Although he is very likely up to his elbows in the post-production of his upcoming film Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro is still looking towards his next project, specifically the ghost story Crimson Peak. Legendary Pictures, who are bankrolling Pacific Rim, announced the news today. They will be producing the film for Warner Brothers to distribute.
Crimson Peak is a project that has been on Del Toro’s backburner for a while now. He first wrote and then sold the screenplay to Universal back in 2007 after he had completed Pan’s Labyrinth. The chance to do Hellboy II and then the two years in New Zealand he spent working on developing The Hobbit with Peter Jackson kept him from doing the film for the studio. More recently, Del Toro was aked by Legendary what he would like to do as his next project and he sent them the scripts to his long in-development adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness (which Universal had also shown a brief interest in), an adaptation of The Count Of Monte Cristo he had been trying to get going for nearly 20 years and Crimson Peak and was pleasantly surprised when they came back with Peak as the project they wanted to finance.
Del Toro described the film to Deadline as “[A] very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story. It will allow me to play with the conventions of the genre I know and love, and at the same time subvert the old rules.” He further explains that he hopes to pay homages to the great hanuted house films of the past –
To me that is Robert Wise’s The Haunting, which was a big movie, beautifully directed, with the house built magnificently. And the other grand daddy is Jack Clayton’s The Innocents. I’ve always tried to make big-sized horror movies like the ones I grew up watching,” del Toro said. “Films like The Omen, The Exorcist and The Shining, the latter of which is another Mount Everest of the haunted house movie. I loved the way that Kubrick had such control over the big sets he used, and how much big production value there was. I think people are getting used to horror subjects done as found footage or B-value budgets. I wanted this to feel like a throwback.
We already know how much Del Toro loves the various sub-genres of horror, and if we look at Pan’s Labyrinth as his take on classical European fairy tale conventions, I think we can safely assume that we will be in for something scarily good.
But for those of you – OK, those of us waiting to see if Del Toro will ever get to make At The Mountains Of Madness, don’t despair. The director hints that the project may come to fruition with his current producing partners.
They love it, but we just finished Pacific Rim. They want to let that film happen and then my hope is, down the line we can do it. People ask how do i choose projects. All the projects in my roster are there because I love them, but the financing process is serendipity. And often, the ones I think will happen don’t, and the ones I think won’t happen, do.
Pacific Rim opens July 12.