Hollywood is filled with tales of what could have been. Be it movies that never quite got going, projects that never got finished, or filmmakers who passed on a project that could have made it potentially amazing. In this case, it's the third option. Visionary director Guillermo del Toro reveals that, more than a decade ago, long before it was known as the Dark Universe, Universal offered him the keys to their monster movie universe.
Guillermo Del Toro is currently making the rounds for The Shape of Water, which is set to be released next month. The movie looks to clean up at the Academy Awards this year and is being hailed as one of 2017's best movies. So things have gone well for Del Toro, but he admits he regrets passing on the chance to work on Universal's monster movie universe those years ago. Here's what he had to say about it in a recent interview.
"I've said no to things that are enormous and I've never looked back. The only time I repent I didn't do something was in 2007, when Universal in an incredibly gentle and beautiful manner said, 'do you want to take over the Monster Universe? And they gave me the reins of several properties, and I didn't do it. That I repent. So this is a confessional moment, I repent. That's the only thing."
Even though Universal's Dark Universe only officially kicked off this year with The Mummy, which was supposed to be the first in a series of interconnected monster movies, this is something they've wanted to do for a long time. Looking at 2014, they released both Dracula Untold and I, Frankenstein, both of which tried, but failed, to gain the momentum needed for a shared universe. Imagine if Guillermo Del Toro had worked on that in 2007? He seems like the perfect guy, but it simply wasn't meant to be. Now, the Dark Universe is in serious trouble, even though Universal swears it's going to move forward.
"We've learned many lessons throughout the creative process on Dark Universe so far, and we are viewing these titles as filmmaker-driven vehicles, each with their own distinct vision. We are not rushing to meet a release date and will move forward with these films when we feel they are the best versions of themselves."
The comments made by Universal's president of production Peter Cramer do little to distract from the fact that The Mummy was a critical and financial failure and that Bill Condon's Bride of Frankenstein has been taken off the release schedule. Who knows? Maybe now that the Dark Universe is on the rocks, Universal can reach out to Del Toro again to see if he'd be interested in getting things back on track. You can check out the full Time Talks interview with Guillermo Del Toro for yourself below.