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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hero Complex 2013: Del Toro in Conversation

The cussing sailor of a director Guillermo Del Toro entered the Chinese theater for the second night of the Hero Complex Film Festival after a showing of his often missed and most beloved film The Devil's Backbone. The audience was also given a new trailer for the giant robot and monster filled mash-up of Pacific Rim coming out later this Summer, before the director entered.

Del Toro is a funny guy. A funny guy who cusses every other word. He panned in and out over his whole life, his philosophy on both life and film making and got in some good jokes over the course of his interview.

Right after showing the Pacific Rim trailer, del Toro said that if he cut the film down to just aww! moments in be 70 minutes of orgasms. So look forward to it this July.

Out of focus he's life has been strange, but Del Toro shared his start as a strange kid who played with Planet of the Apes action figures and charged his brother pesos for how much of a show he would put on with them. One time he put on such a show he set fire to his house. Playing with his action figures on film was his earliest directing with a  Super 8 camera no less, funny as he isn't apart of the reboot for Planet of the Apes.

The oddness remained at a young age with him wanting Mandrake root for Christmas or a birthday. Later in life going through the Guadalajara sewer system looking for creatures and searching abandoned houses for ghosts.

He talked about his odd up bringing where he might not see any of his family for days in their giant house. How school shaped him to fight bullies. One time a bully said he would throw him off the second floor of a school building to kill him the next day so he should be his slave. The same kid had stabbed another kid with his compass. Del Toro immediately beat up that kid. He joked he was skinny in school, but got fat to be able to fight bullies.
When he came in and out about the Devil's Backbone through the night he reveled he wanted it to be his first feature, but it became his third. Instead of a ghost boy there was suppose to be a three-armed Christ in it. He shared the bad timing of having to work another film when it hit theaters, so he couldn't travel with it. Coming out around 9/11 didn't help either. It is still he's most beloved work and he says the best version of it is coming out on Blu-ray through Criterion July 30th. It comes with a Mike Mignolia cover art.

In film work he told of how Chronos was only 60% of what he wanted. Mimic was like going to prison and dropping the soap, but Devil's Backbone was happiness.

"Only do a film if you want to do it", he said. He strongly repeated over and over again, it's not worth it, to do something you don't love. He told of the times he'd put more money into his films from his paycheck to which his wife wasn't happy. He talked of the bad times ans how Ron Pearlman as as a friend stayed with him on Chronos even after having problems paying him. "I'd take a bullet for Ron, but I don't know if he'd do the same for me" , Del Toro said after speaking his love for his often used actor and friend.

In how he directs he shared he goes over every movement a character makes. So everything you see he is thoroughly planned out, almost like he's articulating action figures.

Pacific Rim seems to come from his childhood too, but of Japanese features which he still follows today. Anime and Japanese live action had a huge showing in Mexico while he was growing up and continued into the 80's and 90's. He listed series after series of live action Japanese show he watched. A childhood where the fridge had giant robots plastered on it. Each containing two things no matter what near the reactor. A cinema and a toilet, "Very telling", said del Toro.Continuing his love of anime he went to say he raises he daughters in anime. One loves the Patlabor robots. "If one of my daughter's come home with a 25-foot robot for a date I'd just be fine with that, I'd be crushed", del Toro.
Questions led to answers about some big projects del Toro is working on. He just sent the pilot script to HBO for Monster, a live action adaption based on on the manga of Naoki Urasawa. It's a dark take on Astro Boy. He went into detail how hard it was to negotiate getting the rights and he had to write out the entire first season for creator Naoki for his approval.

He's waiting to hear back from Warner Bros on Justice League Dark as not even the real Justice League film has been officially announced. It's a waiting game with Warner Bros to see how well Superman does. Del Toro did reveal the cast of heroes he wants including: Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zantanna, Madame Xanadu, and Deadman. He's also trying hard for the Florinic Man.

"It not like I stay on my chez lounge being fed grapes in my golden underwear and simply point to projects" , del Toro said. He has to work hard on everything to get it done.

Pacific Rim seems like it will set the standard for giant monster fights by the major studios so del Toro was asked of his thoughts on the upcoming Godzilla. He gave it he's blessing after seeing the work of Monsters by Gareth Edwards. Saying he want more new directors out there and that he himself has produced for 8 new directors so they could get their work out.

After discussing his man cave another time he ended with how his work is out there for those who look.