Guillermo del Toro is a niche director like Kevin Smith or Mike Judge. He involves himself with bizarre, anti-social projects, which by definition only cater to a small demographic, and in doing so, elevates the entire genre. Just think about how awesome Blade II was or Hellboy, which might be the best terrible-on-paper film ever created (outside of Romy & Michelle‘s High School Reunion). His sights are firmly set on making The Hobbit right now, which regardless of how much money Lord Of The Rings made is still a geeky niche project, but the acclaimed director took a little time to bullshit with MTV about the Count Of Monte Cristo adaptation he’s been working on-and-off since ’93.

Apparently, the affable, chubby visionary has adapted the beloved novel into Gothic-Western (his words, not mine) largely inspired by the kidnapping of his own father ’97. The old man was held for more than two months but eventually returned after a sizeable ransom was paid. I’d imagine a family member being abducted would lend a little darkness and vindictive anger to a screenplay.

When asked if he’d ever relinquish creative control of the project, del Toro responded with typical candor, “I hope not. If I can fight, sue or hit someone to keep the project with me, I will keep them. And I’ll get them made.” The plurality of the pronoun refers to his other long-awaited side project Mountain Of Madness, which is an H.P. Lovecraft novel originally published in 1936.

No time tables for either project have been set, but Count Of Monte Cristo has been given the badass working title The Left Hand Of Darkness, which heightens my interest level immensely.
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