Guillermo del Toro

Sept. 12, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

‘The Strain': Richard Sammel relishes evil role as Thomas Eichhorst

Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst in "The Strain." (Michael Gibson/FX)
It takes a certain mind-set to want to bring about the end of the world. For Richard Sammel, the German actor who plays emissary of evil Thomas Eichhorst in FX’s apocalyptic series “The Strain,” a relentlessly positive attitude and a misplaced sense of self-assurance are key. “Guillermo gave me a magic word,” Sammel said recently, referring to “Strain” co-creator Guillermo del Toro. “He said, ‘Richard, for every strong character, there is a cue word, and for Eichhorst, it’s, ‘Yes!’ I couldn’t do anything with it for quite a bit, but… at a certain point it just opened. Yes! He’s hubristic, egocentric, narcissistic. It’s the vampire version of Obama’s ‘Yes, we can!’ Yes, I can. Yes, I do the right thing.” Sammel’s wicked charisma and gleeful zeal have helped transform a character that easily could have tipped into sinister parody — […]
Sept. 05, 2014 | 7:45 a.m.

‘Book of Life’ spins colorful folk-art fantasy tale

Zoe Saldana voices Maria, a woman who is wooed by Manolo and his longtime best friend Joaquin, in the movie "The Book of Life." (Twentieth Century Fox/Reel FX)
Animated characters are often inspired by animals, toys or fairy-tale princesses. But in “The Book of Life,” an animated fantasy due Oct. 17, writer-director Jorge Gutierrez found his muses in an unexpected and vibrant new place — the world of Mexican folk art. The Mexico City-born Gutierrez, best known for creating the Emmy-winning Nickelodeon series “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera” with his wife, Sandra Equihua, sets his story during the Mexican Day of the Dead, when it’s said that spirits can pass between worlds. Best friends Manolo (voiced by Diego Luna) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) battle for the affection of Maria (Zoe Saldana), and two spirits, the motherly La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) and fearsome Xibalba (Ron Perlman) bet on who will win. Gutierrez, making his first feature film with the help of producer and mentor Guillermo del […]
Aug. 19, 2014 | 12:42 p.m.

‘The Strain': Guillermo del Toro vampire series renewed for Season 2

The apocalyptic horror series “The Strain” will return for a second season, FX announced Tuesday. Based on a trilogy of novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the show is the latest high-concept thriller to explore the end of modern civilization — here, the threat arrives on board a flight into JFK when an old-world monster steals away on the plane and infects the passengers with a virus that transforms them into blood-thirsty monsters. Corey Stoll’s CDC epidemiologist Eph Goodweather finds himself drawn into the unfolding chaos, and before long, he is forced to partner with an eccentric pawn shop owner, Abraham Setrakian (played by David Bradley), to face down the creatures. PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot on the set of ‘The Strain’ “The thing I wanted to do in ‘The Strain,’ you can actually see this world collapse in a […]
Aug. 17, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘The Strain': Vampire hunter David Bradley revels in action hero role

English actor David Bradley in Beverly Hills.  (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
It’s in the vein of old-style vampire hunters that David Bradley operates on “The Strain,” FX’s hit series that sees the world on the precipice of apocalypse thanks to the bloodthirsty undead. But the English actor, well known to genre audiences from his work in the “Harry Potter” movie franchise and on the wildly popular “Game of Thrones,” says he doesn’t directly draw inspiration from any famous forerunners in the unusual science. “I didn’t try to look for references or comparisons with other characters, otherwise there’s always a danger of playing that rather than what Guillermo and Chuck have got written down,” Bradley said in an interview on the Toronto set of the show, when asked about any similarities between his determined Abraham Setrakian and Bram Stoker’s Abraham Van Helsing, the man who famously tracked Dracula and brought the powerful […]
Aug. 12, 2014 | 4:59 p.m.

Guillermo del Toro, Hideo Kojima team up for new ‘Silent Hill’ game

Silent Hills
Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and “Metal Gear Solid” creator Hideo Kojima will join forces for a return trip to Silent Hill. Word about the new installment in the long-running video game series arrived Tuesday via an interactive teaser released on the PlayStation store. Near the conclusion of an hour-plus long demo for a game referred to as “P.T.,” title cards appeared on screen featuring both Del Toro’s name and Kojima’s (another suggested the game could be titled “Silent Hills”). Also glimpsed was a character modeled on “The Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus, who could be seen standing on a desolate city street at night. Although some years away from its creative zenith, the “Silent Hill” franchise won a legion of fans for its atmospheric thrills and surreal imagery. It spawned two films — 2006’s “Silent Hill,”and more recently, 2012’s “Silent […]
July 28, 2014 | 1:35 p.m.

Comic-Con: Guillermo del Toro talks ‘Crimson Peak,’ ‘Pacific Rim 2′

If there was one creative force who appeared to be nearly omnipresent at San Diego’s Comic-Con International this year, it was Guillermo del Toro. The busy writer-director was on hand for the pop culture expo to discuss a slew of projects: his 2015 horror film, “Crimson Peak,” starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam; his FX TV series, “The Strain,” adapted from a trilogy of vampire novels he wrote with Chuck Hogan; the upcoming animated movie he’s producing, “Book of Life,” which arrives in theaters Oct. 17; and “Pacific Rim 2,” the sequel to last summer’s movie that paid glorious homage to the Japanese pop culture he adored as a child in Guadalajara. After debuting the first scenes from “Crimson Peak” at the Legendary Comic-Con panel in Hall H on Saturday, Del Toro sat down with Hero […]
July 26, 2014 | 3:27 p.m.

Comic-Con: Legendary brings ‘Warcraft,’ ‘Crimson Peak,’ Michael Mann, King Kong

Guillermo del Toro attends the Legendary Pictures panel for "Crimson Peak" on Day 3 of Comic-Con International on Saturday, July 26, 2014, in San Diego. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
The giant monsters business is turning out to be a great one for Legendary. During the company’s Comic-Con International presentation in Hall H on Saturday, “Godzilla” filmmaker Gareth Edwards confirmed that he will direct a sequel to the monster hit, courtesy of a cheeky video message, and the company also revealed that the other three iconic creatures from the Toho canon will probably make an appearance in the followup: Rodan, Mothra and Ghidorah. Further, at the end of the session, Tull announced courtesy of a separate video piece that the company will bring King Kong back to the screen in a 2016 film titled “Skull Island.” In between the monster moments, Legendary touted the August horror film, “As Above, So Below,” set in the Paris catacombs, debuted the first teaser from Duncan Jones’ 2016 blockbuster game adaptation “Warcraft” (which he […]
July 25, 2014 | 8:09 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Fox panel features ‘Maze Runner’ spoiler, Biz Markie

James Dashner and from left, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario and Dylan O'Brien attend 20th Century Fox's panel for "The Maze Runner" on Day 2 of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 25, 2014, in San Diego. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Six thousand-odd Comic-Con International attendees came into 20th Century Fox’s Hall H panel wondering if there would be any big surprises of the sort Paramount offered yesterday with the appearance of Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey. A very early look at “X-Men: Apocalypse”? A tease of the new “Fantastic Four”? Well, the answers to those questions were no and no. But, as it happened, there were a couple of didn’t-see-that-coming moments, including at least one that may not have been entirely welcome. Toward the end of the presentation for the upcoming dystopian thriller “The Maze Runner,” which is adapted from a bestselling YA novel, the film’s star, Dylan O’Brien, was asked by an audience member about the most difficult scene he had to film. O’Brien thought for a moment and then answered that it was the death of a major character — who he named. Comic-Con 2014: Full coverage […]
July 24, 2014 | 7:23 a.m.

Comic-Con: Guillermo del Toro takes fans into ‘Crimson Peak,’ ‘Pacific Rim’

Guillermo del Toro outside the "Crimson Peak" Gothic Gallery at Comic-Con
If he could, Guillermo del Toro would probably walk through San Diego’s Comic-Con International talking to every fan personally about their shared love of monsters, robots and things that go bump in the night. Instead, the director helped create two immersive worlds for the Legendary booth at the convention, a virtual reality encounter where fans can train to pilot a Jaeger–the giant, neurally linked robots from his 2013 science-fiction epic “Pacific Rim”– and a Gothic gallery they can stroll through to enter the world of his next project, the 2015 haunted house film “Crimson Peak.” FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 To enter the “Crimson Peak” portion of the booth, which Del Toro gave press a tour of Wednesday night, fans walk through snow-covered gates into a space that includes evocative props and costumes from the film. Set in a deteriorating mansion in 19th century northern England, “Crimson Peak” stars Mia […]
July 13, 2014 | 2:07 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Guillermo del Toro, ‘Lego Batman 3,’ set for final day

Guillermo del Toro, a preview of “Lego Batman 3,” and Kevin Bacon and costars from “The Following” are highlights from the schedule for Comic-Con’s closing day, Sunday, July 27. Starting at the not-unreasonable time of 11:15 a.m. in Hall H, Bacon is to make his return to the San Diego pop-culture exposition to tout the third season of Fox’s “The Following,” which is scheduled to air in early 2015. He’ll be joined by cast mates Shawn Ashmore (“X-Men: The Last Stand”), Sam Underwood (“Dexter”), and Jessica Stroup (“90210″), with creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson (“Scream”) and executive producer Marcos Siega (“The Vampire Diaries”), for an on-stage Q&A and video presentation. In anticipation of the fall release of  the latest in the massively popular “Lego Batman” video game series, the “Lego Batman 3″ panel will feature an exclusive game-play demonstration and boasts […]
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