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Guillermo Del Toro drops updates on where the Hulk TV show is, that Frankenstein is finally moving forward, and more!

Oct. 4, 2012by: Alejandro Stepenberg

Del Toro as a Mad Maestro of film

We all know that Guillermo Del Toro is just about the busiest man in Hollywood right now.  Producing, directing, writing, designing, consulting - his list of responsibilities encompasses just about every facet of production, which is great for those of us who are fans of the man.  Then again, it also means that even as he takes on exciting new projects, others he has talked up in the past that once got us excited tend to slowly drift into the background.

Such is the case with two projects he was recently asked about at a premiere event showcasing newly restored versions of both BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA - the Hulk TV show, and his own adaptation of FRANKENSTEIN.  When last we heard about The Hulk's possibly small screen re-imagining, the word was that Del Toro and Marvel were waiting on a particular (unnamed) writer to become available.  And as he reveals here, that word remains the same.  That being said, damn do I want to know who it is now.

Another project you’ve had in development that’s reminiscent of Frankenstein in some respects – as well as Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – is the Hulk TV show.  Can you say where that project stands right now? Right now all I know is the official word I was given is that there’s a writer they want. They are very interested in me meeting with him. He’s very, very busy. The official word is we are holding, but I don’t know… After AVENGERS having the success it had, perhaps the fate of the project may change. Right now officially what I know – and I’m not hiding anything off the record or anything – is that we were told we were waiting for this writer, and we were going to do it with him.

If it moves forward, would you still like to direct the pilot? Of course. The reason is that the superheroes I like and that I would like to get involved with are all monsters. Be it Swamp Thing, Etrigan [the Demon], Doctor Strange – which is not a monster, but… [A dark fantasy saga].  Certainly supernatural. I would love to do Morbius [the Living Vampire], Blade – they have to be monsters for me to be involved.

Frankenstein and Hulk

Del Toro has been linked to a DOCTOR STRANGE film for years and years now, but with the man being so busy I can't see it happening at this point.  As much as it breaks my heart to say it... In other news, there's FRANKENSTEIN.  Last I heard, Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE MIST) has written a perfect, genius, heartbreakingly beautiful script for the project, and Doug Jones (The Pale Man and The Faun in PAN'S LABYRINTH) was going to be the monster.  Supposedly, there were even maquettes of the mosnter design and makeup concepts and everything.  So where is it now? Well:

Can you say where your own Frankenstein film project is right now? Yeah, actually [Universal Pictures Co-Chairman] Donna Langley just put us on track to write the screenplay. So, we’re going to start writing the script. It’s a very long endeavor for me; it’s going to require a couple of years just to write it. But it’s been put back on track by Donna.

One could argue there’s never been an entirely successful version of Frankenstein that’s remained very faithful to Shelly’s novel. Do you see yours as that version, or will it be a looser interpretation? I think the moment that the only quality you can claim is faithfulness… It’s a very difficult, tricky slope. Because then anytime that you deviate from that, you’re betraying the very goal you submitted. I’m being very faithful to trying to encompass the whole narrative of the novel. I’m being very faithful in that I’m trying to capture the spirit of the novel, when I read it as a kid, and how it impacted me. I recognize that it’s both biography and prophecy about my life. It’s a very personal film. In many ways it’s the most personal film I’ll ever make, because my connection with the creature is very profound and deep and I don’t think there’s any other monster that has affected me as much.

So there you have it.  For those of you who have been clamoring for a Hulk solo movie - would a live-action TV series produced by Del Toro do it? And so far as FRANKENSTEIN goes, does what Del Toro have to say make you want to see his rendition of the story? For all intents and purposes his post-PACIFIC RIM project is going to be BEAUTY AND THE BEAST with Ema Watson, but he's got nothing concrete lined up after that...

More as we hear it!

On a side note: the restored versions of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA Del Toro was watching were the same ones being released as part of Universal's Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection Box Set.  You can check out our past write-up of special features and the like here.  If you want to go one step further and actually pick up the set for yourself, then it would be awesome if you could do so via this link (the release is Blu-ray only).  By doing so you support this site in a small way but receive a large amount of goodwill and appreciation in return.  A monstrous amount, you could say.

Selma Blair against an orane background

I just want see Selma Blair involved in Del Toro's work again.

Extra Tidbit: I've decided to formally give Del Toro the title of Mad Maestro of Monster Movies. Doesn't he look like he's conducting some monstrous orchestra in that picture above? That he's summoning his minions to rise, or what have you?

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4:35PM on 10/04/2012
Maybe someday we'll get to see one of these things.
Maybe someday we'll get to see one of these things.
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4:19PM on 10/04/2012

Not Darabont

Darabont did not write for this project, del Toro just referenced his original script for the disappointing Kenneth Brannaugh/Robert DeNiro incarnation from 1994. Darabont's script is a wonderful adaptation that is seriously lost in its cinematic translation. Darabont said he wanted to go walk in front of a bus upon walking out of the premiere.

So no, Darabont is not writing this Frankenstein film, del Toro is just looking to match his original draft in its quality. I highly recommend
Darabont did not write for this project, del Toro just referenced his original script for the disappointing Kenneth Brannaugh/Robert DeNiro incarnation from 1994. Darabont's script is a wonderful adaptation that is seriously lost in its cinematic translation. Darabont said he wanted to go walk in front of a bus upon walking out of the premiere.

So no, Darabont is not writing this Frankenstein film, del Toro is just looking to match his original draft in its quality. I highly recommend Darabont's script. If you haven't seen the film, all the better.
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+6
2:04PM on 10/04/2012

HULK SAD!!

I feel bad for Hulk, he's gotten screwed!

After Ruffalo brought a great performance in The Avengers they should have given him another perhaps final try at his own film. Now he is being reduced to a TV series?
I feel bad for Hulk, he's gotten screwed!

After Ruffalo brought a great performance in The Avengers they should have given him another perhaps final try at his own film. Now he is being reduced to a TV series?
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12:24PM on 10/04/2012

Why do we need a Hulk tv show?

With the Avengers franchise being so successful, why a tv show? It won't even be related to the film version, so what's the point? Just give us a good movie!
With the Avengers franchise being so successful, why a tv show? It won't even be related to the film version, so what's the point? Just give us a good movie!
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+7
10:45AM on 10/04/2012
How awesome would be be for Guillermo to do a film of swamp thing or etrigan or even constantine.
How awesome would be be for Guillermo to do a film of swamp thing or etrigan or even constantine.
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+9
8:39AM on 10/04/2012
Hellboy III please.
Hellboy III please.
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8:12AM on 10/04/2012
I hadn't heard that Del Toro was involved with a Hulk TV show until now. I have to say I'd really love to see that come to fruition, but it seems a good deal of his projects have had trouble with that as of late. I watched Hellboy II with his director's commentary recently, and it just made me admire him even more. He's a guy who makes movies mainly for the love of it, and we need more of those behind the camera.
I hadn't heard that Del Toro was involved with a Hulk TV show until now. I have to say I'd really love to see that come to fruition, but it seems a good deal of his projects have had trouble with that as of late. I watched Hellboy II with his director's commentary recently, and it just made me admire him even more. He's a guy who makes movies mainly for the love of it, and we need more of those behind the camera.
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