“I learned through the years, you wanna make God laugh? Tell him what your next movie is.”
That was what Guillermo del Toro told Josh Horowitz on the podcast Happy Sad Confused while doing press for the upcoming Crimson Peak. He, like friend Alfonso Cuarón, tends to have several projects in development at once before he actually gets to direct something. (Cuarón had three films greenlit before he did Gravity.)
When HSC asked him about Hellboy 3, Pacific Rim 2, and the rumors he was directing one of the new Star Wars movies, he said part of the problem is that rumors are over-reported and don’t reflect what his working schedule is really like.
Specifically, in regards to confusion regarding a Pacific Rim sequel:
“In three weeks we are delivering a [new] budget and a schedule and a new draft of the screenplay. And then the studio knows how much it costs, what is it about and then they’ll decide if they go ahead or not.”
He also said that hate it or love it, Pacific Rim was all his, everything was under his control. He wanted a movie about giant robots and monsters, so that’s what he made. But that made it difficult to gauge exactly what the market was going to be. He almost felt like the robots (you really have to hear the way he says “robots,” it’s amazing) were heavily promoted and the monsters aspect was shoved out of the way or hidden.
“We tested incredibly high. We got a great cinema score, meaning audiences were connecting, but no one knew. When the movie was opening we were below Grown-Ups 2 in terms of awareness. That’s the thing that bothers me: awareness. I would’ve loved for people to have known more about it.”
He and Ron Perlman would also really love to complete a Hellboy trilogy, but those films performed better in home video sales than they did at the box office. The DVD/Blu-Ray market has since faltered, and that type of revenue is no longer an attractive option for studios. The result is that no studio is interested in making Hellboy 3 at all. (But F/X is still interested in making The Strain? They already had a hit show starring Perlman on a bike. Why not invest in a Hellboy show featuring Ron Perlman with horns?)
His next project may not be Pacific Rim 2, but he’s keeping quiet about what it is. He promises it will be a small, independently financed movie, according to Variety. No word on whether that’s the same “Wall-E meets Splash” thing that was talked about last month.
You can listen to the entire interview here. Crimson Peak will be released Oct. 16.