According to Variety, Guillermo del Toro is booked with New Line and Universal Studios film projects through 2017, and possibly longer. Del Toro’s first priority, which has been talked about for months, is the New Line and MGM epic project The Hobbit, which he has committed the next five years to developing, with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.
The director will be hard at work on some pretty exciting stuff after The Hobbit wraps as well. Universal Pictures and del Toro are negotiating a long-term deal to set up four directing vehicles, including remakes of Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Slaughterhouse-Five, plus a film adaptation of Drood, a novel by Dan Simmons (who wrote Olympos, The Terror, Darwin’s Blade and A Winter Haunting), which will be published in February of 2009 by Little, Brown.
Drood is based on actual historical details of writer Charles Dickens’s life, and explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the famous author’s final years, possibly providing the key to his last and unfinished book; The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The novel describes nightly forays into the worst slums of London, his obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and possibly murder. All of this after an accident while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress on June 9, 1865.
Now tell me this book doesn’t sound taylor-made for gothic genius Guillermo del Toro to turn into a film.
Universal suits say Drood is most likely the first of the four period pieces for del Toro to tackle after The Hobbit.
In addition to those four films, Universal still has hopes to produce del Toro’s pet project, an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.
Think that’s enough for an entire film career right…wrong. Universal is also eyeing an adaptation of David Moody’s apocalyptic novel Hater, which del Toro will produce with Mark Johnson but not helm, along with Crimson Peak, a gothic romance spec script del Toro wrote with his Mimic collaborator Matthew Robbins, which del Toro will also produce.
The Frankenstein project apparently represents a longtime fascination for del Toro, who has made his home a memorabilia shrine to the monster from the 1931 Universal movie.
For Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he would like to stick closely to Robert Louis Stevenson’s words and explore the addictive high Jekyll experienced as his alter ego.
Del Toro plans to provide a more literal interpretation of Slaughterhouse-Five than in the 1972 movie, based on the Kurt Vonnegut novel about a prisoner in a WWII German POW camp who travels through time and space.
Universal has not made a final decision on a third Hellboy movie, however, they are interested in working with del Toro on a TV series and online segments, based on the lovable red devil.