With Pacific Rim due on Friday (our review can be found here), director Guillermo del Toro is back in cinemas at last. But he's still juggling a myriad of other projects in one capacity or another, including the TV pilot for The Strain (based on the novels he co-created) and his next planned cinematic outing, Crimson Peak. Then there are the more nebulous ideas, things churning away in development. Out on the Pacific promotional trail, he’s been talking about those as well, including the surprise news that he wants to work with Charlie Kaufman on an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.
The option to film Vonnegut’s tough-to-translate book about Billy Pilgrim and his trips through time has been part of del Toro’s deal with Universal for years. Talking with the Telegraph – as quoted by The Playlist, since the original interview is not online – del Toro dropped the Being John Malkovich writer’s name.
“Charlie Kaufman and I talked for about an hour-and-a-half and came up with a perfect way of doing the book," says del Toro. "I love the idea of the Trafalmadorians to be 'unstuck in time,' where everything is happening at the same time. And that's what I want to do. It's just a catch-22. The studio will make it when it's my next movie, but how can I commit to it being my next movie until there's a screenplay? Charlie Kaufman is a very expensive writer!" For now, consider this one a maybe.
Though del Toro’s been quick to lay to rest talk about several other ideas, it would seem he’s still keen on his version of Frankenstein, mentioning that he wants Benedict Cumberbatch (who is part of the Crimson Peak cast) to play the titular doctor. It’s not like he doesn’t have the experience in the role, given the time Cumberbatch spent switching roles between the scientist and the creature with Johnny Lee Miller for Danny Boyle in the acclaimed National Theatre production of the story. Let's hope that comes to pass.