From his beginnings with the vampire flick Cronos and the monster-slasher Mimic, to the kaiju blockbuster Pacific Rim and the upcoming supernatural suspenser Crimson Peak, Guillermo del Toro has demonstrated that he's a true student of film's darker, more fantastical genres. Whatever story he tackles is approached with knowledge, respect, and more than little innovation. But the filmmaker has also revealed himself to be a student of the videogame medium, and has expressed the desire to make "the Citizen Kane" of games. So far, his efforts have focused exclusively on a game genre close to his heart: survival horror. But unfortunately, his thwarted ambitions in the gaming field mirror his greatest frustrations as a filmmaker.
The fate of Silent Hills, the ninth iteration of Konami's Silent Hill franchise -- which was to be directed by del Toro and co-director Hideo Kojima -- is well known to survival horror fans. After years of development, a successful demo, and the attachment of genre icon Norman Reedus as the lead character, the game was inexplicably canceled. For del Toro, the doom of Silent Hills was a sequel of sorts to his experience with Insane, a survival horror project that was his first foray into game development. So, why were these potential blockbuster games canceled?
Not even Guillermo knows. In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, the director had this to say about the project:
"It was curious.
We had a great experience and had great story sessions with hundreds upon hundreds of designs. Some of the stuff that we were designing for Silent Hills I’ve seen in games that came after, like The Last of Us, which makes me think we were not wrong, we were going in the right direction.
The thing with Kojima and Silent Hills is that I thought we would do a really remarkable game and really go for the jugular.
We were hoping to actually create some sort of panic with some of the devices we were talking about and it is really a shame that it’s not happening. When you ask about how things operate, that makes no ****ing sense at all that that game is not happening.
Makes no ****ing sense at all."