In the Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror film Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, an architect moves his girlfriend and young daughter into Blackwood Manor, a centuries-old mansion that he's trying to restore to its former glory. In the course of their stay, the trio is shocked to discover that this house is -- gasp -- haunted! That won't come as a shock to any of us in the audience; the minute we lay eyes on the manor's dimly lit rooms, Gothic decor and dark, dank basement, we know that there are some serious supernatural shenanigans going on in there. Chalk that up to years of observing other cinematic haunted houses and learning to recognize the tell-tale signs of ghosts, monsters and other creatures that go bump in the night. Now we're putting that knowledge to the test, imagining the way real estate agents might try to sell novice buyers on some famous poltergeist-ridden properties and the things we'd tell them to be wary of.
For those of you that were around in 1973 and old enough to watch a primetime TV movie, let me firstly offer you my congratulations on finding the internet -- good job, you! Secondly, you'll have to tell me about the ABC telefilm Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, which I've learned has since turned into a cult classic. All joking aside (I'm giving myself until I turn 30 to make ageist remarks--eight more months and you old farts won't hear a PEEP out of me), I probably wouldn't know about the program anyway, because I'm a giant scaredy-cat who can't handle creepy movies. One man who can handle the creep, however, is Guillermo del Toro, who has just signed on to produce a remake of the ABC special for a theatrical release for Miramax.
The fellowship that led to Middle Earth success is officially coming back to Hobbiton. No, that other fellowship. As Variety reports, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have signed on to collaborate on The Hobbit and its sequel with director and my favorite matador, Guillermo del Toro. The wonder-writers of the immensely successful (and totally awesome) The Lord of the Rings trilogy will finish telling the rest of J.R.R. Tolkien's story before del Toro takes the reigns on directing the two films back-to-back. (Filming starts next year.)
Now that director Guillermo Del Toro is no longer directing The Hobbit, a mad search is on to find the new director, both by the studio and by the press, who have thrown out the names of every geek-friendly genre director from Abrams to Raimi. But why does the director have to be known for the fantasy and sci-fi genre? After all, the last three directors of the Harry Potter franchise were virtual strangers to the fantasy film world before they signed on to their installments, and they've been incredibly successful, each with their own distinctive voice. While we aren't going to scour the film festivals to find the next Peter Jackson, there are plenty of established directors who aren't known for swords and sorcery, but might be willing to tackle such an important work of literature.
You know how sometimes something is so unexpectedly magical that it completely catches you off-guard and leaves you wanting more?
Well, that's how many people reacted to the first Hellboy movie: It was a wonderful addition to the genres of comic book and superhero movies, because it was those things and more. Hellboy wasn't really a superhero so much as a demon, after all, so it had that element. And it was funny, because Hellboy had a thing for cats, and loved watching TV and eating Baby Ruth bars.
I don't think anyone would call Guillermo del Toro a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants kind of guy. He's definitely a planner. So much of one, in fact, that his professional calendar is booked through 2017. Currently -- and for the next five years -- knee-deep in The Hobbit, del Toro signed a three-year first-look deal with Universal in June of last year that will pick up after the epic New Line/Miramax project is finished.