In the past, it’s been easy to criticize Guillermo del Toro for making more promises regarding his upcoming projects than he’s been able to keep. At one point it seemed like he was announcing another movie every other week, and yet next year’s Pacific Rim will be the first film that he’s directed since 2008. Now that he has footage of something actually shot, however, the hope was that the confusion might be over and the man might start working more often. But a recent interview with Collider sees the director back up to his old tricks.
Last we heard, Disney was announcing at Comic-Con that the director was going to be tackling a re-boot of their Haunted Mansion property, a theme park ride that already had an Eddie Murphy-starring film adaptation released in 2003. Generally film fans have learned to take announcements that del Toro is going to direct something with a grain of salt, but in this case Disney announced his involvement with a bunch of hoopla and in front of a crowd. Surely he was locked in as the film’s director, wasn’t he? Turns out not.
Recently Haunted Mansion dropped off of a Disney press site that kept a list of their upcoming releases, which prompted eagle-eyed fans to speculate that the project might be cancelled. Given the controversy, Collider asked del Toro what the latest on the film was, and he had this to say, “I delivered my last draft five weeks ago. I have a meeting with them in three weeks. I know they like the screenplay. I need to meet with them in three weeks. That’s what I know. I know their reaction to the draft was good. We have a bunch of conceptualist art, but you never know, to predict anything else is hard for me to know. I should have called them and said, ‘Hey.’ Usually, it’s very hard for me to predict what a thing like that means.”
So, does that mean that the movie is still definitely on and del Toro is still definitely directing? Well…maybe not. When pressed on the issue of whether he was still directing, the filmmaker’s now familiar routine of backpedaling out of a project started up in full swing. He continued, “Yeah, I still would love to make that movie. I came on board originally as a writer and producer, the decision I think they may be waiting, is for me to say I’m directing the movie. Or am I directing it next, which is too early for me to know what I’m doing next in live-action. I’m in the middle of Pacific Rim and I don’t know what I’m going to do next.”
“Don’t know what I’m going to do next,”…that’s my Guillermo del Toro!