Mexican director Guillermo del Toro is a lover of film. His epic collection of 700 pieces of movie memorabilia, housed in a place (appropriately) dubbed “Bleak House” was recently threatened by the Malibu wildfires in California. Thankfully, the collection made it out. He’s also crafting a revisionist take on Pinocchio for Netflix, has a movie theater named after him, and generally has proven no one loves movies more than him.
Recently, in a series of tweets posted by the Academy Award-winning auteur, del Toro listed the countless projects he’s written but has yet to get produced. The list of titles is amazing, ranging from his own take on DC’s Justice League, an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, to his long-gestating attempt to rework H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.
Outcry from fans was fervent, with many questioning just how del Toro keeps getting turned down for movies despite his awards success and devoted fanbase. All hope doesn’t seem lost on some of these, as del Toro made a point of mentioning the scripts are “done” and could easily be purchased by a studio to get them before cameras.
Just seeing the sheer list of features del Toro has on this list is mind-boggling. Some of these are well-known to film fans. Del Toro spent several years working on At the Mountains of Madness, including scouting out locations and crafting creature designs. The movie was incredibly close to filming before the studio got cold feet. Del Toro, at the time, blamed the issue on studio fears about financing an expensive, effects-driven film with an R-rating. Personally, the one that hurts is his adaptation of Nightmare Alley. The film, a remake of the 1947 noir, was perfectly suited to del Toro’s talents and, as far as many knew, was going to be his next project. Apparently not.
Hasn’t del Toro proven himself by this point? He’s on par with the likes of Spielberg in terms of influencing cinema, and yet he still can’t get his projects made? One has to wonder, if he were Anglo-American, would things be different?