Guillermo del Toro Gómez (born October 9, 1964) is a critically acclaimed filmmaker and author from Mexico, widely known for his work on the Speculative Fiction genre. He is perhaps best recognized by moviegoers as director of the Hellboy film series, Pan's Labyrinth, as well as the Academy Award winning The Shape of Water.
Del Toro is notoriously known for turning down high-budgeted Summer Blockbuster movies to work on smaller, independent projects. So far he has rejected offers to direct I Am Legend; One Missed Call; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Halo, and even Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He did, however, accept an offer to work on the The Hobbit film series, but The Lord of the Rings-helmer Peter Jackson wound up taking over the director's spot, with del Toro staying on as a writer. Another famed characteristic of Del Toro is being attached to so many things that his "future projects" are very different than what actually comes out.
He is currently developing Trollhunters, which he is producing at DreamWorks Animation. He also announced that he made DreamWorks his animation home and has already worked on a few projects, including Kung Fu Panda 2 and Megamind. The full press release can be read here.
He made his literary debut with co-author Chuck Hogan in 2009, with the release of a vampire novel, The Strain. It is the first part of a trilogy of novels. He was also hoping for a final sequel to the Hellboy movies until a reboot was announced in 2017.
His pet project is adapting H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness for the big screen. Despite backing from James Cameron and tentative agreement by Tom Cruise to star, the project was cancelled by Universal: partly because they thought it unlikely for a Cosmic Horror Story film to make money at the box office, and partly because del Toro refused to tone down some of its elements so that it would likely be rated PG-13 (his proposed script would definitely catch an R). He has also adamantly refused to include a Token Romance. He made attempts to find financing with 20th Century Fox, but more recently stated that he wished to put the project on hold due to its similarity to Ridley Scott's Prometheus. The latest news concerning the project seems to indicate that Legendary is open to funding the film and he has compromised on his desire for an R-rating, but he will likely not begin production until after Crimson Peak and the Pacific Rim sequel have been released.
Is a frequent collaborator with Ron Perlman and Mike Mignola. He is also One of Us being an avid gamer who cites games like Half-Life and BioShock as being his favorites and he was developing Insane, as well as Silent Hills with Hideo Kojima before both got cancelled. He is also friends with fellow Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu, the three being collectively known as "The Three Amigos of Cinema."note
Not remotely related to actor Benicio Del Toro.
As both Writer and Director
- Mimic (His only Old Shame, because the studio changed his ending. You can see that he put a lot of love into the rest of it, however.)
- The Devil's Backbone
- Hellboy and its sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
- Pan's Labyrinth (His most acclaimed work)
- Pacific Rim
- The Strain (Directed the feature-length pilot episode and co-wrote the teleplay with novel collaborator Chuck Hogan.)
- Crimson Peak (Starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, and Jim Beaver. It also reunites him with Pacific Rim stars Burn Gorman and Charlie Hunnam)
- The Shape of Water (For which he won an Oscar for Best Directing, on top of the film winning Best Picture)
- Tales of Arcadia
As Director only:
As Writer only:
- Hellboy: The Science of Evil, a video game based on the Hellboy film series which was published by Konami. (Writer)
- The Strain (Novel, 2009), and its sequels, The Fall (2010) and Night Eternal (2011); all with Chuck Hogan.
- The Haunted Mansion (Upcoming film, with a screenplay by Del Toro, based on the ride at Disneyland.)
- Trollhunters (Young Adult novel, developed into an animated series)
- Hellboy Animated (Producer)
- The Hobbit (Formerly directing and co-writing, but after several years in Development Hell he stepped down as director, and remains as a co-writer with Peter Jackson (and his usual writing team).
- Insane (horror video game originally intended to be released in 2013; currently canceled as a result of THQ's bankruptcy, but with the intellectual rights transferring to del Toro).
- Julia's Eyes (producer)
- Puss in Boots (executive producer)
- Rise of the Guardians (executive producer)
- Mama (executive producer)
- The Orphanage (executive producer)
- Intro for Treehouse of Horror XXIV
- The Book of Life (executive producer)
- Silent Hills (a Silent Hill game, collaborating with Hideo Kojima, now cancelled)
- Death Stranding (collaboration with Hideo Kojima, in an acting rolenote )
- Pacific Rim: Uprising (as producer)
Tropes common to his works include:
- Awesome Mc Coolname: His works tend to have lots of these. Reaches its height at Pacific Rim, where almost every named character has an impossibly cool name (probably an homage to Gundam's unusual character names).
- He also counts as this. His name, Guillermo Del Toro means "William of the Bull".
- Black and White Morality: In many of his films, there’s a clear distinction on who’s good and who’s bad.
- Break the Cutie: Many of his films feature children in extreme peril.
- Celebrity Resemblance: The Honest Trailer for Pacific Rim calls del Toro "the Latino Peter Jackson". The pictures shown reinforces their resemblance.
- Clockwork Creature: Cronos and the Hellboy movies have both featured creatures powered by clockwork. A clock also features prominently in Pan's Labyrinth.
- Creator Thumbprint: Slime, aspects of Clock Punk (or at least, clocks), things in jars (often People Jars), and references to Roman Catholicism. The supernatural is extremely common, and he's also greatly interested in the Spanish Civil War.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Most of his films feature sympathetic monsters.
- The Fair Folk: Seen in Pan's Labyrinth, the Hellboy movies and Don't be Afraid of the Dark.
- Genre Throwback: Crimson Peak is one for Gothic Romance.
- Humans Are Bastards: See Dark Is Not Evil; often, it's the humans who are far worse than any monster. That said, it's more the antagonistic humans are the actual bastards.
- Kids Are Cruel: A recurring theme in his work. Partially a deliberate subversion of the Children Are Innocent movie cliche, and partially allegedly drawn from his own childhood experiences. Don't let that and the Break the Cutie trope lead you to believe he hates kids: he has a few of his own, and mentioned he plays video games with his daughter.
- Lonely Rich Kid: His father won the Mexican lottery when he was little, built a Chrysler dealership empire from the money, and Guillermo was living in a gigantic mansion by the time he was seven. He said if his sister wasn't around, he could have genuinely died of boredom as a child in that place.
- Our Monsters Are Different: His depictions of supernatural creatures often deviate from the norm.
- Scenery Porn: Most of his films include this in some capacity.
- Signature Style: In addition to his Creator Thumbprint, his films often favor a specific and small palette (amber for Hellboy, blue-green for Pan's Labyrinth, yellow/blue for night/day in Blade II, and green/yellow for The Shape of Water).
- He also likes a particular type of creepiness; "I have a sort of a fetish for insects, clockwork, monsters, dark places, and unborn things,"
- ....and seriously, what is his problem with Father Figures?
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Despite a reasonable amount of cynicism, there is a good amount of optimism and magic in his films.