It’s no secret that Guillermo del Toro is a busy guy. At any given moment he’s developing a number of projects in various stages to write, produce, and/or direct, but fans can always rest assured that if del Toro lends his name to something, he puts his whole heart into it. One of his more interesting recent collaborations has been with DreamWorks Animation. He took on a small consulting role on the studio’s 2010 film Megamind, but since then he’s served as an executive producer on Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2, and the upcoming Rise of the Guardians.
Steve recently spoke with del Toro in anticipation of the release of Rise of the Guardians and the filmmaker gave updates on a number of future projects (read what he had to say about Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim 2 right here). During the course of the conversation, del Toro gave updates on Puss in Boots 2, Kung Fu Panda 3, and an animated film called Trollhunters that he intends to direct for DreamWorks Animation. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
“We already did a couple of drafts on the screenplay for Puss in Boots 2. It was great because we were doing stuff that certainly seemed risky at the time. One of the big bets we did on Puss in Boots was that the quote-unquote bad guy, Humpty, redeems himself at the end; he becomes a hero in the last few minutes of his life, he can change. I wanted to do a movie that showed kids that you don’t have to be good or bad, you can change. It was very hairy to get that one through in a kids movie, because it’s not the norm. Normally you have a bad guy, you defeat him. So getting the box office backup gives us a chance to be risky and creative with the next one.”
The filmmaker then teased an interesting location for the follow-up, describing it as an adventure movie:
“We take Puss to a completely different land which is very exotic. When Chris [Miller], the director, said ‘I don’t want Puss to happen in the same universe as the Shrek movies visually, I want to do a spaghetti western,’ he is, in this case, trying to do an adventure movie so we’re taking him to a very exotic locale.”
“We basically talked about where we would go in the third one in the second one. We really finished [Kung Fu Panda 2] with the real father of Po saying ‘My son is alive,’ so that allows us to continue that arc of Po as a character. All I can say is the bad guy in the third one is possibly the most formidable villain in the series… We finished an outline, we presented a character design, we presented a couple of sequences in storyboard, and we’re very hard at work on a screenplay.”
Finally, del Toro has been developing a film of his own at DreamWorks called Trollhunters for the past few years. The filmmaker reiterated that he intends to direct the feature once the script is in top shape:
“The relationship with DreamWorks Animation actually started with me approaching them and saying ‘I want to direct an animated movie,’ and we started developing that screenplay Trollhunters three years ago. We’re on the fourth or fifth draft and I’m doing designs for it, and when the screenplay’s ready and the designs are ready I’m gonna set aside 18 months of my life and dedicate them only to the animated movie.”
“It’s about a group of kids that basically are Trollhunters at night, and they have to still do the math exam during the day; they get fit with braces and go through all the growing pains. I love the idea of creating a sort of nuanced portrait of kids that they’re not all perfect. They’re kind of misfits but not in a picturesque, hip way, they’re really, really kids that are not entirely great (laughs).”
Look for Steve’s full interview with del Toro closer to the release of Rise of the Guardians.