Guillermo del Toro

May 23, 2014 | 11:00 a.m.

‘The Strain': Del Toro and the new face of the apocalypse

On the set of the latest -- vampiriic -- drama of the apocalypse, "The Strain."
TORONTO — The forecast insisted that the latest in a series of punishing winter storms was due to descend on Toronto in a matter of hours, but the sky hovering over the cast and crew of FX’s new vampire series, “The Strain,” was nothing but a blanket of pristine blue. The sunlight might have cheered the locals who had endured more than one Polar Vortex event — yet it was dampening the spirits of the behind-the-scenes team attempting to film a vampire attack that was supposed to be taking place during an eclipse. On a clear and cold Friday, technicians attempted to create enough shade for the sequence by maneuvering a giant black tarpaulin at the entrance to a narrow alleyway, with mixed results. Miguel Gomez, the actor who plays the show’s streetwise Gus Elizalde, was gamely wrestling with an […]
March 25, 2014 | 11:53 a.m.

‘Ant-Man': Corey Stoll looks likely in cast, production begins in June

Corey Stoll photographed at the Los Angeles Times studio on June 12, 2013. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
It looks as if Corey Stoll could be the latest actor to join the cast of Marvel’s “Ant-Man.” The “House of Cards” actor is in negotiations to take on an unspecified role in the production, which will be helmed by Edgar Wright and is set to begin filming in June. The planned 2015 release will see Michael Douglas play the original Avengers member Hank Pym, a scientist who, in the comics, invents a shrinking serum that allows him to sneak around in miniature form and surprise foes. The film also will star Paul Rudd as reformed thief Scott Lang, the second superhero to take the name Ant-Man. Additionally, Patrick Wilson, who famously played Nite Owl in Zack Snyder’s 2009 adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ legendary graphic novel “Watchmen,” will have a featured role in the movie. It’s unclear […]
Oct. 25, 2013 | 11:40 a.m.

Guillermo del Toro opens his ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ with new book

Guillermo Del Toro is photographed on June 17, 2103. Click through the gallery for a look at some milestones in his career. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Over the last two decades, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has become known as one of popular culture’s great visionaries. He’s channeled his wild, restless imagination to create dark worlds of fantasy and horror, crafting beautifully rendered stories that function as modern fairy tales. Del Toro is interested in innocence and evil, and his tales are populated with winged, multi-limbed creatures and human monsters. His new book, “Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions” (Harper Design, $60), details Del Toro’s creative process, examining the pages of the leather-bound journals he uses to jot down ideas and drawings, many of which have found their way into his signature films, including “Pan’s Labyrinth” and this summer’s robots-versus-aliens blockbuster, “Pacific Rim.” “Curiosities” also invites readers inside Bleak House, his Southern California sanctuary that’s home to a massive collection of pop culture artifacts, […]
Oct. 04, 2013 | 1:20 p.m.

Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Simpsons’ couch gag pays homage to horror

The Simpsons, Guillermo del Toro (featured image)
Guillermo del Toro’s couch gag for “The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXIV” is nothing less than a love letter to the horror genre. Del Toro directed the show’s trademark opening sequence for this year’s Halloween special, and he pays homage to more horror franchises than we could count. Among the references in the opening, which runs just under three minutes, are tributes to Alfred Hitchcock, H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe and more. In addition to Cthulhu, Godzilla and a horde of zombies, Klaatu from “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “Nosferatu’s” vampire Count Orlok make appearances. In one scene, Bart Simpson scrawls, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” the proverb made infamous in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.” Attentive viewers will spot the house from “Psycho,” the winged attackers from “The Birds,” Frankenstein and […]
Sept. 06, 2013 | 6:15 p.m.

Tom Hiddleston replaces Benedict Cumberbatch in Del Toro film

(Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Tom Hiddleston seems to be the man of the hour. The actor, best known for his performance as the Marvel villain Loki, has been cast in Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming haunted house thriller “Crimson Peak,” Legendary Pictures announced Friday. Hiddleston replaces “Star Trek Into Darkness” actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who dropped out of the Del Toro project last month. “Crimson Peak,” set to begin filming in January, is a gothic horror tale about a young author (Mia Wasikowska) who discovers her new husband is not who he claims to be. Other cast members include “Zero Dark Thirty” actress Jessica Chastain, who starred in the Del Toro-produced “Mama” earlier this year, and Charlie Hunnam, who starred in Del Toro’s robots vs. kaiju epic “Pacific Rim” and was recently (and controversially) cast as the lead in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” “Crimson Peak” is […]
July 15, 2013 | 7:20 a.m.

‘True Blood’ actor Robert Kazinsky talks genre, ‘Pacific Rim’ role

Rob Kazinsky as Chuck Hansen in "Pacific Rim." (Kerry Hayes / Warner Bros.)
Actor Robert Kazinsky is, as they say, having a bit of a moment. The English thespian who appeared on the BBC soap “EastEnders” has been wooing Anna Paquin’s part-fairy telepath Sookie Stackhouse on HBO’s vampire saga “True Blood” this season, and he can currently be seen in Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” as Chuck Hansen, the talented Jaeger pilot with an outsized ego who comes into conflict with heroic Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam). Even Kazinsky seems to be having a difficult time getting his head entirely around his good career fortune. In a recent phone interview, Kazinsky, calling from London, repeatedly marveled at finding himself working with Del Toro on a sci-fi project — he considers himself a “massive” fan of the genre. And that “True Blood” gig? That’s not so bad besides. HC: It’s been a great year for […]
July 14, 2013 | 3:42 p.m.

‘Pacific Rim': Del Toro on directing big-budget kaiju epic [video]

So, how was it for Guillermo del Toro to get behind the camera once more with “Pacific Rim” after a five-year gap since directing 2008’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”? “It was like riding a bicycle,” the writer-director said last week in an appearance at an advance screening of the film at the Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26 & IMAX in Long Beach, part of the Hero Complex Screening Series. “Except,” he added with a smile, “I seldom ride bicycles — but I remember when I did.” “Pacific Rim” is set in a near future in which a shifting of tectonic plates has unlocked the portal to another world. Kaiju — the name and the genre come from the strain of Japanese B-movie cinema sired by Toho’s original “Godzilla” — pour through the rift, and before long coastal cities have […]
July 14, 2013 | 11:03 a.m.

‘Pacific Rim’ message: ‘We’re all in the same robot,’ Del Toro says

“Pacific Rim,” the new film from director Guillermo del Toro, offers moviegoers plenty of crowd-pleasing spectacle with its visually stunning sequences of giant Jaegers battling alien kaiju in a near-future world. In an appearance last week at an advance screening of “Pacific Rim” at the Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26 & IMAX in Long Beach, part of the Hero Complex Screening Series, the filmmaker discussed his approach to designing the wild creations in the movie, which features an ensemble cast that includes Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi and Ron Perlman, among others. “Any time I want to design a monster, the last thing I want to reference is a monster,” Del Toro said, explaining that the creature designs grew out of the classic “man in a suit” tradition. “If I was making this movie in 1968, you could […]
July 13, 2013 | 7:58 p.m.

‘Pacific Rim': Guillermo del Toro on why he’s like Raleigh Becket

“Pacific Rim” writer-director Guillermo del Toro invests each of the films he makes with specific emotions or character details inspired by his own experiences; his latest, the big-budget Jaegers versus kaiju epic invading theaters this weekend, is no exception. Speaking at a special Hero Complex advance screening of “Pacific Rim” on Wednesday at the Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26 & IMAX in Long Beach, Del Toro said there’s one specific aspect of the life of heroic pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) that matches up to his own. “I made it a point that Raleigh had been out of a Jaeger exactly the same time I had been out of the director’s chair,” said Del Toro, who hadn’t directed a film since 2008’s “Hellboy II: The Golden Army.” In the story, Raleigh, of course, finds his way back into the cockpit […]
July 13, 2013 | 1:14 p.m.

‘Pacific Rim’s Guillermo del Toro: Say no to reboots, yes to robots

There’s been plenty of speculation about how Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” will fare at the box office this weekend, where it’s going up against the Adam Sandler comedy “Grown Ups 2″ and the animated family film “Despicable Me 2.” But should the new film about humanity’s battle against an invading species of monsters called kaiju perform well enough to merit a sequel, the writer-director has got plenty of ideas for future stories set in the elaborately rendered world. Del Toro shared some of those ideas at a special Hero Complex advance screening of “Pacific Rim” earlier this week, appearing on stage for a Q&A at the Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26 & IMAX in Long Beach. Readers can watch the beginning of the conversation above, but beware, the clip does contain spoilers. “I think where we would go [in […]
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