Guillermo del Toro Discusses Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and Leaving The Hobbit
07.27.10 by Ryan
Guillermo del Toro's appearances at this year's Comic-Con were highlighted by the director's announcement that he would be writing and producing a remake of The Haunted Mansion, Disney's 2003 family comedy based on its popular amusement park attraction. However, the Haunted Mansion appearance was only his first. Del Toro was also at the convention to promote the upcoming horror movie remake he co-wrote and produced, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, where del Toro showed an eight-minute prologue and a trailer for the horror movie. Del Toro told Deadline that it was his most successful panel at the Comic-Con.
Haunted Mansion must have had them thinking, well that's the big movie for this guy, but I'm telling you the most successful panel I was on was Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, where we had a house at full capacity, with 6000 asses levitated by both pieces of footage.
Fans are more likely familiar with del Toro in a horror movie setting, but we think what may have made the Haunted Mansion announcement more lackluster was the shock and bewilderment that followed after del Toro revealed that his next project after dropping out of The Hobbit was a movie based on a Disney ride. Disney is also releasing Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, and del Toro told The LA Times it won't be a movie for kids.
We originally thought we could shoot it as PG-13 without compromising the scares, and then the MPAA came back and gave us a badge of honor. They gave us an R for "pervasive scariness." We asked them if there's anything we could do, and they said, "why ruin a perfectly scary movie?"
Like Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, del Toro is only writing and producing Haunted Mansion, which means he has yet to choose his next directing project. Del Toro admitted in his interview with Deadline that he is "close" to picking what that project might be, and that the Hobbit experience has made him want to "keep a producing role in everything I do from now on, down to the more mundane controls of when, how much, to dictating something as delicate as timeline." Del Toro called leaving The Hobbit "the hardest decision" but the "only one" he could make.
The timing, and the distance put me in a corner that I could not get out of. It built up for awhile. When I say there were many delays and complications, I include the fact there were really three studios, the availability of actors. I feel the proof is in the pudding. Was it two months ago I left? There have been no new developments. That really is confirmation of the fact that these movies definitely aren't rushing into production. And that's the last thing I'm going to say about The Hobbit.