As we all know, Guillermo del Toro is the busiest man in the business. Aside from working on his own projects, the talented artist usually finds himself executive producing about five flicks at a time, most recently serving as something of a consultant over at DreamWorks Animation. (He executive produced PUSS IN BOOTS and contributed to the studios' MEGAMIND.) It's often hard to get a handle on where all of his movies stand, so it's always encouraging when he gives us a status update.
In a recent chat with Variety, del Toro clued us in on where several of his in-development projects live at the moment.
On TROLLHUNTERS, an animated DreamWorks picture that he'll co-direct with Rodrigo Blaas, del Toro says, "I was very, very cautious not to jump right into directing until my apprenticeship was at a point that I knew how every part of the process is articulated and what I want to do different." Del Toro submitted his latest draft in May and will soon begin working in earnest on the flick. (He also co-authored the novel on which it's based; that comes out next year.)
On ALMA, which is the feature version of Blaas' short film, del Toro says, "I am just executive producing it, but I am helping with the shaping of the story and the design work. We are now in visual development, so that one is a little ahead of 'Trollhunters' because I went and shot 'Pacific Rim.'"
On an adaptation of Roald Dahl's THE WITCHES: "I think it's the best screenplay I've ever written in any form. I adore that project, and it met with the approval of Dahl's widow, who loved it and felt it was completely respectful of the book, but it's not moving at all.
PINOCCHIO, which we last told you about HERE, will begin production during the summer of 2013, while DAY OF THE DEAD, another animated flick, is also in the cards. (Expect an announcement shortly, del Toro says.)
On a general note, the director tells us something we already know: that he's often got many, many different plates spinning at the same time:
"In the last three years, I've given up trying to guess what my next project is. Things have taken such sharp turns. None of these were just announcements in the trades. They have hundreds and hundreds of storyboards, key concept art, fully developed screenplays, but obviously the step from that to a movie depends on how easy it is for the financial people to see it. Even in animation, I try to make movies that try things slightly different. I keep them well-tended, but it's anyone's guess."
Del Toro's PUSS IN BOOTS feline, Salma Hayek