By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)
Guillermo del Toro is one of the most imaginative directors out there with a very loyal fanbase. His last film, Crimson Peak, fared poorly at the box office, and I felt was mis-marketed, but that hasn’t stopped the director from having multiple projects in the pipeline.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, we now we know what del Toro will be directing next. The outlet is reporting that his new film is being set up at Fox Searchlight and describes the film as the following:
“A mysterious and magical journey set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America circa 1963 with an otherworldly love story at the center of it.”
We also know that Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) is set to star in the film, with Octavia Spencer (Mom) is currently in talks to join, as well. Del Toro also confirmed this project in a tweet:
The Searchlight movie is shaping up nicely. Start as planned in mid-August.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) March 17, 2016
Hawkins received an Oscar nomination for Blue Jasmine, and has recently appeared in Paddington and Godzilla. Spencer won the supporting actress Academy Award for The Help, and was recently featured in The Divergent Series: Allegiant and Zootopia.
This project actually reminds me a bit of Pan’s Labyrinth, which was set during the Spanish Civil War, but also featured a fantastical element. We’ve received a few hints over the past few months about this project, with the Tracking Board describing the film as Wall-E meets Splash.
As far as I can tell, I’m going to guess the plot of this movie may also mirror John Carpenter’s classic Starman, and if I were a betting man, I would say that the plot will probably revolve around an alien coming to Earth. Given that this is del Toro we’re talking about, the creature effects will be fantastic (and could feature Doug Jones).
Speaking of “fantastic”, del Toro is set to direct another Cold War-era story with Fantastic Voyage, which is being produced by James Cameron. The director is hoping to get the untitled Searchlight film in before he helms Fantastic Voyage. The indefinite hiatus of Pacific Rim 2 forced him to move on, so he handed the reigns of the Kaiju vs. Jaeger sequel to Daredevil’s Steven S. DeKnight.
Although I absolutely believe that del Toro will be directing this untitled film next, I should point out that he does have a habit of juggling many different projects at the same time, and passing off directing duties to other directors. However, most inside sources have been pegging this film as a passion project, so odds are against that happening — del Toro is happiest when working on his more independent type films than on blockbusters.
One more thought, it’s doubtful this is the mysterious black-and-white film Guillermo del Toro was developing to shoot before Pacific Rim 2, hinted at in July 2014.