Orphanage remake, Mountains of Madness & Frankenstein?
Recently, del Toro produced the Spanish language horror film The Orphanage, the debut feature from Juan Antonia Bayona, and we asked him if he has any news about the English language remake he’s producing for New Line. “I cannot say yet who is the director and writer but if I get who I want, it would definitely make a difference. It won’t be the same movie just done by a guy that has an American name. It’s a new proposition.”
“What we did with Orphanage which was interesting is we went at it with everybody being first-time: first-time DP, first-time editor, first-time director, and it worked,” he told us later about his experience working with Bayona. “I think there’s a great advantage to not knowing how things should be done, because people just go and make them happen, because they don’t know they are impossible. We did that movie in a very small time for four and a half million Euros, and it looks beautiful. I prefer first-time mistakes than tenth time mistakes. I think these guys are going to have first-time things that no one else is going to do.” In the meantime, Orphanage screenwriter Sergio SÃ¡nchez is co-writing Guillermo’s next Spanish language film 3993.
For many years, del Toro has been associated with an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, which was rumored to be his next movie, but he had nothing more to say about whether that’s true. “I wish I knew, but Universal has acquired it, which is a great thing because it was in limbo, and I have, together with Michael, self-financed the designs and maquettes and everything, but we’ll see. It’s R-rated, it’s expensive and it doesn’t have a happy ending. I think that big-scale horror, big tentpole horror, which you used to have with ‘Alien,’ ‘The Shining,’ ‘The Exorcist’ before everyone thought horror needs to be this or that and pre-conceptualized, I think big tentpole like that should be back at some point in life, so I’m patiently waiting my turn.”
“If I had the freedom to choose and the chance to hold it until its done, I’d do ‘Mountains’ right away,” he continued, “but what I learned in the horrible years in between ‘Cronos’ and ‘Mimic’ and ‘Mimic’ and ‘Devil’s Backbone’ is that if I did that, it takes me four years to get a movie off the ground, and it never happened in the order. I wrote ‘Spanky: Mephisto’s Bridge’ right after ‘Cronos’ and it was a beautiful script, then I wrote ‘Monte Cristo’ then I wrote ‘List of Seven.’ None of them happened; they haven’t happened yet, so what I understand now is that if I keep four or five things that I truly love in the fire, one of them becomes true.” He does say that he’s going to produce one of those scripts he wrote but never got to make with a first-time director for Miramax, but he couldn’t announce which one just yet.
Now that he’s in bed with Universal Studios, there’s been rumors of Guillermo maybe doing something with some of Universal’s classic monsters like Frankenstein, Wolfman, Dracula or the Mummy, but when asked which one he might want to tackle, his answer might surprise some people. “The movie I would kill to do â€” and I know it’s been done and I’m very conscious of thatâ€”but to do ‘Frankenstein’ but to do Frankenstein as the Miltonian tragedy that it is. I remember reading the Frank Darabont screenplay that was illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, and saying, ‘That’s it! I’m screwed and never going to do it’ but thanks to Kenneth Branagh, I can still do that version.”
At one point, Del Toro was rumored to do a remake of Universal’s The Creature from the Black Lagoon but since that’s not happening, he shared his initial idea for it. “The take I had was a Victorian exploration Jules Verne type of adventure, but Abe Sapien is sort of my Creature from the Black Lagoon, so I’m pretty happy with that.”
Look for a lot more with Guillermo from the set of Hellboy II: The Golden Army over on Superhero Hype! in the coming months. The Orphanage (the original Spanish language version) opens in select cities on December 28.
The rest of the stuff? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Source: Edward Douglas