Guillermo del Toro Talks Frankenstein And Playing Chess With The MPAA On The Set Of Mama
So do you, at all when you are filming, think about “Is this going to go PG-13 or R?” or do you just kind of say “Fuck it, let the chips fall.”
Normally, like for example the opposite has been true on the Hellboy movies. We calculated the Hellboy movies to be PG-13 and we got it first try. I’ve never had to cut a frame. Blade 2 almost got NC-17. (Laughs) On the other hand we went and they were like “No fucking way.” We literally negotiated frame by frame. We took very little, but they literally were saying “Six frames less on the exit wound” and we went like “All right, six frames off the exit wound.” Some people use the tricks of going extreme and then dialing it back, I don’t do that.
How do you keep everything straight? You are producing this, you have other movies that you have planning, you have Pacific Rim which is the biggest movie you have ever done. How do you sort of keep everything going with all of these plates spinning to keep your head straight?
Well Pacific Rim has been almost a year since I started working. I was working on it when I left The Hobbit like a week later I was producing it with Legendary, so I’ve been there first as producer and so it was a very easy transition and the rest, the sad thing about our business is nothing happens at the same time and everything happens so slowly. Like it’s easier to go from the outside to go like “He’s doing all of this?” I wish. That doesn’t mean he’s going to ultimately get away with doing it. There’s a lot of stuff that I’ve found out if you develop seven things, one becomes real and if you develop one single thing and I’ve done it and you stick with it, chances are it’s like 60/40 it won’t happen. It’s very sad, but it’s true.
Look, the last two years which have been my inactive years as a director, I’ve produced five movies, put out three novels, developed screenplays for three TV series, one that is known, two that mercifully no one knows about. (Laughs) They would go “What is he thinking?” But you know you keep it like that. If my name was not my name, but the name of my company, people wouldn’t even think about it, like if it was DreamWorks, because then you are hiding behind a name, but in reality it’s like JJ [Abrams] is equally overloaded for example, but he has Bad Robot.
So are you hoping that by the time if and when you ever get around to doing Frankenstein for Universal that there is an audience fatigue from every single fucking Frankenstein movie that’s being developed now?
That is never going to go away. I mean I have a Frankenstein fetish to a degree that is unhealthy and I’ve been talking with Sara Karloff about other projects. I’m just a Boris Karloff super fan and of Frankenstein the story. It’s the most important book of my life, so you know if I get to it, whenever I get to it, it will be the right way.
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