Fox Searchlight has signed a deal with Guillermo del Toro covering live-action films by del Toro as well as the creation of a new label for sci-fi, horror, and fantasy films. The Mexican filmmaker is best known for his fantasy and gothic stories, such as Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, though he has also done more mainstream action films such as Hellboy and Pacific Rim, all of them with his particular touch of dark fantasy.
His most recent film, The Shape of Water, has been praised by critics and audiences for its performances, visuals, and screenplay, winning multiple awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design at the 90th Academy Awards. Moreover, del Toro has been quite vocal about the current state of the sci-fi and horror genres, and now he will take an active role in producing and distributing films from these genres.
Fox Searchlight announced an overall deal with del Toro that will encompass live-action projects written, produced, and/or directed by him. In addition to that, Fox is working on a new, soon to be named label that will serve as a home for horror, sci-fi, and fantasy projects, including those produced and curated by del Toro. These films will further be financed, marketed, and distributed by Fox. Here is del Toro's statement regarding the announcement:
“For the longest time, I’ve hoped to find an environment in which I can distribute, nurture and produce new voices in smart, inventive genre films and channel my own. In Fox Searchlight, I’ve found a real home for live action production – a partnership based on hard work, understanding of each other and, above all, faith. After the wonderful experience I had with Fox Searchlight on ‘The Shape of Water’, I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the relationship. I am more than grateful to Nancy, Steve, David and Matthew for their trust in me and for joining me on this adventure."
David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield, Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Co-Heads of Production, added that working with del Toro on this new label allows the studio to “expand our reach to new filmmakers and new audiences around the world.”
The first film under the deal is the supernatural thriller Antlers, based on the short story The Quiet Boy, by Nick Antosca. Directed by Scott Cooper (Black Mass) and written by Antosca and Henry Chaisson, Antlers will follow an elementary school teacher who takes in a troubled student that harbours a mysterious family secret with deadly consequences. David Goyer and J.Miles Dale will produce alongside Guillermo del Toro, with Kevin Turen serving as executive producer.
A well-known fan of the horror and fantasy genres, del Toro even owns a wide collection of books, artwork, and sculptures, some of which could be seen at the exhibition Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters. He has also been attached to multiple sci-fi, fantasy, and horror projects throughout his career, but has either dropped out or seen several of those projects cancelled, including DC’s Justice League Dark and Universal’s Monster Universe. However, this also gave him the time he needed to complete more personal projects, such as Crimson Peak, The Shape of Water, and the TV series The Strain and Trollhunters.
This new deal with Fox Searchlight is not only great news for del Toro fans but also for fans of the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres, as this will allow more room for the sorts of genre projects that are often rejected by big studios. In addition to that, and as mentioned above, this will offer more opportunities to new filmmakers interested in these genres.
Source: Fox Searchlight