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The future of Guillermo Del Toro...

THE HOBBIT, AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, FRANKENSTEIN, DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE, SLAUGHTER-HOUSE FIVE, DROODS & more!

lengthy piece earlier today, it comes as somewhat of a relief that a cinematic genius like Guillermo Del Toro has lost those Middle-Earth shackles that were stopping him from making his own projects. As sad as it is that we will never see Del Toro's Middle-Earth, the shining light at the end of the tunnel is that he is now free to make his own movies. To celebrate this occasion I have decided to re-post (and amend with new announcements at the top) an article I ran on September 4th, 2008 which detailed the projects the Mexican maestro had setup for after The Hobbit. Movies which I guess are more pressing now. Since I wrote this article, Del Toro has announced his intentions to adapt Roald Dahl's The Witches, a movie his friend Alfonso Cuaron will produce...
€œGuillermo wrote this amazing screenplay really quickly€ €It won€™t be like the original Nicolas Roeg version, which was a beautiful film,€ because (and this is the very exciting part), del Toro plans to €œdo it completely in stop-motion animation.€
There's also a stop-motion animated Pinocchio (though he won't direct that one), and Miramax€™s horror Don€™t Be Afraid of the Dark starring Katie Holmes (which is now completed according to IMDB), based on scripts he wrote and has produced. -----------ORIGINAL ARTICLE TO FOLLOW, BUT WITH AMENDMENTS------------------

DROOD

An adaptation of Dan Simmon's horror-novel Drood, which is one of those "real life historical figures in a fiction story based on half true events", this time the subject being legendary British writer Charles Dickens...

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Set 1865 when Dickens was 53, the book revolves around the mysteries of the author's life that included many nights with sordid mistresses', a deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder and other such bleak subjects which were all fed into the author's final and unfinished novelThe Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Supposedly this is a period of his life that came about after surviving a horrific train crash.

A more straight laced thriller for Del Toro but I love 19th century London and more accurately, I would love to see this director's dark version of Charles Dickens' 19th century London.

FRANKENSTEIN

Next, a new take on Frankenstein that would be based on a mid 80's book of Wrightson's illustrated novel that has been out of print for sometime. The movie is expected to be based on Frank Darabont's 1994 draft which was heavily re-written and almost completely changed for Kenneth Branagh's over-dramatic and disappointing adaptation...
"To me, Frankenstein represents the essential human question: €˜Why did my creator throw me here, unprotected, unguided, unaided and lost?€™ " del Toro said. "With that one, they will have to pry it from my cold dead hands to prevent me from directing it."

AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS

A long time passion film for Guillermo is his adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness which he came THIS close to directing at the beginning of 2008 but with the writer's strike, followed by a distinct lack of faith from Universal in financing his take, the project was haulted.

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The original novel has influenced Del Toro, I think, more than anything else in his childhood. This is to him, what Peter Pan was to Spielberg or the "Gangs of New York" era of American history to Martin Scorsese. Let's just hope he doesn't leave it too late in his career to make this movie, like the above two directors did which led to varying degree's of success.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde...

For his version of the much adapted tale, he wants to stick as closely as possible to Robert Louis Stevenson's original writings and "explore the addictive high the repressed Jekyll experienced as his murderous alter ego". Though presumably Universal's decision to greenlit an adaptation with Keanu Reeves in the mean time, has put this project on hold.

Slaughter House-Five

An adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel about a prisoner in a German WWII POW camp who travels through time and space.

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The book has already been adapted into a film in the early 70's by director George Roy Hill, though it's not said to be a patch on the novel. Neither the book or the film am I all that familiar with.

HELLBOY III

We can't forget a follow-up to Hellboy II, which just like the original, was well received and made a profit but didn't find that really big summer tentpole audience.
"I think they€™ll decide when the last euro hits the piggybank," del Toro said. "We laid the groundwork to have a magnificent third act. I€™d like to return to an action franchise with 60-year-old actor Ron Perlman, because he€™ll be scratching at that age when I get to it."

Two further projects which might not take so long to come to fruition are Hater, a film adaptation of David Moody's graphic novel we told you about in December 2007 and the Gothic romance Crimson Peakbased on a mysterious spec script by del Toro and his Mimic collaborator Matthew Robbins

Both will be produced but not directed by del Toro.

And not mentioned in Variety's article and presumably "not going to happen anymore" are projects we have previously discussed... THE CHAMPIONS (setup at United Artists and based on the 60's British cop drama, and is such an odd choice of project when you look at everything else he is wanting to adapt. Looks like this one is dead anyway). RUNOFF (based on the horror/thriller/comedy graphic novel, depicting a town you can never leave but again that one looks unlikely). SATURN AND THE END OF DAYS (low budget film following a kid named Saturn who watches the end of the world whilst walking back and forth to the supermarket. No studio or real knowledge on the film is available except the quick mention from del Toro back in April). And3993 which before At the Mountains of Madness and the like, was his big pet project, a Spanish based ghost story during the height of the civil war. But we haven't heard anything on that one for a LONG time (actually before the beginning of this site I believe).
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.