Guillermo del Toro's unrealized projects

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The following is a list of unproduced Guillermo del Toro projects in roughly chronological order. During his decades-long career, Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro has worked on a number of projects that never progressed beyond the pre-production stage. Some of these projects fell into development hell and are presumably canceled.

1990s[edit]

The Sandkings[edit]

Around 1995, before directing Mimic, del Toro approached George R. R. Martin with the intent to make a film adaptation of his famous novelette Sandkings,[1] but the project was quickly scrapped after the novel was adapted into the first episode of the television series The Outer Limits.

Domu: A Child's Dream[edit]

In the late 1990s, del Toro expressed interest in directing a live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Domu: A Child's Dream. In 2002, after the success of Blade II, del Toro said that he tried to make the film in the following years, but his efforts were hamstrung by international legalities.

"Goddamn it, we haven't even got the rights. We've been negotiating the rights for four years, which goes to prove Japanese lawyers are even more complex than American lawyers. The moment we have the rights I would go ahead and write it." [2]

2000s[edit]

Blade 3[edit]

In approximately 2003, New Line Cinema was in talks with del Toro to keep him on as director for Blade 3, due his directing work on Blade II. However, Del Toro turned down the offer in order to direct Hellboy.[3] Blade 3 film ended up becoming the critically snubbed Blade: Trinity, directed by screenwriter David S. Goyer, and released in 2004.

The Wind in the Willows[edit]

In 2003, del Toro reported that he was working with The Walt Disney Company on an animated film adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's novel The Wind in the Willows. The film would have been animated using CGI animation, but the project was abandoned following many delays.[4]

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban[edit]

In 2003, del Toro was in talks to direct Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third installment of the Harry Potter film series based on J. K. Rowlings' novel of the same name.[5] However, he chose instead to direct Hellboy, and The Prisoner of Azkaban was directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

I Am Legend[edit]

On September 13, 2005, Warner Bros. approached del Toro and asked him to direct the third film adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend.[6] However, del Toro chose to direct Hellboy II: The Golden Army instead. I Am Legend was finally released in 2007, directed by Francis Lawrence.

Tarzan[edit]

On December 15, 2006, ComingSoon.net reported that del Toro was in talks to direct a Tarzan film.[7] Then, in September 2008, Slashfilm.com reported that Stephen Sommers had replaced del Toro as director.[8] The film, finally released in 2016 under the title The Legend of Tarzan, was actually directed by David Yates.[9]

The Orphanage remake[edit]

In 2007, New Line Cinema bought the rights to produce an English-language remake with del Toro as producer.[10][11] On remakes, the original's director J. A. Bayona noted that "The Americans have all the money in the world but can't do anything, while we can do whatever we want but don't have the money" and "The American industry doesn't take chances, that's why they make remakes of movies that were already big hits".[12] On August 4, 2009, Larry Fessenden was announced as the director of the American remake.[13] Fessenden later announced that he would not be involved with directing the remake, stating "Working on the script with Guillermo was a very exciting experience, but then I got into a casting miasma and that's where the thing is; I think they're gonna do it another way, actually. So I think I'm out of it. Hopefully they'll still use my script, but I'm not sure I'm directing it anymore".[14] In January 2010, Mark Pellington replaced Larry Fessenden as director of the project.[15]

On August 5, 2011, Guillermo del Toro stated that the remake would reflect his original vision for the film, and that it had been planned even when the first version was in production. "Even when we produced the Spanish movie, I had intended to remake it because we had a very different screenplay that, because of money and time, got turned into the movie you saw – which is great, but there was this other structure for the original script that I wanted to try. So even before we shot the first film it was an economic decision, a pre-existing creative decision, to change it." Del Toro also praised the new film's director. "We have Mark Pellington attached as director – I'm a big fan of his The Mothman Prophecies and his video work – and we are out to actors, so we're hoping to get things going soon."[16] On August 30, 2011, it was reported that American actress Amy Adams was in talks to star as Laura, the main character, who was played by Belén Rueda in the original film. It was also stated that the current incarnation of the remake screenplay had been written by Larry Fessenden and Sergio G. Sánchez, the sole writer of the original film.[17] Since then, there has been no further development news, leading to a possible cancelation.

3993[edit]

On November 8, 2007, ComingSoon.net reported that del Toro was working on a spiritual sequel to Pan's Labyrinth, titled 3993 and intended to be the third and final installment of a Spanish Civil War film trilogy.[18] However, del Toro scrapped the project after deciding to direct Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

Thor[edit]

Around 2008, del Toro was being considered to direct a Thor film for Marvel Studios.[19] Because of his admiration of Jack Kirby's work, del Toro entered into negotiations to direct the film. He said that he loved the character of Loki, and wished to incorporate more original Norse mythology into the film; including a "really dingy Valhalla, [with] Vikings and mud".[20] However, del Toro left the project to direct The Hobbit film adaptation. Thor was released in 2011 and directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Halo[edit]

On February 8, 2008, it was reported that del Toro was in talks to direct a film adaptation of the Halo video game series.[21] However, he chose instead to focus on The Hobbit film adaptation.

The Hobbit[edit]

In April 2008, it was reported that del Toro would direct a two-part film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Hobbit. Del Toro envisioned the first film as a direct adaptation of the novel, with the second bridging the gap between The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings films. After spending two years in New Zealand working on pre-production, del Toro left the project due to ongoing delays and was replaced by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. The films were expanded to a trilogy during production, and were released as An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), with del Toro still credited as co-writer of all three.[22][23][24]

Hater[edit]

On May 20, 2008, del Toro revealed that he was set to produce the film adaptation of Hater by David Moody.[25] However, he has provided no updates after this announcement, suggesting the project's cancellation.

Hellboy III[edit]

On July 10, 2008, del Toro expressed his interest in directing a third Hellboy film, saying that he would work on the film after finishing The Hobbit.[26] In 2010, during the production of the unmade At the Mountain of Madness, del Toro mentioned that he would direct Hellboy III after his next project, even though the script was not yet written.[27] However, on July 8, 2013, del Toro said that the film was unlikely to be released, and suggested the possibility of telling its story in comic book form. Hellboy creator Mike Mignola refused to accept the idea.[28]

In a Reddit AMA on July 11, 2014, del Toro said:

Well, you know, we don't have that movie on the horizon, but the idea for it was to have Hellboy finally come to terms with the fact that his destiny, his inevitable destiny, is to become the beast of the Apocalypse, and having him and Liz face the sort of, that part of his nature, and he has to do it, in order to be able to ironically vanquish the foe that he has to face in the 3rd film. He has to become the beast of the Apocalypse to be able to defend humanity, but at the same time, he becomes a much darker being. It's a very interesting ending to the series, but I don't think it will happen. ... We have gone through basically every studio and asked for financing, and they are not interested. I think that the first movie made its budget back, and a little bit of profit, but then it was very very big on video and DVD. The story repeated itself with the second already, it made its money back at the box office, but a small margin of profit in the release of the theatrical print, but was very very big on DVD and video. Sadly now from a business point of view all the studios know is that you don't have that safety net of the DVD and video, so they view the project as dangerous."[29]

On September 26, 2016, Ron Perlman stated on Twitter that he was working on a new Hellboy film, but that del Toro was unlikely to return.[30] On February 21, 2017, del Toro announced on Twitter that the third Hellboy movie had been scrapped.[31] A reboot will be released in 2019 with no involvent from Del Toro.

The Witches[edit]

On December 1, 2008, del Toro expressed interest in making a stop-motion film remake of Roald Dahl's novel The Witches with fellow director Alfonso Cuarón.[32] However, there have been no updates on the project since 2008, and it seems the production has been cancelled.

2010s[edit]

Drood[edit]

On June 1, 2010, MTV News reported that del Toro was set to direct a film adaptation of Drood, a novel by Dan Simmons, for Universal Pictures.[33] However, the project fell into development hell and del Toro abandoned it.

Untitled Van Helsing project[edit]

On June 10, 2010, del Toro stated that he was working on an untitled film about Van Helsing,[34] but there have been no updates on the film since 2010.

At the Mountains of Madness[edit]

On July 28, 2010, del Toro announced that he would direct a film adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness for Universal Pictures, with Canadian film director James Cameron as producer. The movie was originally set up as a DreamWorks project in 2004, but was later cancelled.[35] Cameron suggested casting Tom Cruise in the lead role and releasing the film in 3-D.[36]

In June 2010, del Toro said that the adaptation probably would not happen at all. He stated, "It doesn't look like I can do it. It's very difficult for the studios to take the step of doing a period-set, R-rated, tentpole movie with a tough ending and no love story. Lovecraft has a readership as big as any best-seller, but it's tough to quantify because his works are in the public domain."[37] Cameron and Del Toro put forward the idea to Universal, who greenlit it.[38] Earlier that same year, del Toro had also asked S. T. Joshi if he wanted to be a consultant once the movie got into production.[39] However, due to many delays, Cameron and del Toro left the project after del Toro realized that the film would have been very similar to Ridley Scott's 2012 film Prometheus.

The Haunted Mansion remake[edit]

It was announced on July 22, 2010 at San Diego Comic-Con International that a new film based on Disney's The Haunted Mansion was in development with Guillermo del Toro writing and producing. Del Toro saw the 2003 film with his daughters; when asked about his involvement in the new project, he said, "The thing I want to do is remake it."[40] Elaborating, he commented, "The movie I see in my head of Haunted Mansion is not, I believe, what everyone is imagining it to be. It's not just a regular world with a haunted mansion plopped in the middle. I really am thinking of a movie that has a heightened reality."[41] Del Toro said that Hatbox Ghost would be the main haunting[41] and added, "We are not making it a comedy. We are making it scary and fun at the same time, but the scary will be scary." It is to be filmed in live-action 3D.[42] To help make a respectful adaptation, del Toro has contacted Walt Disney World Imagineer Jason Surrell, author of The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies, to act as a possible consultant for the film.[43] Del Toro has also announced he is aiming for a PG-13 rating for The Haunted Mansion.[44] On August 7, 2012, Del Toro mentioned in an interview with Collider that he had submitted his final draft to Disney, and that "they like the screenplay" because "their reaction to the draft was good".[45] Del Toro revealed that he will co-write the film, but will not direct it.[46] On April 9, 2015, Variety reported that Ryan Gosling is in talks to star in the film and D.V. DeVincentis will work on the film's script.[47]

Insane[edit]

On December 11, 2010, at the Spike Video Game Awards, del Toro reported that he was working on a video game entitled Insane, planned for release in 2013.[48] Two days later, he revealed that the game was to be the first entry of an Insane video game trilogy.[49] On March 11, 2011, Fanboy Confidential reported that Guy Davis, who previously worked on del Toro's unmade adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, was working as key designer.[50] However, on August 16, 2012, IGN reported that the video game was cancelled by the publisher THQ.[51] Despite this, three months later del Toro stated that the game could still happen.[52]

Beauty and the Beast[edit]

On July 18, 2011, TheFilmStage reported that del Toro was developing a live-action film of the classic fairy tale and Disney film Beauty and the Beast, with Emma Watson to star as Belle and Denise Di Novi to co-produce.[53] However, del Toro's adaptation never materialized, though Watson did play the role of Belle in The Walt Disney Company's 2017 live-action remake.[54]

Godzilla[edit]

On December 21, 2011, ComingSoon.net stated that del Toro was being considered, but refused, to direct a new Godzilla.[55] The film was finally released in 2014, directed by Gareth Edwards.

The Bloody Benders[edit]

On April 27, 2012, Deadline Hollywood reported that del Toro was working on a biopic about serial killers The Bloody Benders.[56] However, the project was likely abandoned due to del Toro's commitment to other projects.

The Hulk[edit]

Around 2012, del Toro was in talks with Marvel Studios to make a TV series titled The Hulk as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The series was intended to be aired on ABC. However, after Mark Ruffalo's acclaimed performance as the Incredible Hulk in The Avengers, the project was put on hold,[57] and entered development hell.

The Wolverine[edit]

Around 2012, del Toro entered negotiations with 20th Century Fox to direct The Wolverine. He met with producer Jim Gianopulos and actor Hugh Jackman to talk about the film's development.[58] However, del Toro left the project to direct Pacific Rim. The film was finally released in 2013, directed by James Mangold.

Dark Universe[edit]

On January 15, 2013, del Toro confirmed his involvement in a live-action film adaptation of the Justice League Dark comic series.[59] While Warner Bros. was considering greenlighting the film's production, and reviewing the script, del Toro revealed that the working title was Dark Universe and that the film would feature appearances by John Constantine, Swamp Thing, The Spectre, Deadman and others.[60] Del Toro later expressed interest in casting Matt Ryan as John Constantine, saying that the Constantine TV series could coexist with the DC Extended Universe, because he felt that it could work well,[61] but when the series was not renewed for a second season due to poor ratings, del Toro scrapped the idea.[62] In December 2014, one month after Warner Bros. reviewed his script, del Toro confirmed that the film would be part of the DC Extended Universe.[63] In October 2015, it was officially reported that del Toro had left the project.[64]

Silent Hills [edit]

On August 12, 2014, Hero complex reported that del Toro was working with game director Hideo Kojima on the PlayStation 4 video game Silent Hills, the ninth installment in the Silent Hill video game series.[65] However, on April 26, 2015, del Toro stated via IGN that he was no longer working with Kojima on Silent Hills and that the project had been cancelled.[66][67] Then, on July 24, del Toro stated via his Twitter account that he and Kojima were still working on a new untitled project.[68] In an interview with Shacknews, del Toro said that he would never again get involved in video games after his past experiences.

I have proven to be the albatross of video games. I joined THQ, and THQ goes broke. I join Kojima, and Kojima leaves Konami, because Metal Gear. I have decided, in order not to destroy anyone else’s life, I have decided I will never again get involved in video games. Otherwise, I’ll join someone and his house will explode, or something.[69]

Fantastic Voyage[edit]

On January 7, 2016, it was revealed that del Toro is attached to direct a remake of Richard Fleischer's Fantastic Voyage for 20th Century Fox, along with the announcement that David S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes will be the writers and James Cameron will produce the film with his production company Lightstorm Entertainment.[70] In August 2017, it was reported that del Toro had postponed working on the film to completely focus on his film The Shape of Water.[71]

Pinocchio[edit]

In 2008, del Toro announced a dark stop-motion film based on the Italian novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, co-directed by Adam Parrish King, with Jim Henson Company as production company, and music by Nick Cave.[72] The project had been in development for over a decade. The pre-production was begun by the studio ShadowMachine. In 2017, del Toro announced that Patrick McHale is co-writing the script of the movie.[73] In the same year, del Toro revealed at the 74th Venice International Film Festival that the film will be reimagined during the rise of Benito Mussolini, and that he would need $35 million to make it.[74] On November 2017, it was reported that del Toro had cancelled the project because no studios were willing to finance it.[75]

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