While Pacific Rim is something del Toro has been putting together over the past couple years, Crimson Peak is based on a spec he co-wrote with Matthew Robbins (Mimic, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark) shortly after finishing Pan's Labyrinth back in 2006.
Here's what del Toro offered Total Film, when pressed for information:
"It’s the turn of the century. So it’s at the turn of the century and half of the movie takes place in America, and the other half takes place in a crumbling mansion in Cumbria [in England]. And basically it’s a ghost story and gothic romance, trying to subvert the rules of the usual gothic romance.
“It’s very much... the first half is a love story, then that love story turns darker. And it’s at the same time a ghost story... It’s sort of a very compelling version of the classic gothic romance, where you have the spookiness and the windswept landscape that dooms the characters, you know?”
The filmmaker is currently reworking the script with playwright Lucinda Clarkson, which comes as welcome news - seeing how, sorry to say, del Toro's previous two collaborations with Robbins are generally considered the weakest entries on his resume (and not just for reasons of creative control problems and inexperienced directors using their scripts).
If all goes according to plan, Crimson Peak has the makings of something special, based on these latest comments and what del Toro has said in the past:
“... 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.”
More on Crimson Peak as the story develops.
Source: Total Film