No one's a rock star at San Diego Comic-Con quite like Guillermo del Toro. Perhaps it's because everyone knows the man as one big geek himself, combined with his affable personality, limitless enthusiasm and his tendency to pepper every sentence with colorful profanity. Guillermo owns every panel he hosts, so it was no surprise that the audience reaction to seeing him come up on the Hall H stage to premiere the CRIMSON PEAK teaser was adoration mixed with excitement.
Indeed, CRIMSON PEAK is del Toro's latest film, a return to his horror roots. The film is a period piece, a tragic romance and a ghost story. After being introduced, del Toro had several interesting things to say about it; here are some of this choice quotes:
- "I wanted to make a film that blended two sides of my personality. After I did MIMIC- MIMIC was such a tough experience, I said I'm going to do more painterly, creepy things, the Spanish language films, and the big pop, pulp movies in English. And after having such a great experience with Legendary on PACIFIC RIM, I had such a blast with them- Universal had acquired a project that was very personal to me called CRIMSON PEAK- it's a gothic romance, it was very difficult and I was just going to produce it, but they said, No let's do it, and do it the way you want it. It's R-rated, it's incredible, very beautiful, but also very violent. They said it's okay, and I go okay. I thought it was the perfect way to return to the genre. It's incredibly gorgeous."
- It took Guillermo about two minutes to drop his first F-bomb. Maybe a record.
- Guillermo then premiered the teaser for the film, which does look incredibly gorgeous. To me, the picture appears to be a combination of THE HAUNTING (the good one) and JANE EYRE or something along those lines: A lush, classic gothic romance with creepy supernatural elements. (Think Jane Austen meets Edgar Allan Poe.) This could be an Oscar contender for all the major technical categories (the costumes and production design in particular). The main cast, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Charlie Hunnam all appear to be in top form, although none spoke any dialogue in the trailer.
- That said, there is Hiddleston's voice-over in the trailer. Here are his lines: "A house as old as this one, becomes in time a living thing. It may have timber for bones and windows for eyes, and sitting here all alone, it can go slowly mad. It starts holding onto things, keeping them alive when they shouldn't be. Some of them good, some of them bad, and some should never be spoken about again."
- Del Toro said the movie is as close as you can get to being a living painting. They built a Victorian mansion three stories high, with working elevators and bathrooms, etc. It took a year to design.
- Del Toro wanted to tackle an adult story for a female lead (Wasikowska). It's also not just about her getting the guy - "f*ck that shit," says Guillermo - it's about seeing her becoming her own person.
- Guiilermo said the movie has some very brutal moments of violence. He added that while it has scary ghosts, it has scarier people.
- Guillermo promised that he'd be back next year to show even more footage, and also promised that he'd bring along Hiddleston, which naturally received much applause. Del Toro assured the ladies that Hiddleston is the nicest f*cking guy ever. "There used to be a time when you were either nice, or you were good-looking and an asshole. The time is gone now."
- Finally, del Toro wanted to gauge the audience's reaction on a couple of things: "Number one, HELLBOY 3?" The crowd goes absolutely wild. "Two, AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS?" The crowd goes nuts again. Apparently this was for Legendary and Universal to hear, meaning both projects are still very much alive in Del Toro's mind.
- Later on in the panel, Legendary CEO Thomas Tull made a comment about HELLBOY 3, saying he wants Guillermo to get back to him about that after he shoots PACIFIC RIM 2. So while the possibility of a new movie appears to be very much alive, it's likely about four or five years away.