Guillermo Del Toro

Guillermo Del Toro

 

 

Guillermo del Toro Gómez (Spanish pronunciation: [ɣiˈʎermo ðel ˈtoɾo ˈɣomeθ]; born 9 October 1964) is an Academy Award-nominated 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 and Doug Jones. His films draw heavily on sources as diverse as weird fiction, fantasy and war.

Del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He studied at the Instituto de Ciencias, University of Guadalajara.   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.  He participated in the cult series La Hora Marcada along with other renowned Mexican filmakers such as Emmanuel Lubezki, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón.

He executive-produced his first short film, Doña Herlinda y su hijo, in 1986, at the age of 21. After that, 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.

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.

Trade Mark:

Often uses insects or insect imagery.

Uses a lot of religious relics and artifacts. Always mentions Catholicism.

Archangels, symbols and other religious items.

Many of his films have major scenes based in underground areas such as subways systems (Mimic (1997), Hellboy (2004)), sewers (Blade II (2002)), or large basements (El espinazo del diablo (2001)).

Likes to use amber as a dominant color in his movies. This is especially noticeable in Blade II (2002) and Hellboy (2004).

Clockwork designs and motifs (for example, Kroenen’s lair in Hellboy (2004) and the captain’s obsession with his father’s watch in El laberinto del fauno (2006) ).

Often casts Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, and Federico Luppi.

Frequently works with cinematographer Guillermo Navarro.

One or more of his protagonists are often strongly and pivotally influenced by their father figures.

Trivia:

Became a vegetarian after seeing The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) but only for four years. Currently, he’s no longer a vegetarian.

Turned down a chance to direct Blade: Trinity (2004), AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) to work on his dream project: Hellboy (2004).

Fought the film studios for almost seven years to get Ron Perlman for the title role in Hellboy (2004). The studio wanted a bigger name to ensure the success of the movie, but del Toro thought that Perlman was the perfect choice and wouldn’t make the movie if he wasn’t cast.

He is friends with fellow successful Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Has a photographic memory.

1997: His father was kidnapped in Mexico and held for seventy-two days until his ransom was paid.

In a January 2007 interview on the radio program “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” said that his strictly Catholic grandmother was a “Piper Laurie in Carrie (1976)” figure in his childhood. He told Gross that his grandmother would require him to mortify himself in self-punishment, in one case placing metal bottle caps into his shoes so that the soles of his feet were bloodied while walking to school. She also tried to exorcise him twice because of his persistent interest in fantasy and drawing monsters from his imagination.

His favorite movie monsters are Frankenstein’s Monster and the Creature of the Black Lagoon.

In 2007, he was one of 10 Mexican Oscar-nominees. The others were Alejandro González Iñárritu, Guillermo Arriaga, Adriana Barraza, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo Navarro, Emmanuel Lubezki, Eugenio Caballero, Pilar Revuelta and Fernando Cámara.

Lost 45 lbs. while making El laberinto del fauno (2006), which he admitted in the DVD’s video prologue.

Turned down a chance to direct I Am Legend (2007), One Missed Call (2008), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) and Halo (2012) to work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008).

Turned down the chance to direct Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996).

States Mimic (1997) as the worst of his films and has disowned it, blaming constant interference from the producers as the reason for the poor result.

Dec. 2007 – Ranked #37 on EW’s The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.

Was asked to direct End of Days (1999), but he turned it down.

His movie and comic book collection is so huge that he had to buy an extra home to accommodate it.

Is good friends with director Robert Rodriguez.

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