Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is a Comic-Con favorite. Films like Hellboy and Pacific Rim went over extremely well at the massive convention in the past, and he’s also just an incredibly likeable guy—he loves movies, monsters, and has no filter when it comes to speaking on the Comic-Con stage. However, at this year’s Legendary panel in Hall H, del Toro brought a very different kind of film that just may end up being a highlight of his oeuvre. With the gothic romance horror pic Crimson Peak—which stars Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Charlie Hunnam—del Toro is aiming to meld the artful and more adult-geared tone of his Spanish-language films (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone) with the colorful and pop nature of his English-language features.
During the film’s Comic-Con panel, del Toro unveiled the first incredibly promising (not to mention gorgeous) footage from the pic and talked about his approach on this feature. Additionally, del Toro took the opportunity to do an unofficial poll of the audience as to their interest in seeing Hellboy 3 and At the Mountains of Madness. Read my full Crimson Peak Comic-Con panel recap after the jump.
- On making a return to the horror genre, del Toro said he wanted to make a movie that blended two sides of his filmmaking sensibilities: his big, fun English movies and his smaller, more artful Spanish-language films.
- Del Toro was initially only going to produce Crimson Peak, but when the studio said he could do it R-rated, violent, and have complete creative control, he jumped at the chance to direct.
- Speaking about Tom Hiddleston, del Toro says the actor burst the barrier of having only two kinds of people: good looking assholes and bad-looking nice people. He said he’ll be bringing Tom to the Crimson Peak panel next year.
- Del Toro spent the better part of a year designing the house.
- The director’s aim was to create a great adult story for a female lead. He wanted to see her live past the traditional arc of “getting the guy, etc.”
- In keeping with the gothic romance, there is a thriller aspect, a romantic aspect, beautiful moments, and really brutal moments.
- The film has ghosts but also, “things that are scarier than ghosts.”
- Del Toro wasn’t given time for an audience Q&A, but with the Universal and Legendary executives backstage he took matters into his own hands and asked the audience two questions, to which he’d like to hear applause. 1. Hellboy 3? and 2. At the Mountains of Madness? The fan reaction to Hellboy 3 was unsurprisingly massive, but del Toro’s passion project Mountains of Madness also got a significant amount of applause. Legendary CEO Thomas Tull remarked later, “As for those films, Guillermo, after Pacific Rim 2 we’ll talk.” Universal/Legendary, if you’re reading, please make these movies.
The footage we were shown looked like a teaser trailer with some extra footage added on to the end, and it was absolutely fantastic. It opened with a slow pan over portions of the house as Hiddleston’s character recited a menacing monologue about the house itself, saying “sometimes houses as old as this begin to live and breathe.” The rest of the footage took us through the enormous house set, which is stunning, and teased some of the more dramatic, romantic, and frightening aspects of the pic. The costumes and sets were wonderfully Victorian in nature, and del Toro looks to have positively nailed the gothic romance tone.
Additionally, in true fashion, the pic also looks to be tinged with blood-soaked horror. The atmosphere is incredibly tense, and even though this was just a teaser, I felt like every aspect of the house just exuded terror. The logo itself was revealed in a giant vat of thick, crimson blood, and the brief glimpse of a ghost hand teased that del Toro’s creatures will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen. I loved the costumes, I loved the visual aesthetic, I loved the tone, and I absolutely love the idea of del Toro tackling gothic romance. With a killer cast to boot, I think we could be in for a really special treat next October.
For much more on Crimson Peak, be sure to read Steve’s massive on-set interview with del Toro.
Click here to catch up on all of our Comic-Con 2014 coverage thus far.