Guillermo del Toro has indicated that his days of directing megabudget studio tentpole movies may be drawing to a close.
The Mexican filmmaker, who has enjoyed major acclaim for his independent Spanish language films but only moderate success with his mainstream blockbusters, informs The Guardian, “I don’t intend to keep on doing big, giant Hollywood movies for much longer.”
It seems a key problem for del Toro is whether he feels a personal connection to the films he is offered by the studios - and this would appear to be a rare thing.
“I can’t say which ones, but I’ve been offered gigantic movies in the superhero genre, but I don’t like the superheroes that are… nice. I like the dark ones, so ‘Blade’ and ‘Hellboy’ were right for me.
“The mechanics of action only interest me when it’s a universe very, very close to my heart, which ‘Pacific Rim’ is, and I love it.
“I’m not going to pursue action movies or superhero movies at all any more. I hope I can go back to doing the smaller, weirder ones.”
The director goes on, “I’m out of step with the culture a little bit. I’m never ironic, I’m never postmodern, ever. I’m always earnest. For me, irony puts you above your subject. I get high on my own supply.
“As a film-maker, I’m not interested in working in those dynamics any more. I feel that I gotta do the movies that need me, not the movies I need.”
It’s not hard to see why del Toro might feel this way. Having started out alternating between comparatively small-scale, personal projects (’Cronos,’ ‘The Devil’s Backbone,’ ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’) and mid-budget Hollywood genre fare (’Mimic,’ ‘Blade II,’ ‘Hellboy’), the director’s productivity has dropped significantly since moving into the blockbuster realm.
Del Toro spent several years attached to the long-delayed ‘The Hobbit’ before dropping out to pursue his passion project, HP Lovecraft’s ‘At The Mountains of Madness’ - which, in turn, was axed by the studio over budget and rating disagreements.
Since then, del Toro’s 2013 blockbuster ‘Pacific Rim’ proved divisive with critics and audiences, and the troubles facing that film’s reportedly still in-development sequel have been well documented; meanwhile, despite fervent campaigning from fans and actor Ron Perlman, the long hoped-for ‘Hellboy 3′ still looks unlikely to get made.
Perhaps it is about time del Toro went back to his roots a bit - and all indications are that, despite being an English language studio production, his latest movie, Gothic romance ‘Crimson Peak,’ is more in the vein of his earlier independent films.
Del Toro calls ‘Crimson Peak’ “a great permit for me to work on a smaller scale… it’s big for a drama, but it’s a much smaller undertaking than ‘Pacific Rim’ or ‘Hellboy.’”
‘Crimson Peak’ opens this Friday, 16 October.
Picture Credit: Universal/Legendary, Warner Bros