Guillermo Del Toro

The great post-conversion war rages on, and even Guillermo del Toro and his already-epic-sounding Pacific Rim can’t win a decisive battle. Despite telling crowds at this year’s Comic-Con that he was resistant to the idea of converting his next film, a robots (human-controlled!) versus aliens (giant and monstrous!) adventure, del Toro has now been, in Variety‘s words, “strong-armed” into post-converting his film to 3D. The outlet reports that del Toro’s film will still be available in 2D, but that “the prospect of the 3D upcharge — especially overseas — was likely too much for Warners to resist.” The conversion is not expected to impact the film’s release date, though this news certainly impacts faith in the studio’s ability to make decisions based on artistic merit, rather than box office potential (who are we kidding? it’s always about the money!). You can watch del Toro and his Pacific Rim panel from Comic-Con HERE. Pacific Rim will open on July 12, 2013.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Like the Curiosity Mars rover, it’s out there breaking new ground. Taking panoramic pictures of the red planet and whatnot. Also, collecting links to interesting stories about movies. We begin with a shot from the titles of The Avengers, taken from the expose that Art of the Title has done on the summer’s biggest blockbuster thus far. They brilliantly profile the work of Method Design on the Joss Whedon directed movie. Here’s hoping that Method will get asked back alongside Whedon for the sequel.

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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.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about movies and other interesting things currently being written by someone who is far more enthralled with Olympic gymnastics. He also watches beach volleyball, because why not? We begin this evening’s somewhat slim edition of News After Dark with the first look at Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock and Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren in The Girl, HBO’s look at the storied relationship between the director and his one-time muse.

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Pacific Rim Comic-Con Poster

Hearing Guillermo Del Toro speak is a thing of blazing beauty, not just because of the creative way the man curses, but because he’s a breathing ball of insight into how movies should and can be made. He’s a superfan who has the talent to build what he’s passionate about. That latest passion is giant robots and the world of Pacific Rim. Comic-Con attendees lucky enough to get into Hall H (meaning they got in line by 3:30am or something) got an ear-full at the Legendary panel, but even though this video doesn’t feature the exciting footage shown at the convention, it still features almost half an hour of Del Toro and company geeking out on sci-fi.

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Any time director Guillermo del Toro has been asked if he’s planning on making a third installment in his Hellboy franchise over the last few years, his responses have not been encouraging. His general feeling is that there are just too many new and exciting things to do out there to go back to the Hellboy well for a third time. Seeing as Hellboy 2 has earned a lot of fans over the years, and there’s a great big, world-ending prophecy storyline that could be tackled in Hellboy 3, a lot of people have taken these comments as being a huge disappointment. But news coming out of Comic-Con sees del Toro’s tune changed quite a bit in regards to another go-around with the red-skinned one. Entertainment Weekly got the director and Ron Perlman together to talk about their latest project, Pacific Rim, and he dropped this bomb on them, “I can say publicly that now we are together in trying (to do Hellboy 3).” This was something of a shocking statement, that Perlman fleshed out by adding, “The [first] two movies were really set up to have this unbelievable resolve. Everything that was done in both movies was leading up to this destiny, written in stone, of what Hellboy has been summoned to Earth to do. To not do it, particularly in light of the scope that Guillermo is thinking of for the resolve, would be in my mind a little bit of a shame.”

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Guillermo Del Toro

What is Movie News After Dark? It ain’t playin’, yo. This is about movin’ news, slingin’ editorial quips and makin’ bank. Whatever ‘bank’ is… Tonight we begin with some lovely artwork from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, a gothic retelling of the classic fairy tale about a puppet who just wanted to be a real boy. If any of you have watched the Disney animated version of Pinocchio recently (or in general, with adult eyes), you’ll know that there’s some seriously spine-tingling creepitude in that story. It’s got puppets from The Jim Henson Company and co-direction from Fantastic Mr. Fox animation director Mark Gustafson. Get excited about this one, kids.

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Though it feels like we’ve been talking about Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pacific Rim forever, it really hasn’t been quite that long, and information on the project has remained vague at best. The first quick bite on Pacific Rim (from back in 2011) reported that the film was about alien invaders, though we quickly learned that it was really “a monster movie” that centered on creatures emerging from the deep. When Charlie Hunnam signed on for a lead role in May of last year, we learned that he would be “one of the pilots of a giant robot who needs to climb back into the driver’s chair.” But since then, the terms “monster movie,” “robots,” and “mech suits” have been bandied about without any official connective tissue. But that’s changed. Today, Warner Bros. has finally released an official synopsis for Pacific Rim, one that ties together all those seemingly disparate parts, while also clarifying both Hunnam’s role and Rinko Kikuchi‘s part in the film. It is, in a word, awesome. Check out the full press release and synopsis after the break.

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Traditionally it has been rare to get a glimpse — at least for the everyday movie fan — into the decision making process that goes on behind closed doors in Hollywood. Prior to the dawn of the Internet and its later birth of the hyper-active blogosphere, these decisions were made and often not talked about until someone wrote a book about all the great movies that could have been. The Internet has blown those doors wide open, as evidence by filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro opening up to fans this week to talk of the potential demise of his adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. So who is to blame for killing a film that so  many would like to see made? Apparently, indirectly, it’s Ridley Scott.

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According to Variety, Guillermo del Toro is headed back to Mexico to pair with director Jorge R. Gutierrez for a CGI romantic adventure called Day of the Dead. There is nothing short of fantastic about this news. For one, they’ve chosen perhaps the second best holiday as their backdrop – one that can provide a wealth of vibrant and meaningful imagery. For two, Gutierrez is an eclectic and skilled animator. For three, del Toro wrote the script along with Doug Landale – who has worked on animated television shows since the early 90s. As for the title, it’s unclear how George Romero will feel about it. There are some cool sensibilities here, and the story is supposedly “Romeo and Juliet”-style, so the fantastical elements can probably be in full force. Of course, del Toro has a tight schedule and he won’t be directing, but his reputation as a hands-on producer speaks for itself. There’s no doubt his presence will be known in the final product. Now if he’d make a horror film about La Llorona…

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If this year is going to be the year of revisionist Snow White tales (what with both Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror hitting screens, and that Order of Seven film still getting worked out), then next year is already shaping up to be the year of new takes on Beauty and the Beast. Perhaps it would be wise to mark your calendars for 2014 – which will certainly be the year of Little Mermaid remakes, should this trend continue. Just last week, word from Berlin revealed that Brotherhood of the Wolf helmer Christophe Gans had set Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux to topline his new Beauty and the Beast project. With that project, Gans has promised to “keep to a form of storytelling of this timeless fairy tale that is in keeping with the same pace and characters as the original… [and] surprise the audience by creating a completely new visual universe never experienced before and produce images of an unparalleled quality.” Sounds good! The film will also be “based on one of the earliest published variants of the traditional fairy tale, included in Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve’s 1740’s collection, ‘La Jeune Ameriquaine et les Contes Marins.’” Also, great news! But maybe not so great for Guillermo Del Toro, who has just signed on to direct yet another take on the classic fairy tale. While his film (which he was previously attached to only as a producer) will likely boast Emma Watson as Belle (she’s in final negotiations […]

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Many people think that DreamWorks Animation is in a constant battle against Pixar. That’s because they are. However, the near-total domination from Disney’s arm means that DreamWorks gets a bit of leeway as the underdog, and they’ve capitalized on that standing with some offbeat and clever choices for production. It’s that mentality that must have given them license to bring Alma to life. The beautiful, unnerving short film from Pixar animator Rodrigo Blaas (which we featured on the site back in September) is going to grow into a feature length film under the tutelage of Guillermo del Toro and the team over at DreamWorks. With any luck, they’ll maintain the crawling sensibility featured prominently in the story of a young girl in a toy store. To that point, there’s an odds on chance that the feature will feel a lot like the short simply because DreamWorks has the brass buttons to do it. So is this reason to celebrate? Absolutely. Why? Watch the short for yourself and you tell me:

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It’s been hyped up, hotly anticipated and pushed hard by the big name behind it, but at the end of the day Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is just not that scary. Sure, Troy Nixey’s haunted house movie — co-produced and co-scripted by Guillermo Del Toro — has the high end bonafides, revealed in the sumptuous wood-paneled mansion setting and the patient, operatic camera movements. It’s got the eerie historical aura, the tortured child and the expressionistic rendition of shadowy figures creeping through the darkness. But when this remake of a popular made-for-TV movie from 1973 finally shows all its cards, you wonder what you’ve missed. There’s a serious disconnect between the highfalutin atmospherics and the nitty- gritty sloppiness of the premise, a sort of People Under the Stairs for rich white New Englanders. Reliant on the timeless “boo” effect and the hint of something deeper and sinister, the film basically offers one long, drawn out exercise in scaring the pants off a pre-teen.

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Acclaimed visual auteur Guillermo Del Toro recently sat down with MTV cameras to have a chat about a number of topics, and during the discussion talk turned to Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron’s upcoming astronaut thriller Gravity. Whatever Cuaron is doing while filming this one seems to be the talk of the town, as he couldn’t help but gush at how blown away both he and big-time director and technophile James Cameron are with the technical aspects of Cuaron’s production. Keeping up with the stuttered sentence structure and charming accent is a little rough when trying for a transcript, but I think I’ve pulled most of the money quotes out of the interview. Del Toro starts by saying, “I think what is incredible about what they did is, they talked to David Fincher, they talked to Jim Cameron… I connected Jim and Alfonso for that… And what Alfonso is trying, is so insane. And Jim said, ‘Well look, what you’re trying is about five years into the future.’ When James said that it’s too early to try anything that crazy… they did it.”

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I’m not the biggest Guillermo del Toro fan on the planet. I love Pan’s Labyrinth, but a lot of his more popcorny genre work doesn’t really resonate with me. If he said that he was swearing off horror movies and action franchises for the rest of his career in favor of focusing on dark dramas, I would be ecstatic. But that isn’t the sort of filmmaker he is, and we’re probably all lucky for that, because even I’m getting excited about how awesome his upcoming monster movie Pacific Rim sounds. Lately del Toro has been making all the right moves to turn me around and get me amped up for this project. First he hired Idris Elba to replace Tom Cruise in the starring role. Talk about a major upgrade. Then he went around town making comments about how big and unmodest this film was going to be, how he was approaching it like a big kid having fun, and how it was going to feature mankind creating mech suits to battle giant monsters that come out of the ocean. I don’t know what the best way to get a geek’s attention is, but promising monsters fighting mech suits just might be it. And now he’s in talks to cast Willem Dafoe in a high profile role.

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Guy Pearce is really good at playing assholes. He can do the nice guy thing or the conflicted hero as well, but I love me some Pearce in a-hole mode. Earlier this year in the fantastic Mildred Pierce, he got to play one of the most charming emasculated men in recent screen history. In The King’s Speech, he was a snotty old brother all about having a good ‘ol time. So what does the smooth talker from Mildred Pierce and the jerk brother from The King’s Speech have in common? Humility. Pearce is not one to let a human character be a monster for no understandable reason. He’s also not interested in having pure distaste for the character’s skin he’s inhabiting. In the (finally) upcoming Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, he’s filling the shoes of the neglectful father. While Pearce doesn’t view him as an asshole, that’s the word that kept popping up in my head when the personable actor was describing him. Here’s what the actor had to say about playing un-nice guys, the Memento Effect, his banter with Nicolas Winding Refn, trusting directors, and working with hard-boiled dialog:

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In one of the best panels in recent memory, Guillermo del Toro and Nicholas Winding Refn chose to combine their allotted time in Hall H (for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Drive respectively). What resulted was a rare conversation from two unique filmmakers who transcended the normal marketing mechanism of Comic-Con to deliver some insight and information about their processes. There were many different facets to it, and they talked about their movies some of course, but ultimately it became a master class in making films. So here’s a little bit of free film school from two visionaries.

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The Hall H floor at Comic-Con was an easy audience for it, and Morgan Spurlock took full use of the home field advantage when he introduced a trailer for his new documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. He’s partnered with Stan Lee, Joss Whedon and Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool to make a film about the event that offers fans the freedom to dust off their Ryuk costume and wear it without shame. The trailer was sleek and featured memories and observations from Whedon, Eli Roth (who brought up the first time he “took a piss next to a stormtrooper and a Klingon), Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, Seth Green and Guillermo del Toro. All Con favorites, they were joined by a few fans as well as what appeared to be an aspiring artist getting his work reviewed from working comic book producers. The trailer itself was otherwise vague, but it looks like it will have the same humor and heart that Spurlock’s work is marked by, and with full access, there are a ton of great stories that might be told.

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In a perfect world, projects like this would be handed all the money the need and shot out of a cannon toward the public. In the real world, producer Denise Di Novi still has a long way to go before the “Beauty and the Beast” project she’s working on with Guillermo del Toro will actually see the light of day (if it ever does see the light of day). But with del Toro’s creative involvement and the actor attached to the project, someone should really pick this ball up and run with it. According to Coming Soon, Emma Watson has signed on in what can only be a starring role (my guess is as the “Beauty” part of the equation, but I’ve been wrong many times before). This is a great combination, a concept that seems both commercial and satisfying on a story level, and could be a massive experience with the right director. Which is the next question. What director should take on a retelling of a pixie cut-owning Beauty who meets her Beast? Hint: Daniel Barnz isn’t it. Another great question: who will play the singing teapot? There’s gotta be a singing teapot, right?

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Much has been made of the fact that this month’s Comic-Con in San Diego is looking to be a fairly empty one when it comes to upcoming blockbusters from the studios. Sure Tv shows like Game Of Thrones, True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries will be there, but Marvel, Pixar, and Warner Bros. are sitting it out this year and saving themselves a boatload of cash. This means fans won’t get a glimpse at hotly anticipated titles like Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, or Andrew Stanton’s John Carter. But not everyone’s upset that the heavy hitters are absent this year… because now some of the lower profile films have a chance to make some noise and get noticed. Per Collider (and the press release they received) Legendary Pictures is leaping on the opportunity and has announced a panel featuring four of their upcoming films. Granted, none of the movies are due out until 2012/2013, but everyone loves seeing celebrities talk about future projects! The highlight is Guillermo del Toro who’ll be on-hand for his giant monster movie, Pacific Rim, and will be bringing his recently announced cast with him including Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, and the lovely Rinko Kikuchi. Also along for the Comic-Con bump will be Alex Proyas and Bradley Cooper discussing their adaptation of Paradise Lost (and how Cooper dodged a bullet with Green Lantern), Jeff Bridges and friends to talk up their supernatural thriller Seventh Son, and Mass Effect creator […]

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