No rest for the wicked - or for filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, it would seem. The film buff favorite writer/director is currently in post-production on his haunted house feature Crimson Peak, but will jump right into pre-production on the recently green-lit Pacific Rim 2 later this year. However, before the camera start rolling on del Toro's next trip into the world of Jaegers and Kaiju, he has made plans to shoot a mysterious, but also much, much smaller-scale project.
This past week, del Toro teased that his planned H.P. Lovecraft adaptation At the Mountains of Madness may still happen at some point in the future, but the project's costly nature makes it difficult to say with any certainty that it'll eventually get made. By comparison, this "small movie" that del Toro has planned sounds as though it will only cost as much to produce as your average indie feature - if even that much, since the director is planning to shoot it in black and white.
“Right away, in February/March I should [start on] another very small movie, black and white, really, really bizarre before starting—we start pre-production on Pacific Rim 2 in August, and then I interrupt it briefly to go into the first of next year to do this strange little movie, and then I restart it and go all the way until we start shooting Pacific Rim 2 at the end of 2015 for release in 2017.”
Combined with del Toro's claim that this mysterious project of his will have a "very small cast," the above comments indicate that the filmmaker's basically following Joss Whedon's example - when the latter took a "break" after wrapping production on The Avengers to go and shoot his black and white, micro-budgeted, film version of Much Ado About Nothing. A way for del Toro to recharge his creativity batteries before he goes back to working within the Hollywood studio system on Pacific Rim 2, in other words.
Similar to how Whedon's Shakespeare adaptation stars many of his actor friends and past collaborators, del Toro says that he wants to reunite with actor John Hurt (who previously worked alongside the director on the Hellboy movies) - while also working with an actress who "is not well-known... but has an incredibly interesting taste" - on this small feature of his. In addition, del Toro told Collider that the project does have a title and includes "one great creature," but otherwise kept mum on how this new original creation will compare to his previous output.
Having said that - it seems as though del Toro will be getting back to his roots, so to speak, with his next two films. The director has said in the past that Crimson Peak will feel more in line with his Spanish-language movies - thematically-rich and often horrifying films such as The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth - while likewise, this "small movie" sounds as though it will be a more intimate and overall personal piece of storytelling, recalling del Toro's feature debut on the supernatural/horror flick, Cronos.
Indeed, on this week's episode of the Screen Rant Underground Podcast, our editors expressed concerns that del Toro's unique and idiosyncratic voice could wind up getting lost in the fray on the next Pacific Rim installment, as the property is expanded to encompass even more platforms (see: the planned animated series). Stepping away from the world of tentpoles for a bit, should only help del Toro to prevent that from happening
We'll keep you posted on news concerning del Toro's "small movie" in the making. Meanwhile, Crimson Peak is scheduled to arrive in theaters on October 16th, 2015, followed by Pacific Rim 2 on April 7th, 2017.