Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has revealed how much time he has spent writing screenplays that were never made into films. Although he has got Pacific Rim and Blade 2 to his credit, there are numerous high-profile films del Toro wrote that never made it to the big screen. From The Hobbit and Hellboy 3 to Justice League Dark, Del Toro has been involved with several major Hollywood films in the last two decades.
Due to creative differences, financial and time constraints, fans were deprived of del Toro's distinctive vision several times. The visionary director has a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to his unrealized projects. But as it turns out, it wasn't just a few movies that he couldn't get off the ground. Del Toro has spent a lifetime writing scripts that Hollywood never produced.
Del Toro, Edgar Wright, James Gunn, and many other prolific filmmakers were tagged by a fan in a tweet asking, "Just curious, how many screenplays you guys written for movies that never got made?" Del Toro replied with an astonishing number. Here is what he said.
"By my count I have written or co-written around 33 screenplay features. 2-3 made by others, 11 made by me (Pinocchio in progress) so- about 20 screenplays not filmed. Each takes 6-10 months of work, so, roughly 16 years gone. Just experience and skill improvement."
Del Toro's answer shocked Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn who said, " You gave up being a surgeon AND a lawyer AND playing the violin AND maybe being really good at darts or something with that time." You can check out the tweets below.
It is indeed shocking that del Toro spent 16 years of his life writing stories that Hollywood never bothered to make. And not unfinished pitches, but 20 actual screenplays. Some of his movies are still in development hell, so there is a possibility del Toro gets to make his dream projects.
Other filmmakers on the thread had similar stories to tell. Knives Out director Rian Johnson replied with "7" while, and Sinister director Scott Derrickson said, "I had a 5 year run before The Exorcism of Emily Rose during which I was paid to write or rewrite 13 screenplays - none of them got made. I was earning a good living but all of my creativity would be read by just a handful of executives. It caused a kind of soul sickness in me."
Derrickson was involved in two high-profile projects that he left due to creative differences recently, the Doctor Strange sequel and Snowpierce r TV series, respectively. A similar thing happened to Edgar Wright when he left Marvel's Ant-Man. He and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) still received the writing credit. While all this is a normal part of most filmmaker's careers, especially those who start as writers, it is also a massive waste of time and creativity. Hopefully, del Toro and other filmmakers don't have to go through this again.
Coming to the present, The Shape of Water director is returning this year with a psychological thriller, Nightmare Alley. Boasting an all-star cast comprising Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, and David Strathairn, Nightmare Alley will release on 17 December 2021. Del Toro is also set to make his animated debut with Netflix's stop motion film Pinocchio. The film will be a much darker take on the character. Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Cate Blanchett, and Tim Blake Nelson have provided their voice for the film. Pinocchio will release sometime in 2022, having been delayed by the pandemic. This news comes to us by UPROXX.