EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt has been tapped as the co-lead opposite Corey Stoll and Mia Maestro in FX‘s high-profile drama pilot The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse, which is being eyed for a 13-episode pickup. The high-concept thriller, directed by del Toro from a script he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan based on their vampire novel trilogy, tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. Hurt, who first worked with del Toro in his 2004 feature Hellboy, will portray Professor Abraham Setrakian, a holocaust survivor who immigrated to the U.S. after World War II and now runs a pawn shop in Spanish Harlem. As the outbreak spreads, he may be the only one with answers — if anyone will listen.
“To fight monsters, we created monsters” – so goes the tagline for Guillermo del Toro’s summer tentpole for Warner Bros. A new 4-minute Pacific Rim featurette gives viewers a look inside the massive robots deployed to battle the kaijus that have emerged from the sea in the near future. “Every movie has to have a portion of analog practical effects to really convey the sense of physical reality of the film,” del Toro says, then he details how they did it. Stars Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam describe the challenges as they endured del Toro’s “torture machine.” Suffice it to say, this ain’t Godzilla vs. Mothra. The Legendary Pictures actioner opens July 12:
Next week is all about television upfront presentations in NYC. But National CineMedia and NCM Media Networks are holding a ‘cinema upfront’ event on May 15 featuring filmmaker Guillermo del Toro with never-before-seen footage from his Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros summer tentpole Pacific Rim. This ‘Bigger Picture’ presentation and lunch will be held at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square movie theater in NYC.
Here’s the mecha vs. monsters Pacific Rim trailer Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures unveiled at WonderCon last month. Fanboys went nuts. But when the same footage screened at CinemaCon some exhibitors complained to me that it was “too sci-fi”. The Guillermo Del Toro-directed pic opens July 12. Check it out:
EXCLUSIVE: House Of Cards‘ Corey Stoll has been tapped as the lead of FX‘s high-profile drama project The Strain, from filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and veteran showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel). The Strain, an adaptation of del Toro’s vampire novel trilogy, formally has a pilot order, but FX president John Landgraf has indicated it is being eyed for a series order. The project already has a full writing staff in place churning out scripts, and I hear FX has committed $500,000 to creature creation.
Del Toro will direct the pilot from a script he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan, who also co-authored the books with del Toro. Cuse, who helped develop the adaptation, executive produces alongside del Toro and will serve as showrunner, overseeing the potential series with del Toro. Hogan and del Toro’s longtime manager/producing partner Gary Ungar also serve as exec producers of the project, produced by FX Prods.
The Strain is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his …
EXCLUSIVE: HBO and Guillermo del Toro are teaming on Monster, developing a potential series culled from a series of 18 volumes of Japanese Manga by author Naoki Urasawa published by Shogakukan Inc. Del Toro will co-write the story with Steven Thompson, best known for his work on Dr. Who and Sherlock. Thompson will write the pilot, which del Toro intends to direct. The thriller is about the worldwide search by a young doctor for the most evil sociopath that has ever lived. He is a 12-year-old boy, and the doctor’s decision to save his life has unwittingly unleashed a Pandora’s Box that leaves the doc battling to stop a plot of mass genocide. This is certainly a departure for HBO, entering the Manga game, but for del Toro and Thompson, it allows them an incredible sandbox to play in. Del Toro will be executive producer and Thompson co-executive producer, with Angry Films’ partners Don Murphy and Susan Montford executive producing with Exile’s Gary Ungar. Shogakukan will be consulting producer.
This project was originally set at New Line, but proved too sprawling to confined to a feature film. It took del Toro a long time to woo creator Urasawa into being comfortable with Hollywood again, which sounds a lot like the process that D.B. Weiss and David Benioff went through with George R.R. Martin before they could get Game Of Thrones off the ground at HBO.
Oliver Stone stole the show at CinemaCon‘s Filmmakers Forum today, making the most challenging comments on a panel with fellow directors Sam Raimi and Guillermo del Toro. Too many movies are made to please audiences, copy each other, and lack a compelling story, Stone said at a session moderated by film critic Elvis Mitchell. “I don’t see the difference between one action movie and another…It becomes a form of torture for the eyes. CIA torture: I’d make you watch GI Joe 3,000 times. Just kidding.” All of the directors said that they enjoy seeing their movies in theaters with audiences. “It’s almost like a theater actor who calibrates [his] performance,” del Toro said adding that being a director “is very lonely.” Raimi described himself as “definitely an audience filmmaker….We’re working to move that audience.” But Stone said it’s dangerous for filmmakers to “run after them like dogs” because difficult films “won’t get audiences slavering.” For example, he said that in “the good old days” he didn’t allow Warner Bros to have previews for his film JFK telling execs “you’re going to get mixed cards all over the place. We’ll never get out of here alive.” Del Toro agreed that directors must fulfill their own vision, something he has tried to do in his horror films. “You can’t make a cozy horror film.” If someone screen-tested The Exorcist today many would object “because it’s transgressive.”
It’s been a couple of months since the last trailer dropped for Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim. Warner Bros. India today posted the first international TV spot that features Idris Elba’s Lieutenant-Commander Stacker Pentecost who’s “cancelling the apocalypse” as Earth battles evil aliens risen from the deep. The Warner Bros./Legendary pic also stars Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. It opens July 12.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Next Pic ‘Crimson Peak’ Casts Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone & Charlie Hunnam
BREAKING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone and Charlie Hunnam have signed on to star in Legendary Pictures’ haunted house thriller Crimson Peak, which will be the next movie to be directed by Guillermo del Toro and is set to begin shooting in January 2014. Del Toro originally wrote the ghost story script with frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins and had set it up at Universal; he now is giving it a rewrite with Lucinda Coxon. Legendary will produce and be a participating financing partner, with Universal retaining an option to also finance at a later date. Legendary is also behind del Toro’s Pacific Rim, which is due out July 12 via Warner Bros. Warners will likely distribute Crimson Peak via its deal with Legendary.
Del Toro previously told Deadline that Crimson Peak is best described 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.”
‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’ Co-Scribe Lucy Alibar And Guillermo Del Toro Team For ‘The Secret Garden’ At Universal
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures beat out four studios today to acquire a pitch for a new film version of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel The Secret Garden that will be scripted by Oscar-nominated Beasts Of The Southern Wild co-writer Lucy Alibar. She will work closely with Guillermo del Toro, who’ll produce with Mark Johnson. Del Toro and Johnson are re-teaming after they produced the 2011 feature remake of the classic ABC telepic Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark.
There was a swirl of interest in the hope that del Toro could direct, but he’s so busy with his other projects–he opens the big global tent pole Pacific Rim this summer and is working on a sequel; he’s turning Pan’s Labyrinth into a stage musical; he next helms the haunted house pic Crimson Peak; and he’ll direct the pilot for an FX series adaptation of The Strain, the apocalyptic vampire novel he wrote with Chuck Hogan–that del Toro will guide Alibar creatively as producer. Both of them have had success with projects surrounding young people who build fantasy worlds as a way of dealing with loneliness, grief, loss and abandonment (del Toro with Pan’s Labyrinth). In both cases, the girls create mythic threatening beasts they are forced to outmaneuver or stare down.
Here’s an inside look at Mama, a supernatural thriller starring Jessica Chastain and Game Of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their parents were killed. They are rescued years later and taken in by family, but apparently aren’t the only ones who tag along. As producer Guillermo del Toro explains “we are not only telling a story of a monster, we are telling the story of a very human emotion”. Universal releases the pic January 18.
Here’s a second trailer, which debuted as part of the CES convention in Las Vegas, for the Guillermo del Toro-directed Pacific Rim. It grows appropriately bigger from the first look unveiled last month to show off the giant robots that face off against giant alien invaders. The Warner Bros/Legendary pic starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman opens July 12. If you like it don’t worry because del Toro and scribe Travis Beacham already have a sequel in the works.
WATCH IT ON YOUTUBE: Pacific Rim CES 2013 Official Trailer
The first real trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim has arrived. Written by Travis Beacham, the Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures movie about giant alien invaders from another dimension stars Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. Pacific Rim opens July 12th, and Del Toro and Beacham are already working on the script for a sequel.
EXCLUSIVE: Pan’s Labyrinth is taking shape as a stage musical. The 2006 Guillermo del Toro-directed film is about a young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer who finds refuge and terror in a fantasy world in 1944 Fascist Spain. The stage version already has a book that has been written by del Toro and Jeremy Ungar. Paul Williams has just been signed to write the lyrics. Gustavo Santaolalla, who twice won Oscars for composing the scores for Brokeback Mountain and Babel, is writing the music. Robert Fox is producing with del Toro and Gary Ungar.
Del Toro has been working quietly on this for four years, interviewing directors, librettists and composers. Del Toro, Williams and Santaolalla are also working on songs for the animated Reel FX film Day Of The Dead, which is in advanced stages of production.
“I admire and love Gustavo and Paul wrote the perfect album in Phantom Of The Paradise, which I have loved for decades,” said del Toro, who just wrapped Pacific Rim for Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros and who’ll next direct the haunted house tale Crimson Peak for Legendary.
The monsters and machines movie doesn’t even come out until July 12, 2013, but a sequel to Pacific Rim is already on the drafting table. Director Guillermo del Toro has started work on a follow up script to the Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures movie with Travis Beacham, Deadline has confirmed. Beacham, who wrote the screenplay to Pacific Rim, has already been at work on a graphic novel prequel to the film expected out next year.
EXCLUSIVE: Guillermo del Toro has committed to make the ghost story Crimson Peak the next film he will direct. Even though del Toro set up that project originally from a script he wrote with frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins, he will make the film for Legendary Pictures, which backed his latest film, Pacific Rim. Legendary will produce with the expectation it will release through its deal with Warner Bros. Legendary will be a participating financing partner, with Universal retaining an option to come in as co-financier at a later date.
Del Toro will work through a rewrite with Lucinda Coxon and they will shoot for an early 2014 production start. That gives del Toro the time to complete press for Pacific Rim and to film the FX pilot for The Strain, the series based on the vampire novel series del Toro wrote with Chuck Hogan.
Del Toro tells me that Crimson Peak is best described 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.”
The main thing: Legendary will give him the resources he needs to honor what he calls the “grand dames” of the haunted house genre. “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.”
AFI Fest 2012 continued Sunday with the World Premiere of DreamWorks Animation’s holiday biggie and Oscar hopeful, Rise Of The Guardians, and if the buzz generated by this screening is any indication DWA should have a hit on both fronts. First and foremost Guardians, is the perfect holiday family movie, but rather remarkably it appears the be the only holiday-themed family movie this season (it opens November 21), a sad state of affairs that had even DWA topper Jeffrey Katzenberg shaking his head in disbelief when I spoke to him. What the hell is happening here Hollywood?
Certainly being largely alone in the Christmas corridor’s family marketplace (the PG13 Hobbit not withstanding) won’t hurt the business prospects for the film, and a big box office smash will lift its already bright prospects in what is turning out to be a fairly wide open race for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, especially with chief rival Disney’s attention divided between three films this year – Pixar’s Brave, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and this weekend’s hit, Wreck-It Ralph – with the latter moving way up the charts thanks to a stronger-than-expected $50 million B.O. haul and some rave reviews that have placed it alongside Frankenweenie and ParaNorman as the best-reviewed toons at Rotten Tomatoes in 2012. The latter two could be hurt at Oscar time by being (unfairly?) lumped together with the hit Hotel Transylvania in the animated horror spoof sub-category. The delightfully clever and likeable video game-centric Ralph might eventually prove too hip based on past voting patterns …