With the announcement that screenwriters/producers Chris Morgan (Fast and Furious franchise) and Alex Kurtzman (Transformers and Amazing Spider-man 2) will be overseeing Universal Studios Monsters franchise into a cohesive and interconnected universe like the Marvel superhero movies, a certain star creature feature director is being lured to direct the corner stone feature, Frankenstein.
Studio Chairman Donna Langley has approached Guillermo del Toro several times about doing a rebooted Frankenstein and each time he has given an evasive answer.
“I would love to. I mean, look, I would love to do Frankenstein and Bride, or Frankenstein for sure, but it really, Frankenstein has been—I’ve been really, really, afraid. Donna [Langley] has approached me a few times to start it now and I’m always like, you know, it’s like the dream project so I’m a little, I’m a chicken shit, you know?” del Toro noted in an interview with Collider.com’s Adam Chitwood.
The man is plenty busy with finishing post-production on current project Crimson Peak, beginning pre-production on Pacific Rim 2, in addition to finishing prep for a small scale untitled black and white horror feature he plans to shoot in early 2015.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is del Toro’s favorite novel. But is it a big enough temptation to clear off his post-Pacific Rim 2 schedule that is rumored to include attempting to bring H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountain of Madness to the screen. Perhaps del Toro is using this evasiveness as a ploy to get both movies done. “I’ll do your movie if you let me do mine”, approach.
At the Mountain of Madness has been stalled in development hell for a few years, a victim of everything from disputes over whether it should be rated R or PG-13 to being a victim of copy cat syndrome to the similarly premised Ridley Scott Prometheus, which eventually became an Alien sequel of sorts.
“When I do it, I need to do it. Like, if I do Frankenstein, I literally would stop everything, and I’m going to a sabbatical of three years, just to write that. It’s not something that’s gonna just flow, like second nature. It’s my favorite book in history.”
Del Toro would like to take Frankenstein in a not so radical direction. In fact, he would take the whole Universal Monster franchise the same way also– back to its historical and Gothic roots.
“I think that it’s a great universe to develop. I personally think that they should all be period movies. I would love to see Creature from the Black Lagoon in Victorian England with the Victorian exploration, with a balloon and steam riverboats. I would love to see The Hunchback, Phantom, you know?”
So del Toro wants to create the greatest Hammer creature feature ever made? :)
He is already locked into Universal's mini studio subsidiary Legendary. Both Pacific Rim 2 and Crimson Peak are being produced under their umbrella.
The monsters on the lot might just keep del Toro inspired and happy for a very long, leading a new dawn of horror movies.