For someone who hasn’t actually made a film in three years, Guillermo del Toro is one of the busiest guys in Hollywood, writing and producing a slew of upcoming projects and readying his next directorial effort — “Pacific Rim” — now that “At the Mountains of Madness,” his big-budget, R-rated H.P. Lovecraft dream project, appears to be on indefinite hold (or at least until those pesky budget/rating issues can get resolved). But when Hero Complex contributor Gina McIntyre spoke to the filmmaker last week about the upcoming horror movie “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” which he co-wrote and produced, she couldn’t resist asking him about “Maleficent,” the retelling of “Sleeping Beauty” from the vantage point of the sinister green witch who transforms into a majestic black and purple dragon that Disney has in the works. Tim Burton had been attached to direct the film, but since his departure, the studio hasn’t yet announced a replacement.
So, given Del Toro’s appreciation of classic Disney villains and dragons, maybe he would be interested in the job?
“Let me put it this way, if they ask I’ll take the meeting,” Del Toro said, speaking by phone from Toronto. “I think Maleficent’s dragon is the only design with the wings separate from the front legs, the only time that design has ever worked. And let me tell you how much of a fan I am. I have a collection of over two or three dozen Maleficent figures, some of them four or five feet tall. I own about 10 pieces of conceptual art from ‘Sleeping Beauty’ that include the dragon and a lot more pieces that are just from ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ It’s one of my three favorite Disney films. I would love to. But I don’t want to put too many hopes on it. They’re probably on a fast track and I cannot take any more projects on a fast track. ”
Still, fans can always hope. In the meantime, “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” hits theaters Aug. 26, while Del Toro and Chuck Hogan‘s third and final novel in “The Strain” trilogy is set for release in October.
— Gina McIntyre
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