Nowadays, it's difficult to keep track of what Guillermo del Toro is supposed to be directing next - since it seems to change every few months or so. However, for the time being, his next feature-length project is a haunted house movie called Crimson Peak, which del Toro will helm once he wraps post-production on Pacific Rim and shoots the pilot for FX's The Strain (based on his own novel).
Legendary Pictures is backing Crimson Peak, having established a good working relationship with del Toro while collaborating on Pacific Rim. In fact, the filmmaker is now hopeful that Legendary could be willing to resurrect his defunct At the Mountains of Madness adaptation (which collapsed after Universal pulled the plug last year).
Here's how del Toro described Crimson Peak to Deadline:
“[It's] 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 first script draft for Crimson Peak was co-written by del Toro and Matthew Robbins, who previously worked with the filmmaker on the screenplays for Mimic and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Both of those titles are generally considered weaker installments in del Toro's oeuvre; though, he's long cited creative control issues on the former (and did not direct the latter).
As it were, the script for Crimson Peak is now getting a rewrite from del Toro and Lucinda Coxon (The Heart of Me, The Crimson Petal and the White), with the intention of crafting a story that pays proper homage to classic haunted house titles of yore - one that should be ready to begin production by early 2014.
To quote del Toro:
“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. 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 [Crimson Peak] to feel like a throwback.”
Meanwhile, del Toro has yet to fully abandon his dream of realizing H.P. Lovecraft's sci-fi/horror tale At the Mountains of Madness on the big screen. The filmmaker seemed less confident earlier this year, when he speculated that the project might never see the light of day because of its similarities to Prometheus. However, he's now adapted a more optimistic outlook, after his experience making Pacific Rim.
Here is what del Toro said, about the possibility of Legendary funding Mountains of Madness:
“They love it, but we just finished Pacific Rim. They want to let that film happen [it opens July 12] and then my hope is, down the line we can do it. People ask how do i choose projects. All the projects in my roster are there because I love them, but the financing process is serendipity. And often, the ones I think will happen don’t, and the ones I think won’t happen, do.”
Bear in mind, del Toro's also involved with writing on the upcoming 3D stop-motion Pinocchio movie and Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson attached to star (which he could feasibly direct); not to mention, the filmmaker hasn't given up on making Hellboy 3 just yet, either. Hence, you shouldn't count on Mountains of Madness being resurrected anytime soon. All the same, we will keep you updated on all del Toro-related reports as they come our way.
In the meantime, you can catch Pacific Rim in 3D next year on July 12th, 2013.