Last year it was reported that Guillermo del Toro would be making a new animated movie entitled Trollhunters as the first movie from Double Dare You, a new animation studio set up over at Disney. However, fast-forward a year and it appears (for whatever reason) that del Toro is making Trollhunters at a different studio.
Heat Vision reports del Toro landing at Dreamworks Animation, where he'll write and direct Trollhunters (apparently that's a working title but I personally like it as is). Del Toro visited the studio's campus in California every week for most of this past summer and has decided to "move in" in a manner of speaking.
Not only will del Toro write and direct Trollhunters at Dreamworks, he'll also serve as a consultant and exec producer on lots of other projects the studio has in the works, including the likes of Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss In Boots and another yet-to-be-named project. Apparently he's even been helping out with Megamind (which hits theaters in November) including consulting on the structuring and editing in order to "give it a brisker rhythm."
However, Trollhunters will obviously be his main focus since he's handling both writing and directing duties. It's based on a young-adult book del Toro submitted for publishing a couple of weeks ago, based on an idea he himself came up with around the time he started writing The Strain, the trilogy of vampire novels he's been working on alongside Chuck Hogan. del Toro said of Trollhunters:
"I wanted very much to develop a story that could be written for kids but dealt with a genre that was scary... It essentially combines fairy tales with modern times and is about how difficult it is to be kid. Normally, kids are idealized in animated films. But the growing pains, married with the notion that there is a world right next to us that is completely plagued by creatures of ancient lore, it's thematically fitting with the rest of my stuff."
Don't get too excited for Trollhunters just yet - since animation takes a lot longer than live-action we likely won't see the movie for a few years yet. Del Toro is just now beginning to write the script.
I'm very surprised he's going to be involved in projects at Dreamworks Animation considering his style is overtly darker than what the studio usually puts out. But apparently it was the work Dreamworks did on How To Train Your Dragon which particularly impressed him. "They took risks with that movie with pathos and imagination and structure. It made me pay attention," del Toro said.
Del Toro wants to be involved in animation because he wants, "to know it from the inside." He's clearly drawn in by the fact that, "each of the steps you refine and refine and refine until its final form." That's definitely true - if you want to change something in a live-action movie you have to do inconvenient reshoots but with an animated movie it's a lot easier to make changes.
The Mexican filmmaker taking on yet another project as head-on as this brings up the question yet again of how he does it (leaving The Hobbit sure has freed him up a lot). Del Toro has addressed that query again by saying that he's not working on them all at the same time (some of his ideas have been brewing for years). I guess he's just an extremely passionate filmmaker who is simply good at task managing :-P .
With all this animation talk you could be forgiven for thinking that del Toro will be turning his complete attention away from his usual live-action fare. However, del Toro's isn't abandoning the live-action world as he has several projects in the works, not least of which is his pet project At the Mountains of Madness (which is being produced by none other than James Cameron). Del Toro is crossing his fingers that At the Mountains gets the all-important green light when he presents all the art, maquettes and the budget to Universal in a few weeks' time.
Some might say del Toro has too many fingers in too many different pies right now, but surely it can only be a good thing we're getting so many different interesting and exciting sounding projects from one of the best filmmakers working today, right?
Source: Heat Vision