A GDT Project Update

The great thing about being a Guillermo Del Toro fan is that GDT always has lots of projects out there to engage our interest and curiosity. Even though it has been roughly five years since Guillermo’s HELLBOY 2, there have been plenty of appetizers served as we await his next main course: PACIFIC RIM. Those delicious nuggets include THE STRAIN trilogy, MIMIC Director’s Cut BluRay, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (a GDT/Matthew Robbins screenplay) and his various producing efforts, including PUSS IN BOOTS and SPLICE.

Unfortunately, PACIFIC RIM is still a year away, due out the summer of 2013. And as Tom Petty once said, “the waiting is the hardest part.”

So as we wait for el maestro to serve us our entree, you may need something to keep that tummy from growling, and I am here to please. Below are the major GDT projects in the works, and their most current status updates (my source is el maestro himself).

This should hold you over…at least for a day or two.

PACIFIC RIM

Shooting is wrapped, and GDT is now neck-deep in post production. This epic summer blockbuster from Legendary Pictures will pit massive robots vs. giant monsters and will be released July 12, 2013. Our pal Spydaweb recently treated us to a plot synposis at FanboyConfidential:

From acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro comes Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ epic sci-fi action adventure “Pacific Rim.”

When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

Oscar® nominee Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) is directing “Pacific Rim” from a script by Travis Beacham (“Clash of the Titans”). Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Mary Parent are producing, with Callum Greene serving as executive producer.

The film stars Charlie Hunnam (TV’s “Sons of Anarchy”), Idris Elba (“Thor”), Rinko Kikuchi (“The Brothers Bloom”), Charlie Day (“Horrible Bosses”), and Ron Perlman (the “Hellboy” films). The ensemble cast also includes Max Martini, Robert Kazinsky, Clifton Collins, Jr., Burn Gorman, Larry Joe Campbell, Diego Klattenhoff, and Brad William Henke.

Sounds great, right? I was lucky enough to visit the Toronto set for PR, and I can tell you one thing: this one is going to be a LOT of fun. Get your popcorn ready. (Oh, and expect something to be revealed at this year’s San Diego Comic Con in August!)

PINOCCHIO

This looks to be GDT’s next directing effort, a 3D stop-motion re-telling of the classic Carlo Collodi fairy tail that is being backed by the Jim Henson Company. Del Toro will co-direct with Mark Gustafson (THE PJ’S), with this version being a dark tale heavily influenced by the artwork of Gris Grimly’s PINOCCHIO. GDT says that “redesign will start soon” as well as a rewrite. GDT told the Hollywood Reporter at Cannes that the project is “on schedule” and will be “ready” in 2014. I can assume that since stop-motion films take a long time to make, this project will not hold Guillermo’s undivided attention. Expect for him to be doing other things in 2013.

No cast is set yet, but GDT has “expressed interest” in bringing in Daniel Radcliffe, Tom Waits and Christopher Walken (as the fox!).

HAUNTED MANSION

Another one of GDT’s obsessions is the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland (he has been collecting memorabilia for years, so it is no coincidence that he is developing a film based on the famous attraction. A screenplay has already been delivered to Disney, with a second revision being sent over soon, so this project is still very much on the radar. Also, “show-and-tell” storyboards have already been developed, with over 4o pieces of art. GDT had this to say to MTV: “The movie I see in my head of ‘Haunted Mansion’ is not, I believe, what everyone is imagining it to be,” he said. “It’s not just a regular world with a haunted mansion plopped in the middle. I really am thinking of a movie that has a heightened reality.”

HULK TV SHOW

ABC Network President told the Hollywood Reporter that GDT’s Hulk television program is still in development, with the expectation that it will be ready by next season (2013). GDT will be developing the show along with BATTLESTAR GALACTICA creator David Eick. GDT says the series is currently looking for a new writer. Guillermo has described the Hulk project as an “origin story”, with the Hulk character being created with a blend of prosthetics, puppetry and CGI. Don’t expect Mark Ruffalo to reprise his Avengers roll, however.

AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS

Guillermo: “For now it slumbers and awaits in the South Pacific.”

The movie that all die-hard Guillermo fans are anxious for is the epic Lovecraft tale that has been years in the making. As we know, it came within studio execs nod of getting made (macquettes, artwork and script were complete – GDT was even scouting locations when he heard the news) and recently, Guillermo expressed doubt that with PROMETHEUS getting released this year, it may never get made. GDT told our fans on the message boards: “I assumed the greek metaphor alluded at the creation aspects of the HPL book. I believe I am right and if so, as a fan, I am delighted to see a new RS science fiction film, but this will probably mark a long pause -if not the demise- of ATMOM.”

Let’s hope that movie fans and studio execs have short memories and Cthulu rises again from deep in several years. Never is a long time.

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