Guillermo del Toro, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind The Shape of Water and Nightmare Alley, has announced his plans to focus mainly on animated feature films after his next live-action projects. The director, who has a comprehensive overall deal with Netflix to produce exclusive projects for the streaming service, revealed that he has been rejected by studios for five of his projects in the last two months.
“Making movies is eating a sandwich of shit. There’s always shit, just sometimes you get a little more bread with yours,” del Toro said during a master class at the Annecy animation festival (via The Hollywood Reporter). He added, “The rate of productivity against your efforts will remain frustratingly difficult, and frustratingly long. And you will always encounter assholes. But have faith in the stories you want to tell and wait until someone wants to buy them.”
Del Toro, who has a passion for animation and has created several acclaimed animated series such as Trollhunters and 3Below for Netflix, recently won another Oscar for his stop-motion animated adaptation of Pinocchio, which was released on Netflix on December 9th, 2022. The movie, which tells the classic tale of a wooden boy who comes to life in Italy, received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. It also won the BAFTA for best animated film.
“Animation to me is the purest form of art, and it’s been kidnapped by a bunch of hoodlums. We have to rescue it. [And] I think that we can Trojan-horse a lot of good shit into the animation world,” del Toro said. “I believe you can make an adult fantasy drama with stop-motion and move people emotionally. I think stop-motion can be intravenous, it can go straight to your emotions in a way that no other medium can.”
Del Toro is currently developing another animated movie for Netflix, based on the fantasy novel The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, which he will co-write and direct. The movie follows an elderly couple in a fictional post-Arthurian England who embark on a journey to find their lost son amid a land where no one can retain long-term memories.
“The Buried Giant continues my animation partnership with Netflix and our pursuit of stop-motion as a medium to tell complex stories and build limitless worlds,” del Toro said in a statement.
Netflix film boss Scott Stuber praised del Toro as a visionary filmmaker and master of his craft. “We couldn’t be more proud of the prestigious recognition for his Pinocchio, and we’re pleased to continue our creative partnership as he develops his next project with Netflix,” Stuber said.
Del Toro also said that he has a few more live-action movies that he wants to do but not many. “After that, I only want to do animation. That’s the plan,” he said.
– Guillermo del Toro Will Focus on Making Animated Movies, IndieWire, June 14, 2023
– Guillermo del Toro Developing Animated ‘The Buried Giant’ for Netflix, The Hollywood Reporter, February 23, 2023
– Every Available and Upcoming Guillermo del Toro Show & Movie on Netflix, What’s on Netflix, May 31, 2023
– Guillermo del Toro Will Soon Only Work With Animation, ComicBook.com, June 14, 2023