Guillermo del Toro Regrets Not Heading Up Universal’s Dark Universe

Famed director Guillermo del Toro looks back to 2007 when Universal offered him a chance to head their Dark Universe and he walked away.

Guillermo del Toro

I don’t know if there is a genre loving fanboy or girl out there who doesn’t love director Guillermo del Toro. The visionary director who brought us Hellboy, Pans Labyrinth and Pacific Rim brings a love and distinct craft to his films that is often unmatched. Last year, I was lucky enough to see his home exhibit at the LA County Museum (Lacma) and was blown away by his room completely devoted to Frankenstein. It just begs the question what would a del Toro-helmed Frankenstein have looked like? Or Dracula or even the recently released box office flop, The Mummy, which was part of Universal’s Dark Universe.

In an interview with the New York Times, Guillermo del Toro reveals that Universal approached him in 2007 and offered him the chance to produce a new wave of monster movies based on titles in their vast library. Del Toro was more interested in creating  films that were separate, more classical homages to the 1930s films.

After development on a Guillermo del Toro-Frankenstein project fell through, Universal again offered the director that opportunity to oversee the Dark Universe. He turned them down. Now he looks back on that decision with regret.

“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.”

Oh the wasted possibilities. Could he have raised Frankenstein from the dead? Given bite back to Dracula? We can ponder those what ifs and more while watching his new film, The Shape of Water, which is getting Oscar-worthy buzz.

“Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab’s classified secret — a mysterious, scaled creature from South America that lives in a water tank. As Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.”

In addition to directing The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro co-wrote the script with Vanessa Taylor. It stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer.

The Shape of Water opens in theaters December 8.

Source: New York Times