Getting excited for Guillermo del Toro's upcoming appearance in Portland? Details for that are here (and watch for a review of del Toro's new book, The Fall, in our September 23 issue), but in the meantime, check out this great interview del Toro did with Deadline New York, in which he talks about his passion for producing pictures that otherwise wouldn't get seen (like Splice, The Orphanage, and the upcoming Biutiful and Julia’s Eyes), the sorry state of studios today, walking away from The Hobbit, and his upcoming project with James Cameron—the long-gestating, epic adaptation of Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness.
DEL TORO: The way the creatures are rendered and done is going to bring forth an aspect of Lovecraft that has not been done on live action films. Part of my speech was, I’m putting all the chips I have accumulated in 20 years as a director, betting them on a single number. This is not just a movie and then move on to the next. It’s do or die time for me. Cameron does his movies like that every time and I find it surprising the way people judge success in retrospect, like, of course, I would have done that. Avatar was the largest gamble, again, so were Titanic and Terminator 2. I love that type of filmmaker, with those gigantic stainless steel balls, Alec Baldwin-style in Glengarry Glen Ross, fucking clanking together. You can’t explain success in retrospect. The moment you leap into the void, that moment is impossible to negate, after success. He leaped into the void. Peter Jackson leaped into the void with The Lord or the Rings. George Lucas did with Star Wars.
DEADLINE NEW YORK: Universal is turning Stephen King’s The Dark Tower into three movies, with TV series in, something Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer have to figure out. Maybe boldness isn't dead?
DEL TORO: I’ll tell you. This is the time to be bold. There is a saying in Spanish, "The raging river is a fisherman’s gain." Which means, when the river is raging, few people jump in, but they bring out a lot of fish. This is the time to be bold. If we are not, the self fulfilling prophecy is dying. I love that Chris Nolan did Inception. He did it because he can, but I assure you, this was not easy to push through. Whether bold movies succeed or fail, they don’t go unnoticed. Movies that are timid definitely are not succeeding in this time. The problem we have as a craft and artistry medium, we can only hope to be defined by our hearts. This industry gets defined weekend by fucking weekend, and that is as impossible as chronicling your autobiography day by day. You assume certain people in the industry will be lemmings, but the one who has my sympathy is the lemming who steps back and says, "Oh, fuck you all, I’m going to do this other thing."