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Del Toro Commits To Universal Until 2017
He'll direct four films, including Drood

04 September 2008  |  Written by Chris Hewitt  |  Source: Variety

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Yesterday, we wrote a news story in which – the wags that we are – we made a hilarious crack about the crowded nature of Guillermo Del Toro’s to-do list. Oh, how we laughed.

But, what’s this? Not only are we the world’s biggest and bestest film magazine/website/multi-platform brand synergistic entity, but we also seem to be the reincarnation of Nostra-bleedin-damus!

For today there came an announcement that Del Toro has committed his filmmaking future – once he’s done with The Hobbit, of course, by 2012 – to Universal, with advanced plans for him to direct four movies for the studio up to 2017.

The movies in question all have a literary bent, given that they’re each based on novels. And they are:

* Frankenstein, which we’ve known for a while that the Mexican director has been circling. Universal see this as one of their franchise big guns, following the revival of The Wolfman (which Del Toro came this close to directing)
* Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novel. This is prime, prime Guillermo territory.
* Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, the time-spanning WWII-meets-sci-fi novel (which is, of course, the barest capsule description of that novel that you could ever wish to see).
* Dan Simmons’ forthcoming novel, Drood, which blends fact and fiction in telling the dark tale of the last days of Charles Dickens. We haven’t read it yet as it’s not published until February, but Simmons is a wonderful writer and, judging from the plot description, this could well be a Victorian take on The Dark Half. Possibly.

So, there you go. And that’s not even counting the movies that Del Toro is down to produce for Universal, including Hater and Crimson Peak.

And then, still to be placed somewhere in his schedule, is his pet project, the movie he’s been longing to make since he was a wee bairn: H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness.

We have to say, we’re delighted to see del Toro has locked down his schedule for the next nine years (he’s about to start hiring writers for the projects, while he’s busy with The Hobbit; his manager, Gary Ungar, will oversee the process, along with development director Russell Ackerman and Universal exec, Scott Bernstein). But there are several questions that have yet to be answered:

Does his new deal, which he sees as a “renewal of my marital vows with Universal”, allow Del Toro to break away inbetween Universal flicks and shoot smaller Spanish-language movies, as has been his wont over the last few years (think of it as ‘one for them, uno para mi’)?

And does this mean that, in the wake of the disappointing US box office performance of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, that Hellboy 3 is now officially consigned to development hell? If so, that’s a big, big shame.

If we see the big fella in the coming weeks – and God knows, we hope to – we’ll be sure to ask him.

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Your Comments

Screw The Hobbit
H.P. Lovecraft's At The Mountainsof Madness, will kick ass. who needs bilbo running around forest's with queer dwarfs when you can have a dark apocalyptic tale from Lovecraft. i'm sorry Tolkein fans, TLOTR was boring. More

Posted by Horrorguru at 13:39 on 05 September 2008 | Report This Post

Del Toro???
Don't get me wrong i'm a huge fan of Pans Labrynth, but. What has Del Toro actually done thats so amazing to have everyman and his dog so excited? Hellboy, Devils Backbone? I think not! More

Posted by Gavinf1 at 21:36 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

oooh coool !
del toro making dr jekyll and mr hyde sounds awesome tbh. More

Posted by niallc15 at 21:28 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: good grief
L: andrewwickliffe when did guillermo del toro wake up and decide to suck? a frankenstein remake? Dr. Jekyll? SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE? Because the last Slaughterhouse Five worked so well... argh. Mountains of Madness will never happen... loody hell. I hate that americanised slang; "suck". This sucks. That sucks. Fucking vacuum cleaners suck. So do tornados and goldfish and lungs. Are you saying he's decided to be like a vacuum cleaner? Just go the whole hog and use the original t More

Posted by jimoakley666 at 18:35 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
L: clarkkent was hellboy 2 dissapointing Box office wise? Sorry but did it make a profit? yes, yes i believe it did. Hence it not being a flop like you idiots claimed x files was (which it wasn't as it made a profit) You clearly don't understand that films are a success as long as they make a profit. Its only when they loose money that they're a flop. Like the Island. o you have to insult everyone with every post you make? There really is no call for it Anyway, a Jekyll an More

Posted by Drew_231 at 18:23 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
L: clarkkent was hellboy 2 dissapointing Box office wise? Sorry but did it make a profit? yes, yes i believe it did. Hence it not being a flop like you idiots claimed x files was (which it wasn't as it made a profit) he second asn't made a profit, and won't do so until it starts racking up DVD sales. On a purely theatrical level, it's been a failure - its worldwide gross so far hasn't even recouped the production budget, let alone the marketing campaign. More

Posted by Neth at 18:05 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Dark Knight eated into Hell Boy 2's Box Office
Hellboy will always cater to a more niche market. Even the comics arent that succesful compared to Batman and all thr rest. Thats why no matter who the director is, it'll never be mega at the box office. Lets face it there isnt ] big a market for comic-book monster movies these days.   Which is kind of a shame considering how good the films are and clearly how much love and passion the filmakers have for the project. More

Posted by Spaldron at 17:53 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

Dark Knight eated into Hell Boy 2's Box Office
The thing is,Hell Boy 2 had just one week by itself, before the Dark Knight came out, and that hurt the following weeks box office for Hell Boy 2, such was the hype for Batman. It should of made 100 million, but sort of limped to 75 million. It'll make a profit on dvd for sure. More

Posted by SeanValen at 17:12 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
Guillermo is a true visionary director. It would be such a shame if HB3 did not get made as HB2 was absolutely brilliant. Can't wait for The Hobbit films and its good to see a director with the calibur of Del Toro linked to the re- imagining of some of Universals top monsters, about time in my opinion. More

Posted by kinge247 at 16:27 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
Hey little man, why don't you breathe and relax? They said that Hellboy's boxoffice was disappointing (and not diSSapointing by the way!) and disappointing it was when compared to the studio's expectations. Empire never claimed that the movie flopped or didn't make a profit (I'm not sure the movie has made a profit at that stage anyway since you need to add the marketing and distribution costs to the production costs). Anyway, next time, you might want to read properly More

Posted by olisomenzi at 15:49 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

good grief
when did guillermo del toro wake up and decide to suck? a frankenstein remake? Dr. Jekyll? SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE? Because the last Slaughterhouse Five worked so well... argh. Mountains of Madness will never happen... More

Posted by andrewwickliffe at 14:32 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

was hellboy 2 dissapointing Box office wise? Sorry but did it make a profit? yes, yes i believe it did. Hence it not being a flop like you idiots claimed x files was (which it wasn't as it made a profit) You clearly don't understand that films are a success as long as they make a profit. Its only when they loose money that they're a flop. Like the Island. More

Posted by clarkkent at 14:32 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
How can Slaughterhouse Five be described as unfilmable, when it's already been made into a film?!  And a very creditable and well-received film at that (made in the seventies I think). More

Posted by Prophet_of_Doom at 14:14 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

There's always the chance he'll pass on some projects and remain as producer. He's a passionate filmmaker, that's for sure. More

Posted by doctorolorinbats1975 at 13:24 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

ATMOM!!!!
DO IT!!! DO IT NOW!!!!!! More

Posted by Metal Gimp at 12:12 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

Slaughterhouse 5
This is the killer for me. To be honest I have absolutely no idea how he'd go about making the film (although perhaps that's why I'm not making them) being that it's brilliant but totally bizarre. People, please read the book. It's funny, cool, extremely touching and most importantly, short enough to read in a day. More

Posted by evildave69 at 11:13 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

THE WITCHES!!!!!!!!!
GODDAMMIT, WHEN IS HE GONNA DO 'THE WITCHES'???? HE'S WRITTEN THE FUCKING SCRIPT, SO JUST DO IT ALREADY! 'THE HOBBIT' CAN SHIT OFF, I WANT 'THE WITCHES'... rant over More

Posted by charlesmoonshrub at 10:57 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: First!
Can't wait to see his take on Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Those two should be awesome especially since their both some dark and pretty scary. Bring on the future. More

Posted by matthewforan at 10:41 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: First!
L: Chris Hewitt Oh, wait. I wrote the news story. Bugger. sp; A staff member doing a 'first'?! You should burn in Hell, boy.   I do hope that del Toro is contractually, and emotionally and not-too-exhausted-ly, free to do the odd smaller Spanish-language film between the big Universal ones. He seems to have a good working relationship with the studio (nicely apt, given their history), but it would be good to have him free to do something completely different if he wa More

Posted by Acho at 10:03 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

Bollocks to the yanks.
I wanna see Hellboy 3. Shop it to Working Title, ha ha. I'd rather see more Hellboy than Hobbit, too. Lord of the Rings never clicked with me. I found it over long, over boring and rather bloody tedious, as was the whole Star Wars thing in my opinion. Can't wait to see his Frankenstein though. Just a shame we have to wait so feckin' long.... More

Posted by jimoakley666 at 09:52 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Bugger
Honestly I would rather see the Mountains of Madness film than this ridiculous sequel to the Hobbit sorry, still not happy about the idea More

Posted by Drew_231 at 09:23 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

Bugger
Helboy III in development hell, not good, but frankenstein and mountains of madness, never read the book, are the films i really want to see and hellboy III and i hope universal can look past the money and see that the die hard fans want to see more of the big guy the actors do and so do the critics More

Posted by dave_0989 at 08:36 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

Box Office
$35m opening, $75m taken so far at the US box office. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr= 2008&p=.htm Another $25m taken overseas http://www.boxofficemojo.com/intl/weekend/yea rly/ More

Posted by Dave_C1977 at 08:30 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

Hang on...
I thought Hellboy 2 did ok at the US box office. Didn't it open with $50 million +? Isn't it doing well overseas? I thought it had already made its budget back........ More

Posted by Timon at 08:23 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

First!
Oh, wait. I wrote the news story. Bugger. More

Posted by Chris Hewitt at 07:43 on 04 September 2008 | Report This Post

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