Guillermo del Toro on Strong Women, ‘Punk’ Gothic Novels and Crimson Peak’s … | News Entertainment

Guillermo del Toro on Strong Women, ‘Punk’ Gothic Novels and Crimson Peak’s …

14 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Comic Con: Guillermo del Toro says Crimson Peak features ‘liberated’ gender roles.

Director Guillermo del Toro began the San Diego Comic-Con panel for his upcoming film Crimson Peak not by touting his stunning cast—Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska—but by declaring that he had decided to make a film that empowered women. “There is a secret gender war,” del Toro told a 6,000-strong audience to cheers, promising that he would “liberate” the gender roles in his 1900s gothic romance. After breaking box office records with dinosaurs, Legendary Pictures served up gothic horror, a creepy Santa Claus and an epic gamer fantasy at San Diego’s Comic-Con on Saturday to entice fans.That dig at the colorful loquaciousness of the Crimson Peak director is how Legendary chief Thomas Tull kicked off the company’s Comic-Con panel on Saturday. Later on the patio of a nearby hotel, eyes hidden behind red-tinted sunglasses, del Toro spoke about how the women in his life, especially his daughters, inspired him to create strong female characters in films like Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim and the upcoming Crimson Peak.

They come to battle each other in Gothic romance. “So there is this very strong, sharp romantic instinct that propels two people together and a sexuality that becomes of that, but also the prospect of a death… it seems to be very contradictory opposites in our lives and I think Gothic romance holds those two in a very beautiful way. Crimson Peak, Krampus and Warcraft are the next films from Legendary, which partnered with Universal Pictures to co-finance, market and distribute its films.

Convention veteran Quentin Tarantino screened seven minutes of his forthcoming Western, “The Hateful Eight,” and Legendary Pictures presented footage from three movies: “Crimson Peak,” “Krampus” and “Warcraft.” Here’s what we learned about each project. Star Travis Fimmel (Anduin Lothar) expressed his admiration for the effects, which were the first he’d seen from the project. “I saw broomsticks with foam on the end [on set] — good work, man. Del Toro said he was inspired by his two children to write a more progressive story, but that the film was still a Gothic romance, the genre he’s closely associated with. “Don’t expect a reinvention where the house turns out to be a spaceship or it’s all a TV show”, he told the audience. “It’s a straight gothic romance. The filmmaker spoke with TIME about the women of his films, the secret details hidden in the haunted mansion he built from scratch for Crimson Peak and the crime film he hopes to create someday.

In the extended footage presented to Saturday’s crowd, a group of eight men and women find themselves secluded in a wintertime cabin soon after the end of the Civil War. Rob Kazinsky (Orgrim) was a World of Warcraft fan before joining the project, and admitted he’s racked up 600 days of play-time on the game. “There was a time when I wasn’t in the ‘Warcraft’ movie. And it’s a gothic tale that fans will soon be able to experience first-hand — del Toro announced he is creating a Crimson Peak attraction for Universal Studios theme park’s annual Halloween Horror Nights this year. Hiddleston, who plays Mia Wasikowska’s enigmatic love interest, played the straight man to Del Toro on the panel: asked about his favourite part of the film’s elaborate set, he said there had plenty of attention to detail. “When you trod on the floorboards, the clay underneath would seep”, Hiddleston recalled. “I was actually very sad when they had to tear it down.” The actors on the panel, including Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain, said Del Toro (who co-wrote the script, as well) had provided them all with elaborate biographies. “It was a 10-page life story with my star sign and my date of birth and the secrets that I don’t want to tell anyone and a horrible time I had with my aunt when I was 13”, Hiddleston said. “And that kind of detail is what you should have with every character, every time you play.

Chastain’s character is revealed to be decidedly villainous, with her and her brother (Hiddleston) using Wasikowska for some cruel and unknown purpose. The story follows a young woman (Mia Wasikowska) who falls in love with a man (Tom Hiddleston) who owns an isolated old mansion with his sister (Jessica Chastain). The group includes a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell), his bounty (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a former Confederate general (Bruce Dern) and a sheriff (Walton Goggins). I was unemployed and I spent a lot of that time eating cake and playing Warcraft,” he quipped, noting that he lost a relationship because of the game. “She left me because of Warcraft, and now I’m like, ‘who won this round?’” As a fellow fan, Kazinsky reassured the crowd, “Duncan Jones has made the movie that we wanted to see.” When Tom Hiddleston comes out, ignore him,” del Toro joked before the latter’s entrance. “Don’t clap, don’t do anything.” The actors said they enjoyed working with del Toro because he gave them 10 pages of character detail that isn’t in the script, but allows them to enhance their character.

Krampus is a Christmas movie inspired by European folklore, which portrays Santa Claus not as a gift-giving bringer of joy but as an evil being that beats children. The whole point for me with the love story is not to make the typical romance where everything everything ends in marriage and that marriage is the ultimate blessing. The panelists said the worlds of comedy and horror intersect in the tale. “I think they’re the same,” Dougherty explained. “When I’m watching a horror movie, often I’m laughing.” The director was joined on stage by castmembers Toni Collette and Adam Scott.

Director Duncan Jones compared Warcraft to Jackson’s first Lord of the Rings movie, saying he knew he had to appeal to both the hundreds of thousands of gamers who know Warcraft intimately, and newcomers to the film who know nothing. Collette cheerily shouted to the Hall H crowd: “I’m a virgin, and I’ve never been here before!” Scott quipped: “And I’m just a virgin.” Scott said Krampus is inspired by films like Gremlins, which are oddly cozy, funny, and scary.

It’s his third year at the convention hyping his film, in which Travis Fimmel plays the charismatic leader Sir Anduin Lothar who must protect the kingdom from its enemies and marvelled that the footage looked amazing. Maybe he could do a miniseries, he said. “All my scripts get cut down anyway.” There was another bit of news that got the Comic Con crowd riled up. And Dougherty said moviegoers won’t get to see Krampus immediately in the film; much of the early scares come from the creature’s ability to possess seemingly innocent playthings. “It’s very scary, but up until it gets scary, it’s like you’re watching a Vacation movie, or Parenthood,” Scott says. “We haven’t seen a movie like this in a long, long time.” Then, gears shifted to Warcraft, and a curtain drew back to reveal a 180-degree screen surrounding the fans in the 6,100-seat auditorium. Del Toro charmed the crowd with his farewell wish for what he hoped people would take away from the movie. “I hope you guys enjoy the hell out of it,” he said — a nod to his Hellboy. “I would say Hell yeah!”

At Comic-Con, he announced a change of pace: Ennio Morricone, the Oscar-winning composer known for developing the theme for “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” will score “Hateful Eight.” It will be his first Western score in 40 years, said Tarantino. Del Toro got big cheers for saying he wanted to avoid the gothic-romance trope of turning his female characters into damsels in distress; this script is “gender liberated.” The three actors said the movie is about secrets – secret rooms, relationships and pasts. Dominic Cooper, who co-stars as the human King Llane Wrynn, said that since the Orcs were performed via motion-capture, those actors “wore very nice, comfortable pajamas every day with little sensors stuck to their foreheads, and danced around every day. This movie’s director started his panel with a question: Isn’t the legend of Santa Claus a little bit creepy? (“He sees you when you’re sleeping.”) “Krampus,” based on a character from German folklore who comes after bad children around the holidays, begins like a classic John Hughes film – family gathered around the tree opening presents, good-natured squabbling among siblings, a mom and dad happy to have everyone at home. I lost self-esteem,” he said, laughing even though he appeared to be serious. “It would all be really sad and pathetic if I wasn’t doing this movie, which has surprisingly made it okay!”

Based the on the hugely popular and beloved video game, “Warcraft” had some of the most pressure from Comic-Con attendees waiting to be impressed. I actually tried to keep the movie rooted more into the novels I love: Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, short stories like The Fall of the House of Usher, Northanger Abbey, Secret Garden. That’s the difference, I think, between a haunted house movie and a gothic romance—essentially in a haunted house movie, the house is in itself a sentient entity. We designed it over six months and then building it we needed to bring a structural expert because we were building a three-story mansion with a working elevator.

I feel that we live in a world [where] people need to know the source of anxiety and the sense of sexual tension or the source of evil and sense of violent acts. Gothic has an element of shock to the point where Lord Byron once said something that would have been perfectly at home in a William Castle interview.

He said, “When everything else fails, shock them.” And this is Lord Byron, so I go, “I will listen, sir.” That’s the thing that people keep forgetting: when the gothic romance novels first came out, they were pretty punk. In an interview, you said that you sent Jessica Chastain the script assuming that she was going to take the protagonist role, but she decided to take the antagonist role and you were happy about that. And yes, Jessica can be beautiful, but the power of her as an actress is the incredible intelligence she brings to the characters, and the incredible love for them—no matter how damaged the character, no matter how twisted the actions, she understands them and loves them.

Then Pan’s Labyrinth was basically a movie that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I didn’t have daughters because I understood first the power that they have but also to see them being forced into a role at a certain age for society to approve. It’s a social distortion, but at the same time storytelling has always been about transmitting one emotion: making people laugh, making people cry, making people shiver. There was something beautiful for me in that super genre speech that Idris Elba says, “We are canceling the apocalypse.” There is something pulpy but not propagandistic. To create the character of Mako Mori for the purpose of having her do a shower scene or wear really skimpy shorts—if you don’t have to scrub yourself clean that night, if you don’t feel a little dirty about doing a movie where you’re really celebrating the act of war, then you’re a different person than me.

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