Although we didn't cover it here at Screen Rant (we thought we'd wait for the actual announcement), The Hobbit director, Guillermo del Toro, teased us with some big news (big at least for him) that was unrelated to The Hobbit. The clue he gave for fans to go on was the, "key letter D," which led people to speculate that it was referring to several of the projects the director has in the works, including adaptations of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Drood.
However, at the D23 Disney Fan Expo, del Toro appeared through satellite video to make the announcement that he and Disney are teaming up to launch a new animation studio call Disney Double Dare You, which aims to make new animated films, "full of chills and thrills for audiences of all ages." Del Toro will produce all (all?!) of the films, and even direct some of them. Del Toro had this to say:
"As a director, I love to take audiences into fantastic new worlds and provide them with some anxious moments in the process... It is part of the Disney canon to create thrilling, unforgettable moments and villains in all their classic films."
The first Double Dare You animation is said to be called Trollhunters, which is (unsurprisingly, considering the director we're talking about) based on work by the Mexican filmmaker. A rather bold detail was mentioned/claimed by the man himself: that all of the pics will be linked together, "by one feature that shall remain secret, but that you shall soon be very familiar with." Does he mean The Hobbit? I can't imagine an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's book somehow tying together a set of dark animated films from Disney, can you?
Although Double Dare You will take Disney in a new direction, the emphasis is still said to be on "fun." The new studio will not only produce movies, but also create books and other tie-in merchandise (well, it is Disney we're talking about). You can head over to /Film for the full press release.
When del Toro teased us with the forthcoming "D" announcement, he mentioned that we had not to worry because apparently he has been working on it (what we now know is Double Dare You) for over two years and it will NOT impede on his Hobbit duties. That's obviously a great thing to hear, not that I was even worried in the first place - del Toro is a tremendously gifted and hard-working filmmaker, and I'm sure The Hobbit is first on his mind at the moment.
However, as I've said before, it's hard to work out just where del Toro finds the time to juggle all of these projects he has in the pipeline for himself. Just as a reminder, not only does he have The Hobbit and now Double Dare You, but also three adaptations in the cards - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Drood and Slaughterhouse-Five - and a supposed "pet project" called At the Mountain of Madness (which, last we heard, Universal were hoping to pin him down for). Added to that, there's also his (trilogy of) vampire novels, The Strain. Adding all of this stuff up, and it appears del Toro is booked solid until at least 2017 - a busy man, indeed.
Oh, and less then two weeks ago, del Toro was also reported to be producing the upcoming adaptation of DC Comics character, Deadman.
I'm a huge fan of del Toro (who isn't?) and I'm very much look forward to what he and Disney will bring us with Double Dare You. If anyone is to take The Mouse House in a darker direction, it's the imaginative, Mr. del Toro.
What do you think of del Toro partnering up with Disney to launch a new animation studio? Does a darker type of animation from Disney sound appealing to you (keeping in mind it's del Toro who's also involved)?