of her books, and has spent time writing episodes of crime drama Southland. Del Toro likely won’t be too involved in the day-to-day management of the show, assuming it even scores a pilot, though he will likely direct that launch episode and of course offer notes on scripts and design.

This sounds like it could be a fascinating idea – fingers crossed it survives to reach our screens. And if you’re craving more Guillermo del Toro, his latest film, Pacific Rim, swims ashore on July 12 next year, and there's more on that in the current issue of Empire.