He’s not taking scripts or hearing pitches, but Guillermo Del Toro told the adoring fans in Hall H that if they saw him wandering around Comic-Con 2010 and they had a portfolio or a short film, he’d be glad to give ‘em look.
Where this man finds the time is anyone's guess.
Del Toro tipped his hand on the many projects that are filling the vacuum left by his abrupt departure from "The Hobbit" (and he talked about how far he got on that project, too; more on that in bit).
Del Toro, candid and raunchy onstage Friday afternoon, said he had plans for some kind of project for cable TV, “to be announced in a couple of months.” Del Toro claimed it wouldn’t “rely on gore” but aim for suspense.
He also promised he would do a version of “Frankenstein” in the near future and his interpretation of “Pinocchio,” made as stop-motion animation, with a Nick Cave soundtrack.
With profanity, vigor, and more than a few slaps at corporate Hollywood, Del Toro held the packed hall in the palm of his multi-tasking hand, hinting at more horror movies, animation and more to come. A fave among the Geek Chic, the filmmaker’s “Don't Be Afraid of the Dark” panel proved again, as he did on Thursday, that Comic-Con works best when the moviemakers and the fans are one and the same.
He thanked the fans and they loved him for it.
“I’m a film lover like all of you are,” Del Toro said to applause. You certainly could see it in Del Toro’s admiration for “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” director Troy Nixey. And you could see Del Toro’s hand in the finished product.
While bloody, “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” isn’t explicit — you never see the destruction or the maiming but you feel the texture – which, when one looks over his canon, might be Del Toro’s real genius. It's a good, old-fashioned haunted-hause spine-chiller, clearly geared to frighten rather than shock.
A wide ranging set of questions sent the entertaining filmmaker over the entire cinema map, but he didn’t miss the point on today’s panel. With Canadian-born Nixey next to him, Del Toro crackled that “horror has to have balls and they have to be sweaty and wrinkled."
He added that the type of movie he liked should have “a shiver or a good old fashion scare.”
Del Toro sidestepped any controversy over not directing “The Hobbit” by praising Peter Jackson, and saying he hopes the New Zealander directs it. As for what he'd done so far, Del Toro said that 90 percent of the first movie had been designed, and about 60 percent of the second; he also said the material took the franchise in a slightly different direction, but that scenes that recalled the "Ring" movies were "respectful" of Jackson's vision, and would've been recognizeable as such.
While Del Toro’s whole panel performance, which had a little Francis Ford Coppola in it, would have seemed fake from almost any other filmmaker, the connection he has with the Comic-Con crowd, as an artist and a fan, had a true depth and warmth.
As the man himself said, “It’s good for your soul never to break your roots.”