Interview: Guillermo del Toro Talks Upcoming Projects

Guillermo del Toro appears to be attached to just about every movie project lately, if you just read news headlines. We caught up with the legendary filmmaker at the Chicago International Film Festival and asked him to clarify his upcoming slate of projects.

While we had only a few moments with del Toro, we managed to fit a handful of titles either rumored or in development into one question. The red carpet managers were in a hustle to get him to the Cinema Of The Americas Tribute in which he was honored tonight.

Naturally, with any extremely busy filmmaker, rumors swirl through the movie blogosphere. We got del Toro's answers on camera, so check out the video below to watch him give the project rundown. Below the video is further explanation and analysis.

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Del Toro might have a lot on his plate, but two projects seem to be moving along quite well: Haunted Mansion and At the Mountains of Madness. The latter sounds absolutely amazing, especially as a vision from del Toro. Of course, it will be also nice to see him dip into horror with Haunted Mansion.

The most amazing aspect of del Toro's answer is his completely realized timetable for Mountains of Madness. If [and when] Universal gives him the go-ahead on his concept, del Toro plans to get the entire production rolling by next summer. Considering the waiting period for this project, it's a pleasure to see it moving at all.

"Right now the things that are more active are Haunted Mansion - I delivered an outline to Disney. We started screenplay. We are doing designs. At the Mountains of Madness - we opened offices. We are budgeting. We are designing for the last five weeks. We have a group of designers, producers and we are presenting the movie to Universal Studios in 2 weeks, hopefully getting the greenlight.  If that happens, we will shoot in June next year."

Of the many rumored projects Guillermo del Toro is working on, a Wizard of Oz prequel came into the fray. It's hard to understand where this rumor was started in the first place, but it can finally be put to bed thanks to the visionary director's very succinct answer.

"No, I'm not involved. Never been involved."

Guillermo del Toro not involved with Godzilla

Just the other day, it was rumored that del Toro might direct the upcoming Godzilla reboot from Legendary Pictures. As it turned out, the misunderstanding came from del Toro's rave over Travis Beacham's script for Pacific Rim. The two have similar archetypes, but are completely unrelated.

We asked the director to clear up any further confusion by revisiting the rumor on camera. As enticing as it sounds, Guillermo del Toro is definitely not helping Legendary Pictures bring Godzilla back.

"I've never been involved in Godzilla. I've read and liked Pacific Rim a lot. I've read it because I've met [writer] Travis Beacham way before and I loved his writing and I loved his world creation. But it was definitely more rumor than anything else. I never laid eyes-- I know Legendary's keeping Godzilla and Pacific Rim completely separate."

Guillermo del Toro was honored by the Chicago International Film Festival and introduced by his Hellboy star Ron Perlman. Del Toro's international acclaim and endless ability to merge blockbuster entertainment with the dark, fantasy genre made him the right choice for this special award. A proud Mexican, del Toro has brought his own personal heritage into films that engage audiences around the world.

"I come from a culture that doesn't believe that there is ghosts and monsters and then there is real life. We really believe that ghosts share and break bread with -- and are a foot away -- so, my movies show the possibility of real life and every real possibility of the impossible."

Del Toro's passion for movies and filmmaking bleeds through his desire to focus on each red carpet interview. Any time the managers tried to shuffle him to the next press member, he would not budge until he had fully answered the one before.

One of the reasons fans love his films so passionately is because of the dedication he puts in on the other side. It shows with every intricate detail of the worlds he creates and Guillermo del Toro's upcoming projects will only enhance his status as one of the great minds of today.

"All I know is that the movies I do, I do for one reason - because no one else is doing them."

It's exciting to know Guillermo del Toro films will almost always be in development. But what we didn't hear tonight is still of interest. His four-picture deal with Universal Studios also includes  a Frankenstein remake, an adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Drood. If all of these films get made, the future is bright for del Toro fans.

I would like to say that he might get going on his Frankenstein soon, but his 2011 schedule seems mighty busy. If the project was moving along at all, he surely would have mentioned it tonight. Of all the potential films, Frankenstein is the one that would be most intriguing from the mind of Guillermo del Toro.

What projects are you most looking forward to from the director?

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