Guillermo del Toro Answers His Fans

Guillermo del Toro Answers His Fans
Guillermo del Toro responds to fan questions about his upcoming movie "Hellboy" as well as his previous horror movies, his favorite comics, Hitler, and other interesting stuff.
Updated: 09-17-2003

Horror director/writer Guillermo del Toro answered more fan questions this week on the Sony studio bulletin board. Del Toro has been contributing to an online question and answer session for the last few months to help promote his upcoming movie, "Hellboy". The film is based on the popular Hellboy comic by Mike Mignola in which a demon, spawned by Hitler's evil during WWII, changes teams to fight on the side of good against the forces of evil. The screenplay for the movie was written by del Toro and Mignola. Del Toro directs, and stars big names like Ron Perlman (as Hellboy), John Hurt, and Selma Blair.

Guillermo del Toro is well known to horror fans as the mastermind behind the brilliant Spanish supernatural film "The Devil's Backbone". He also wrote and directed "Blade 2", "Chronos", and "Mimic". Del Toro is a relatively young director whose star keeps getting brighter and brighter - not unlike the story of Peter Jackson before LOTR.

Here are some excerpts from the online Q&A:

Q: What are three of your favorite comics? Give us a rough idea of why you like them.

GDT: I have -back at home a particular bookshelf -which has been with me since high school- that I call "the Olympus" I find it very important to have a limited space where to place my favorite comic books of all times. In it you may found Mignola, Kirby, Miller, Ben Katchor, Jim Woodrring, Paul Chadwick, R. Crumb, Moebius, Miguel Angel Prado, Carlos Gimenez, Juan Gimenez, Alex Toth, Richard Corben, Wrightson, Kaluta, Little Lulu, EC comics, Dan Clowes, Chester Brown, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Thomas Ott, Will Esiner, Dave McKean, etc, etc.

Q: How old were you when you went to your first comic or SciFi convention?

GDT: Oh, quite old. I lived in Mexico for 34 years. I was in my 20's before I could afford to travel to one.

Q: Have you seen Peter Jackson's Dead Alive? if so, what did you think of it?

GDT: LOVE THAT MOVIE "I kick ass for the Lord!!!" what a scene. Peter Jackson is a true genius. The only movie of his that I didn't like as much was FRIGHTENERS and having done MIMIC I can imagine why.

Q: You mentioned previously that you're polishing off the final draft to your Mountains of Madness script. Am really intrigued to hear about exactly how you're tackling this one?

GDT: We actually are doing a FRAMING sequence where one of the survivors IS in an insane asylum, so go figure. The movie will follow the book beats but will also add a lot of time-space dsitortions to play with the "rational" frame of the characters and add a "black hole" feeling to the zone where the ruins are discovered.

Q: I've always found it weird how when Lovecraft's name gets mentioned people tend to say 'Oh yeah - tentacles'. Weird simply because most of his stories focused on that whole cold alien horror, which manifested in odd angles, inhuman colours and the like - big octopuses in R'yleth sort of seemed like a distraction from the whole true evil in his universe... So I was wondering how you planned to visualise the shuggoths, etc in the Mountains of Madness...

GDT: First and foremost Lovecraft is about the horror of putting human existance in PERSPECTIVE. How tiny we are. Ants in the Cosmic picnic. Then about the atrocious biology that our heroes face, a crynoid, pisciform, mollusk-like aberration that is augmented by their fear of its intelligence and hatred for our mortal form. I will take at least 3 months with a team of artists before we can lock on a look for the creatures.

Q: Will there be a Hellboy video game?

GDT: We are millimiters away from anouncing a deal with a developer here in the USA.

Q: What did u think of T3, Pirates of the Caribbean and Freddy vs jason? Oh and also Identity ( I thought that movie ruled) And a geeky question, who would win in a fight, Blade or Hellboy?

GDT: I loved POC and Identity. Haven't seen the others yet. Hellboy and Blade?? Jeez, I'd pay to see that fight. Who would win??? Both would be sore in the morning.

Q: What is there (if anything) about HELLBOY, that makes it a more substantial film than BLADE 2? Obviously, you're more passionate about this character, but I'm referring more to emotional or thematic content. Is there room in HELLBOY (the film) for the kind of depth of character and feelings found in your Spanish language films? (Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the hell out of BLADE 2 and I'm sure HELLBOY will kick ass.)

GDT: They are different beasts. BLADE II had minimal plot and minimal character development. It was almost like a musical comedy where the fight choreography took the place of the musical numbers. Kinda Brainless but 100% action and R rated gore. Hellboy, I think is a great comic because it has great characters, so the movie concerns itself with them and the plot but has action scenes peppering the mix along with horror atmosphere and a healthy dose of humor.

Q: What are the production facilities like in Prague? Is location shooting difficult or are the city fathers cooperative? When it comes to sculpting statuary and sets, do you bring in artisans from other countries or does the local talent pool provide what and who you need?

GDT: Prague is great. I could live here. The facilities are not ideal but the craftmanship and people are just amazing. The forefathers are -sometimes- a little bureaucratic but the city is so unspoiled architecturally that you cannot fault them for being so.

Q: What can you tell us about the upcoming sideshow Hellboy merchandise (have you seen any of it, what are you most looking foward to)?

GDT: I just saw the sculpts for their ABE and HELLBOY figures and busts and they are astounding!!!!

Q: What kind of stuff have you dug up about forgotten German science - you know, like the secret German arctic base, German experiments with psychics and mind control, any aspects of their space program, cloning? 

GDT: Well, yes- the WACKY NAZI SCIENCE/PARANORMAL research programs were incredibly active and gained more importance that people give them credit for. Nazis were ruthless in their race for power and knowledge, they would as soon inject a patient with Turpentine or deal in human sacrifices for elder deities. The Thule Society wrapped its tentacles around most of the high-ranking guys and what they did is both laughable and horrifying. But you should read more for yourself about this and the mad quest for the Death Ray and all Judeo-Christian Holy relics that they embarked upon. There are several good books on the subject.

There are many more questions and answers at the Sony website if you're interested. Some of the questions involve such minutiae of the comics and/or GDT films that you'd have to be a hardcore fan (or a stalker) to know what the hell they're talking about, which is one of the things that makes fan intereviews cool. Del Toro is expected to answer more fan submitted questions in the future, so jump on over to the Sony site if you have anything to ask him.

More updates on Hellboy will follow as information becomes available.

Sources: Sony Forum, Official Site

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