With his Venice Film Festival Golden Lion-winning fantasy-drama The Shape of Water poised to make some further noise during awards season, director Guillermo del Toro says he needs a break from the grind of Hollywood and will take a year off from directing. Del Toro had been set to begin work on an adaptation of the ’60s action-fantasy Fantastic Voyage, a project that has already seen its share of delays and problems during a long period in development hell.
Del Toro’s new film The Shape of Water is winning critical raves, with many hailing it as the director’s best work since his masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth. Sally Hawkins stars as a mute janitor working at a secret government facility who strikes up an unusual relationship with a lonely sea creature being held there. Among other things, the film breaks new ground in depicting human-on-sea-creature sex.
During a round-table discussion in Morelia, Mexico, Guillermo del Toro talked at length about his plans beyond The Shape of Water, including his need to get away from the grind for awhile. Del Toro said via Variety:
“I’m taking a sabbatical for a year as a director. I was going to do ‘Fantastic Voyage,’ but after ‘The Shape of Water’ I need to take pause.”
Fantastic Voyage had already been delayed once so del Toro could finish up shooting The Shape of Water, but expectations were that he would begin work on the film at some point in 2018. If del Toro sticks with his plan to kick back for a year, Fantastic Voyage will have to wait for him or find another director. The James Cameron-produced project already has passed through the hands of multiple potential directors over the years, including Roland Emmerich, Paul Greengrass and Shawn Levy.
Though he won’t be getting behind the camera himself in 2018, Del Toro still has plenty of projects he’ll be working on from behind-the-scenes. These include two projects he and long-time producing partner Bertha Navarro are “studying.” Del Toro says one potential project would team him with Mexican director Patricia Riggen, whose mine-disaster film The 33 picked up some awards, and who is next slated to direct several episodes of Amazon’s spy series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Del Toro also teased some news coming in the next few weeks about season 2 of his Netflix animated show Trollhunters.
Most interestingly if you’re a hardcore del Toro fan, the director said he is committed to finishing the script for his long-gestating film Silver, about a Mexican wrestler who finds out all politicians are vampires and sets about slaying them. With a year off from directing, maybe del Toro will knuckle down and finishing writing Silver. Or perhaps he will draw up something new and wondrous from the depths of his prolific, visionary imagination. We do know he won’t be tackling another Hellboy film, as the franchise has been handed off to Neil Marshall for rebooting.
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