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Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro, 2002
Born Guillermo del Toro Gómez
October 9, 1964 (1964-10-09) (age 45)
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Occupation Director, producer, screenwriter
Years active 1984–present

Guillermo del Toro Gómez (Spanish pronunciation: [giˈʝermo ðel ˈtoɾo ˈɣomes]; born October 9, 1964) is a Mexican director, producer, screenwriter and designer whose work has gained both critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase. He is mostly known for his acclaimed films, Pan's Labyrinth and the Hellboy film franchise. He is a frequent collaborator with Ron Perlman, Federico Luppi and Doug Jones. His films draw heavily on sources as diverse as weird fiction, fantasy and war.


Early life

Del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He studied at the Instituto de Ciencias, University of Guadalajara.[1] Del Toro first got involved into filmmaking when he was about eight years old and studied special effects and make-up with SFX artist Dick Smith.[2] He participated in the cult series La Hora Marcada along with other renowned Mexican filmakers such as Emmanuel Lubezki] and Alfonso Cuarón.

He spent eight years as a special effects make-up designer, and formed his own company, Necropia. He also co-founded the Guadalajara International Film Festival. Later on in his directing career, he formed his own production company, the Tequila Gang.

In 1997, at the age of 33, Hollywood opened its doors to his talent. Guillermo received $30 million budget from Miramax studios to shoot his second film, Mimic. It was during this time, he heard that his father, automotive entrepreneur Federico del Toro, was abducted in Guadalajara, Mexico. Although Don Federico was released, there was so much economic pressure from their captors, to the degree that they had to pay two times the amount for the rescue. This event prompted Del Toro, his parents and his siblings to move abroad and live as expatriates.[3]

Professional career

Guillermo del Toro has directed a wide variety of films, from action hero comic book adaptations (Hellboy and Blade II) to historical fantasy and horror films, two of which are set in Spain in the context of the Spanish Civil War under the authoritarian rule of Francisco Franco. These two films, El espinazo del diablo (The Devil's Backbone) and El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth), are among his most critically acclaimed works. They share similar settings, protagonists (young children), and themes (including the relationship between fantasy/horror and the struggle to live under authoritarian or dictatorial rule) with the 1973 Spanish film The Spirit of the Beehive, widely considered to be the finest Spanish film of the 1970s.[4]

Del Toro, as interviewed on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show, lists several fascinations that have become regular features in his films: "I have a sort of a fetish for insects, clockwork, monsters, dark places, and unborn things." In recent interviews, he has stated that he has always been "in love with monsters. My fascination with them is almost anthropological... I study them, I dissect them in many of my movies: I want to know how they work, what the inside of them looks like, [and] what their sociology is."[citation needed] He also mentions as influences Arthur Machen, Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, H.P. Lovecraft, Jorge Luis Borges and Juan Rulfo.

He is close friends with two other prominent and critically praised Mexican filmmakers, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu.[citation needed] The three often influence each other's directorial decisions, and have been interviewed together by Charlie Rose. Cuarón was one of the producers of Pan's Labyrinth. Del Toro turned down The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to do Pan's Labyrinth, for which he also received a Nebula Award for Best Script.[5] He has also turned down a chance to direct I Am Legend, One Missed Call (2008), Halo, and even Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, whose predecessor was directed by Cuaron, to work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army.[citation needed]

Several of del Toro's films have included Ron Perlman as the main or secondary actor. This includes Blade II and the Hellboy movies for which he had to petition for seven years to have Perlman in the role of Hellboy due to the fact that the producers originally wanted someone better known.[citation needed]

Future projects

In April 2008 del Toro was officially announced as director of The Hobbit in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series alongside executive producer Peter Jackson.[6] Del Toro stated that "Contributing to the 'Lord of the Rings' legacy is an absolute dream come true." For the next four years, del Toro, his wife, and two daughters, will live in New Zealand.[7][8] As a consequence of his taking on The Hobbit, projects he had been planning to take on in the next few years, including a follow-up to Hellboy II: The Golden Army, have been put on hold. "I think we would all come back to do a third Hellboy," said Del Toro in an interview with IGN, regarding a third movie in the franchise. "If they can wait for me to get out of Middle-earth, but we don't know. Ron may want to do it sooner, but I certainly know where we're going with the movie on the third one."[9] In a separate interview, Del Toro remarked that in comparing the trade-off of doing personal projects for The Hobbit, "It's a great cancel."[10]

After The Hobbit and its follow-up, Del Toro was scheduled to direct four films for Universal; Frankenstein; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; a remake of Slaughterhouse-Five; and Drood, an adaptation of a Dan Simmons novel published in February 2009.[11] He still has his sights set on filming At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft, a project on which Lovecraft expert S.T. Joshi would act as consultant. Drood is expected to be his first project after the two films set in Middle-earth. These projects would have filled up his schedule until 2017.[12] Part of the Universal deal entails continuing research and development for the creatures in At the Mountains of Madness.[13] In June 2009, Del Toro said he would only direct Frankenstein and just produce Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.[14] Del Toro is also in the early stages of development of Saturn and the End of Days.[15]

Del Toro said his Frankenstein would be a faithful "Miltonian tragedy", citing Frank Darabont's "near perfect" script, which evolved into Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein.[16] Del Toro said of his vision, "What I’m trying to do is take the myth and do something with it, but combining elements of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein without making it just a classical myth of the monster. The best moments in my mind of Frankenstein, of the novel, are yet to be filmed [...] The only guy that has ever nailed for me the emptiness, not the tragic, not the Miltonian dimension of the monster, but the emptiness is Christopher Lee in the Hammer films, where he really looks like something obscenely alive. Boris Karloff has the tragedy element nailed down but there are so many versions, including that great screenplay by Frank Darabont that was ultimately not really filmed."[17] He has also cited Bernie Wrightson's illustrations as inspiration, and said the film will not focus on the monster's creation, but be an adventure film featuring the character.[18] Del Toro said he would like Wrightson to design his version of the creature. The film will also focus on the religious aspects of Shelley's tale.[19] Del Toro has stated that production on Frankenstein most likely will not begin for at least four years.[20] Despite this, he has already cast frequent collaborator Doug Jones in the role of Frankenstein's monster. In an interview with Sci Fi Wire, Jones stated that he learned of the news the same day as everybody else; that "Guillermo did say to the press that he’s already cast me as his monster, but we’ve yet to talk about it. But in his mind, if that’s what he’s decided, then it’s done...It would be a dream come true."[21] Regarding his Jekyll-and-Hyde film, Del Toro said he had a "perverse" take in mind where Jekyll becomes addicted to transforming into Hyde. Both films will be period pieces.[22] He has also expressed interest in video games after the Hobbit project, and hopes to be able to create a "Citizen Kane of games."[23] As of September 11th, 2009 it has been made known that Guillermo Del Toro has signed on with the Walt Disney Company to create a new label known as Disney's Double Dare You. This new label will seek to create family friendly, all-ages animated projects that still manage to thrill and frighten.[24]

The Strain Trilogy

On June 2, 2009 Del Toro released his debut novel, The Strain, which he co-authored with Chuck Hogan. It will be the first part of a vampire trilogy.

Personal life

Guillermo del Toro is married to his high school sweetheart Lorenza Newton, cousin of Mexican singer Guadalupe Pineda. He fell in love with Lorenza when both were studying at the Guadalajara School of Sciences and became inseparable since. He currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand with his wife Lorenza and his two daughters, Mariana and Marisa.[3]

In 2009, in an interview with Charlie Rose, del Toro described his Roman Catholic upbringing as excessively "morbid," saying "I mercifully lapsed as a Catholic, I say, but as Buñuel used to say, "I'm an atheist, thank God." Though insisting he's spiritually "not with [Buñuel]" and that "once a Catholic, always a Catholic, in a way," he followed by saying, "I believe in man. I believe in mankind, as the worst and the best that has happened to this world."[25]

Favorite Movies

Guillermo del Toro has championed a horror/dark comedy movie called "The Birthday" directed by Eugenio Mira. The film was released to festivals in 2006 and stars Corey Feldman. Guillermo actually hosted a few screenings of the movie in the past two years, including the The Raindance Film Festival where he participated in a question and answer session for the movie. Rumors have been circulating that he is going to help release the U.S. DVD as a "Guillermo Del Toro Presents" feature.


Year Film Credited as
Director Writer Producer
1986 Dona Herlinda and Her Son Yes
1993 Cronos Yes Yes Yes
1996 Borthwick, le retour Yes Yes
1997 Mimic Yes
1998 Un Embrujo Yes
2001 The Devil's Backbone Yes Yes Yes
2002 Asesino en serio Yes
Blade II Yes
2004 Crónicas Yes
Hellboy Yes Yes
2006 Hellboy: Sword of Storms Yes
Pan's Labyrinth Yes Yes Yes
2007 Hellboy: Blood and Iron Yes
The Orphanage Yes
2008 While She Was Out Yes
Rudo y Cursi Yes
Cosas insignificantes Yes
Eskalofrío Yes
Hellboy II: The Golden Army Yes Yes
2009 Splice Yes
2010 Biutiful Yes
Julia's Eyes Yes
Hater Yes
2011 The Hobbit, Part One Yes Yes
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Yes Yes
2012 The Hobbit, Part Two Yes Yes
Doctor Strange Yes Yes
TBA Pinocchio Yes

See also


  1. ^ "Guillermo del Toro Biography — Yahoo! Movies". 1964-10-09. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  2. ^ Wood, Jason, Talking Movies: Contemporary World Filmmakers in Interview Page 29
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Curran, Daniel, ed. Foreign Films, film review and analysis of The Spirit of the Beehive, page 161-2, 1989. Evanston, Illinois: Cinebooks. ISBN 0-933997-22-1.
  5. ^ Mills, Nicole. "NEWSMAKERS: 'Brothers & Sisters' and 'Ugly Betty' win GLAAD Awards; 'Baby Mama' tops the box office", The Austin American-Statesman, published April 28, 2008, accessed May 19, 2008.
  6. ^ "Guillermo del Toro to direct 'The Hobbit' and sequel". Associated Press. Yahoo! News. 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  7. ^ "'I try to pour a lot of me into every film'". 2006-11-24. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  8. ^ "Guillermo del Toro Chats with TORN About ‘The Hobbit’ Films!". 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  9. ^ Utichi, Joe (2008-07-10). "Guillermo del Toro — RT's Dinner and the Movies Interview". Rotten Tomatoes (IGN Entertainment, Inc). Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  10. ^ "Exclusive Guillermo del Toro Red Carpet Video Interview". 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  11. ^ "Del Toro Commits To Universal Until 2017". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  12. ^ Michael Fleming (2008-09-03). "Guillermo Del Toro booked thru 2017". Variety. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  13. ^ "Del Toro Updates Hobbit, Frankenstein". SCI FI Wire. 2008-11-12. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  14. ^ Brendon Connelly (2009-06-11). "Guillermo Del Toro Confirms Hugo Weaving For The Hobbit... And Much More". /Film. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  15. ^ "Guillermo del Toro’s Saturn and the End of Days | /Film". 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  16. ^ Mike Sampson (2007-10-26). "Guillermo talks!". Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  17. ^ Chris Hewitt (2008-02-08). "Guillermo Del Toro Talks The Hobbit". Empire. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  18. ^ Max Evry (2008-10-05). "Guillermo del Toro on The Hobbit and Frankenstein". Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  19. ^ Josh Horowitz (2008-10-14). "Guillermo Del Toro Talks 'Hobbit' Casting, Creatures". MTV. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  20. ^ "Guillermo Del Toro Casts Doug Jones in Frankenstein". June 14, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  21. ^ Frappier, Rob (June 24, 2009). "Doug Jones Talks Frankenstein, The Hobbit, & Hellboy 3". Screen Rant. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Hobbits, monsters and CSI vampires". BBC News Online. 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  23. ^ "The Hobbit Director Del Toro On Games' 'Story Engine' Future". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "A conversation with Guillermo del Toro". Charlie Rose. 2009-07-02. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Guillermo del Toro (born October 9, 1964) is a Mexican film director.


  • Para mí estas cosas son como una cebolla, entre más capas descubres, más vas llorando. No hay vencedores en las guerras, sólo sangre y vencidos.
    • Translation: For me these things are like an onion, as you discover more layers, you cry even more. There are no winners in wars, only blood and losers.
    • Interview with Guillermo del Toro on 10/09/2006. [1]
  • Lo que me interesa del fascismo es justamente que es un hoyo negro de la voluntad. Es un sistema que no necesariamente es único, pero absuelve la brutalidad, absuelve la falta de moral y absuelve la decisión propia. Cuando te dicen “Tú puedes matar a esta gente porque que son judíos, rojos o homosexuales, ¡lo que sea!” En ese mundo puedes permitir una acción brutal en base a un consejo colectivo, eso es lo que me asusta.
    • Translation: What interests me about fascism is that it is a black hole of free will. It is a system which isn’t necessarily unique, but it absolves brutality, it absolves the lack of morals and it absolves people of their own decisions. When they tell you ‘you can kill these people because they are Jews, reds or homosexuals, or whatever!’ In this world you can permit a brutal action on the base of collective advice; that is what scares me.
    • Interview with Guillermo del Toro on 10/23/2006. [2]
  • Lo que más interesante es en la naturaleza existen dos especies, unicamente dos especies que son expansionistas: el hombre y los insectos. Las demas especies son territoriales. El insecto es devorador, expansionista, hasta que se siegue expandiendo y no le importa. Y el hombre es así... las dos especies que van a acabar peleandose por el mundo van a ser insectos y hombres.
    • Translation: The most interesting thing in nature is that two species exist, only two species, which are expansionist: mankind and insects. All other species are territorial. The insect is a devourer, an expander, it keeps on expanding so much and it doesn’t even care. And mankind is like that, as well… The two species which are going to end up fighting over the world are going to be insects and human beings.
    • Interview with Guillermo del Toro. [3]
  • "There is beautiful in the grotesque."
    • Interview with Guillermo del Toro. [4]
  • "Cows are evil."

-Pan's Labyrinth DVD director's commentary

  • "We're here to entertain you while you wonder why the fuck this channel has two asshole talking while you're trying to watch your movie."
  • (seeing character with a wig which the producer insisted he try in a delete scene): "Look, that is Peter Frankfurt's fucking doing! Explain yourself! Look at that fucker! It's fucking Michael Bolton!"
  • "'Less is more' my ass. I mean, 'less is more' on atmospheric movies. In ACTION/horror movies, more is more baby!"
  • Frankfurt, discussing a stuntman: "He missed being killed in that shot be literally half an inch.

del Toro: "Needless to say, I wanted another take." -With producer Peter Frankfurt on the Blade II DVD commentary

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