Friday 30 July 2010

Letter to Guillermo

Oh, Guillermo del Toro... we're all a bit disappointed you're not directing The Hobbit.

Now don't go getting all uppity, del Toro my man - we're not unsympathetic. It would have required a tremendous time commitment, six years of your life last I heard, and even that's presuming all this red tape holding production up ends up as expected. I'll miss the iconic lion roaring in films on Sunday afternoon, absolutely, but please, MGM, get out of the way; there are movies to be made. Movies with tiny little hairy-toed people and dragons and Smeagols, mostly.

Anyway, Guilly - you don't mind, do you? - there's all that nonsense, six years is of course a huge ask, and no doubt innumerable other factors played into your decision to give up on The Hobbit.


Well, it's still a bit disappointing. I mean, you've dropped what could very well be the best fantasy film (films, I should say - though the less said about that the better) since The Return of the King... and to do what? Head up an eyes-on-the-prize cash-in take on The Haunted Mansion ride for the Mouse House? Bah. I can hardly believe it's true. If you won't make The Hobbit, well, whatever. Maybe Peter Jackson will do it after all - maybe we could all win. But this is what you're doing with all that talent, all that imagination?

No. Go and make The Devil's Thighbone or Rhyn's Labyrinth or something. Come on, man. I can hardly think of anything less worthwhile than another franchise hoping to rival the success of Pirates of the Carribean.

Wait, what was that?

Well, hell. You're making a video game, too? Guilly! My friend! Couldn't you have told me that before I tore into you?

For those of you haven't heard, Guillermo del Toro just announced - at SDCC, if I'm not mistaken - that he's going to be lending his talents to the world of video games. We haven't the juicy details yet, but by the sounds of it, this isn't going to be some hack character action game with nothing more to do with the man beyond a fantasy twist and his name on the box. Del Toro made that pretty clear in a statement to MTV:

"We're going to do games that are going to be technically and narratively very interesting. It's not a development deal. We're going to do it. We're doing them. And we're going to announce it soon enough."

This from a man who, in the past, has confessed his love for Bioshock, GTA IV and the Silent Hill series - masters of the medium, each and every one. I'd substitute Red Dead Redemption for the last Grand Theft Auto, but otherwise, yes. I mean, exactly. Del Toro is even on record as saying:

"There are only two games I consider masterpieces. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus."

Damn straight, del Toro. The man knows a good video game from a bad one, and moreover, he can evidently tell a truly great one from a passable piece of entertainment.

In short, we have the technology, and by gum, we can - we will - rebuild him!

So I suppose it's all a wash, in the end. It's a bit rubbish that you aren't directing The Hobbit, Guillermo, but if you can come up with a video game half as good as any of those you've namechecked in the past, I'll consider your unfortunate absence from that project a gift unto a medium that means the world to me - and a medium that sorely needs the presence of auteurs such as yourself. Saying that, perhaps we have a better result than no goals scored. Maybe... maybe this was the right move. Good man.

Seriously though: don't let me hear you're making another bloody Hellboy, alright?


  1. Hadn't heard about the video game. However, I am excited he's helming the Lovecraft film. Be nice to see one that doesn't suck.

  2. Personally I can't wait to see what he does with The Mountains of Madness.

  3. Since you want games to become better as a medium, you might like this blog:
    Or the same with a larger audience:

    I actually find it quite illuminating on the subject matter of art as a whole.