Crimson Peak

Guillermo Del Toro’s been in the press a lot lately as he does the rounds for his upcoming gothic romance Crimson Peak. This has included lots of discussion of other projects the director has been developing, most notably Pacific Rim 2, which just last week found the loquacious Mexican filmmaker insisting Game Of Thrones’ Maisie Williams would be behind the violent-robot wheel in the next one. So it may sound a little odd to hear Del Toro has gotten mighty sick of spending hundreds of millions of dollars of other people’s money making gigantic action spectacles. In a new interview with The Guardian, he claims to be getting tired of playing around in the blockbuster sandbox, and would like to return to making smaller independent films, which is the kind of thing you say when you’re in the middle of another interminable press tour:

What I can tell you quite safely is, I don’t intend to keep on doing big, giant Hollywood movies for much longer. Crimson Peak is a great permit for me to work on a smaller scale. I mean, it’s big for a drama, but it’s a much smaller undertaking than Pacific Rim or Hellboy.

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Left unsaid here are a couple of relevant details. One, most of the director’s biggest successes—at least critically—have been his smaller films, and he himself has often evinced more of a love for them. Second, while his giant spectacle films have made money, they haven’t exactly made Jurassic World money, and as a result, Del Toro has had trouble getting a number of them off the ground. But also, it might simply be that he’s no longer interested in most of the big movies being made—i.e. contemporary superhero films.

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.

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As with many statements of intent by directors, this one should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, George Lucas said much the same thing, and so far, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of gritty handheld indie films coming from that direction. Still, it would be nice to see Del Toro get back to basics, because if The Strain is any indication, he’s stretching himself a bit too thin these days.