It’s been a few months since Disney announced it was to relaunch the Star Wars saga in the wake of its shock purchase of Disney, and while it seems we’re no closer to discovering who will direct the next instalment, we can now definitely scratch another filmmaker from the list as Guillermo del Toro has revealed that he passed on an initial approach from the studio due to the wealth of projects already on his slate.
“We got one phone call to my agent saying, ‘Is Guillermo interested?’” the Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim director told The Playlist. “And basically I have so much stuff already of my own, and I’m pursuing stuff that I’m generating already… It was very flattering. It was just a phone call, it didn’t go past that, it was very nice to be asked, but believe it or not, I’m busy enough… I think the fans deserve somebody that is just going to immerse themselves completely. As a geek, I would have loved to see Brad Bird [Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol] take it.”
Sadly for del Toro (and for Disney), Brad Bird has previously ruled out the possibility of directing Star Wars: Episode VII, as have the likes of Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness), Zack Snyder (Man of Steel) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)…. In fact, I don’t think there’s anyone left in Hollywood except Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class) who hasn’t ruled it out…
Del Toro has also offered The Playlist an update on several of his planned projects, starting with his long-gestating adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness: “I’m going to try it one more time. Once more into the dark abyss. We’re gonna do a big presentation of the project again at the start of the year and see if any [studio is] interested. Tom Cruise is still attached. I think it would be so fantastic to make it with him. He’s been such a great ally of the project.”
Unfortunately any Marvel fans hoping to see del Toro’s take on The Incredible Hulk will be disappointed to hear that the proposed TV series does not seem to be moving forward: “After The Avengers there’s been complete radio silence. I had one more meeting after Avengers with Jeph Loeb from Marvel and he said, ‘We’re working on it, we’re waiting for a writer,’ he gave me the name of the writer and their resume and I said, ‘That sounds great, let’s wait for him’ because we had delivered a teleplay and I haven’t heard since then.”
“Well, I only like monsters,” del Toro replied, when asked if he was interested in tackling any of Marvel’s other superhero characters. “I think Morbius is great, even though he’s a relative of Swamp Thing, Man-Thing was great. I like the weird ones, frankly. And if I have to chose weird superheroes, Dark Universe [of D.C.] is my cup of tea.”
And finally, speaking to IGN, del Toro has confirmed that he’s currently working on an outline for an adaptation of Justice League Dark entitled Dark Universe, which will include the characters of Swamp Thing, Constantine, Deadman, Etrigan, Spectre, Zatanna and Zatara: “Yeah, I’m doing it. I’m working on it. I’m writing the outline…and we already are in talks with a writer. A very, very good writer. I think people are going to be happy with who we have chosen, and he accepted.” So, will this one ever see the light of day?