Acclaimed producer-director Guillermo del Toro has expressed his desire to film again in Mexico.
Speaking at the International Festival of Cinema in Guadalajara, the “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Pacific Rim” director spoke of his longing to return.
“I owe it to myself as a person and as a narrator. I don’t want to die with this unfulfilled desire.”
Del Toro eventually hopes to shoot a vampire film based on his and Chuck Hogan’s novel “The Strain: The Silver Angel.”
“If I don’t die of a heart attack first, I’m going to do it,” he said. “I’ve wanted to do it for 15 years. I owe it to myself.”
Nevertheless, the director acknowledged the great fear that stems from the kidnapping of his businessman father in 1997.
“It’s like walking into a cantina with a pistol and there’s no structure in place to stop what happens next,” he told the crowd. “It’s one thing to talk about a social crisis, but another to talk about absolute social decay.”
His father was eventually released but Guadalajara native del Toro fled the country in response. He now lives in Toronto and the last film he shot on Mexican soil was the 2001 release “The Devil’s Backbone.”
Del Toro called for film students and aspiring filmmakers in the audience to remain true to their personal artistic vision. It was always a bad idea to compromise in order to secure financial support, the director said, pointing out that he was “the weirdest of filmmakers and was only ever interested in strange stories.”
The director added that Mexican cinema was never seen as a money spinner. In fact, when he started in the business, filmmakers had to sell their own tickets and set up the projectors doing performances.
“Mexican cinema, whether made with money or without, always provokes a reaction abroad. We exist. We continue to have a voice. Now in this digital moment, the survival of that voice is guaranteed.”
The prolific worker has a diverse range of projects on the table. He is developing the Amazon television series “A Killing on Carnival Row,” and is working on a fourth novel “The Boy in the Steel Cage.”
His next movie, “Crimson Peak” is in post-production and is set to be released in October. The horror film is set in Cumbria, England, and stars Mia Wasikowska.
Del Toro also revealed his plans to leave a legacy for young Mexican artists. He announced that he has included a scholarship in his will for novelists, scriptwriters and filmmakers to stay in his Los Angeles home and work on their own projects.
After his talk, the director collected folders, CD’s and USB’s from aspiring filmmakers, and promised to go through each of them personally.
“Nobody has the right not to be a good person,” he said when asked about directors who ignored young talent. “Being a bad guy takes a lot more effort.”