Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has surprised the world with his unique vision of reality, with his obsession with the dark, but also his admiration for the noble. In his career he has done everything : voice dubbing, screenwriter, producer, fight choreographer, and even makeup, but his best-known facet is that of director.
In this space we will review Guillermo del Toro’s career through his films as the leader of the project, to learn a little more about the filmmaker born in Guadalajara.
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1. Who is Guillermo del Toro
2. Guillermo del Toro’s films as director
3. Guillermo del Toro’s films as screenwriter or producer
4. What is he doing now
? Who is Guillermo del Toro
Son of actress Guadalupe Gomez and a car salesman named Federico del Toro Torres, Memo possessed a powerful imagination from a very young age, which led to creating monstrous figures and even putting on macabre makeup to scare his sister.
The passion for the dark has several sources, in an interview for BBC Mundo, it may be that they are from the monsters, aliens and vampires that undermined Mexican television in the ’60s, plus Guillermo del Toro’s passion for comics, books of Stephen King and Japanese television series.
All these elements can be seen in each of his works, in a more intense way than in others, such as the giants of Pacific Rim (2013) or the creatures of Hellboy (2008), and even in the mystery of El Espinazo del Diablo (2001).
10 films by Guillermo del Toro as a director
But we are getting ahead of ourselves, first let’s review how Torito began in the ten films of him as a director.
10. Chronos (1993)
Guillermo del Toro released his first feature film and was not even 30 years old. The young filmmaker teamed up with experienced Argentine actor Federico Luppi and then-rookie Ron Pearlman.
This movie tells the story of an alchemist in Veracruz, who seeks to build an object that will allow eternal life to those who use it. Upon completing the artifact, he will begin a series of accidents and violent deaths that will make its creator reflect on the price of immortality for humans.
The film was nominated by Mexico to compete in the foreign category of the Oscar Awards, however, the film did not go to the nominees stage. You can find and enjoy the full movie of Cronos on Youtube.
9. Mimic (1997)
Cronos put Guillermo del Toro on the international map and Mimic allowed him to turn the compass towards Hollywood. A production that featured the leading role of Mira Sorvino and quite decent special effects for the time.
Mimic is a horror and science fiction story that tells how the entomologist Susan Tyler (Sorvino) created an insect that would eliminate the cockroaches that were threatening to spread a deadly virus for humanity. However her creation evolves and becomes a greater danger to humans.
The film has many references to Guillermo del Toro’s beloved Dracula, with scenes where the huge cockroach is not seen directly but the mysterious and menacing form of its shadow. This tape allowed “Memo” to reach other genre film festivals in the world, as well as giving him the opportunity to work directly with a studio in the famous city of Los Angeles.
8. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)
If del Toro began to successfully test the waters in Hollywood, his next move to Europe would take him to a new level in his career as a filmmaker. El Espinazo del Diablo had some interesting partners such as the screenwriters David Munoz and Antonio Trashorras, in addition to being an independent production by Pedro Almodovar.
The film takes place in an orphanage with a peculiarity: it has an unexploded bomb in the courtyard of the facilities, in addition to the ghosts that appear at night scaring those who dare to walk around the place when the sun goes down. Carlos (played by Fernando Tielve) arrives at the orphanage after losing his father in the Spanish Civil War, as well as many others who are in the care of Casares (played by Federico Luppi) and Carmen (played by Marisa Paredes).
Carlos begins to have visions about a boy named Santi, who mysteriously disappeared the same night that the unexploded bomb appeared in the center of the patio. This will lead the newly arrived orphan to discover other puzzles that expand under the roof of the orphanage.
After Mimic’s experience, del Toro was able to awaken his creativity in Spain when it came to shooting with fewer resources, which in the end, made it seem that the Spanish production company had better quality than his first job in Hollywood.
7. Blade II (2002)
Guillermo del Toro had the opportunity to direct a superhero movie and he took advantage of it with Blade the hunter of the beloved vampires by the Mexican director. The tape marks the return of “Memo” to Hollywood to continue exploiting his potential in genre cinema.
Blade II tells the story of how the African-American hero forms an unusual alliance with the vampire council to combat the reapers, who feed on creatures of the night.
The film is packed with special effects, martial arts choreography and a casting led by Wesley Snipes in his role as Blade, along with the return of Ron Pearlman in a Guillermo del Toro production.
Unlike his previous project in Hollywood, the Mexican had greater control of the entire process of making the film. In an interview for Indiwire.com, he assured that “I want that if people don’t like the movie they saw, they blame me entirely”.
6. Hellboy (2004)
The Mexican filmmaker managed to show Hollywood his definitive stamp with this film full of creatures from the underworld. This adaptation of Mike Mignola’s comic allowed Guillermo del Toro a new level of artistic creativity.
An operation to attack the Nazis in World War II has a little surprise: a demon. This creature from the otherworld will be raised to become a guardian and defender of the dark forces.
Ron Pearlman re-teases with “Memo” to critical and box office success in his legendary role as the action flick’s leading man. There’s also the mysterious Selma Blair, playing Liz Sherman, and the elastic actor Doug Jones, who dresses up as the aquatic Abe Sapien.
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In this film, Guillermo del Toro had an impeccable job and was quite involved, in addition to directing, he was also the scriptwriter and the choreographer of the fights between the characters, with a budget of €58 million.
When it came to grossing money from international cinemas, they managed to garner almost €100 million in eight weeks on the bill, as well as touring 12 festivals around the world.
5. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
If with Hellboy, Guillermo del Toro achieved an identity in Hollywood, with Pan’s Labyrinth he imposed his vision on the rest of the world, with a story that wanders between fantasy and reality, in a girl who survives in the harsh Spanish Civil War.
Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is the daughter of an unscrupulous soldier who belongs to the toughest part of the Franco regime in 1944, which leads her to escape to a world full of magic, to give her the lesson of her life. The film also features performances by Maribel Verdu, Sergi Lopez and the favorite monster of “Memo”: Doug Jones, as the faun.
According to various sources, Guillermo del Toro decided to shoot the film entirely in Spanish, so he could have greater artistic freedom to shoot the story he wanted to create. Most of the scenes were shot in the Sierra de Guadarrama, including a town near San Rafael built especially for the film.
4. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
This was a golden opportunity for Guillermo del Toro who took it with a smile from ear to ear. After the success of the first installment, the Mexican filmmaker was given a blank canvas so that he could put all the colors he wanted from the palette to make a second part even more spectacular than the first.
And boy did he do it, del Toro.
The filmmaker wrote a second part that allowed him to bring more fantastic characters to the big screen, just by mentioning the Troll Market scene fromwhere a series of otherworldly creatures come together to do their routine shopping: food, furniture or even get a hair treatment. All of these colorful characters, like the monster that has a baby on its chest (which turns out to be a talking tumor), were exploited by del Toro’s imagination, inspired by the pages of the comic written by Mike Mignola.
In addition to its success at the box office, beating its predecessor by almost double the earnings, Hellboy II received rave reviews from the specialized press and from the Mexican filmmaker’s growing fan base. Despite this step for the expansion of the universe of the hero from hell, the third installment never took place and for 2019 there will be a reboot that changes the entire team, including Guillermo del Toro.
3. Pacific Rim (2013)
One of the great passions of the Mexican filmmaker since his childhood is Japanese cinema. The action of monsters and giant robots destroying Tokyo kept him stuck in front of the television for hours, so he was the ideal director to bring this original story from screenwriter Travis Beacham to the big screen.
The story of Pacific Rim is summed up in a futuristic humanity being attacked by sea monsters that come from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. To do this, giant robots are built that are controlled by two pilots, connected with a mental link with the machines and their partner.
This film has the participation of great stars such as Idris Elba, Ron Pearlman and even the Spanish Santiago Segura. With a budget of almost $200 million, Guillermo del Toro’s film collected more than double at the world box office , which allowed him to give life to a second part released in 2018 under the name Pacific Rim: Uprising, in which the filmmaker Mexican produced it and provided the script.
In addition, the universe of immense sea monsters and demolishing robots extended its narrative to other media, such as the video game entitled Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot in which the user has the possibility of handling these colossal machines, using the oculus, the device of virtual reality.
2. Crimson Peak (2015)
The gothic style is something that has always been associated with Guillermo del Toro, and in this mystery, fantasy and horror film, the Mexican filmmaker exploits his darkest side.
After living through the tragic death of her father, aspiring writer Edith (Mia Wasikowska) meets English baronet Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and his sister Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain) in a business proposal made worse by rejection. by the protagonist, all that happened under the roof of a house that breathes, bleeds and breathes.
The production was a partnership between the United States and Great Britain, which gave del Toro the opportunity to work with strong ties in a new market in his career, the United Kingdom.
The critics applauded the Mexican filmmaker for giving clear importance to the female role that he tells in this story of mysteries and ghosts, however, for the canons of triumph at the international box office, he fell short of expectations.
The Mexican filmmaker declared for Deadline.com that the only reason why Crimson Peak was not considered a success was due to a budget issue, since if it had been shot with half of what it cost and had raised three times, then many would cheer. his triumph without thinking. But since this was not the case, then the film is not considered among the best works of the Mexican filmmaker.
So after this experience, Guillermo del Toro would learn to make the most of the least, to take his films to the next level and perhaps this learning allowed him to get more recognition in his next work of art.
1. The Shape of Water (2017)
Since “Memo” was a teenager with concerns about creating monsters to impact people’s emotions, the time came when Mr. Guillermo del Toro created a beast that conquered the hearts of the worldwide audience.
The Shape of Water tells the story of how a cleaner in a clandestine laboratory of the United States government in the 1960s, creates a relationship full of magic and love with a mysterious humanoid creature. The film includes action, spy stories and a love story between two beings from two different worlds, who are carried away by the force of magnetism that attracts them.
In addition to recounting the attraction of both, which breaks the barriers of being of different races, it also includes a nice detail as the protagonist is a deaf and dumb girl (played by Sally Hawkins), to give greater strength to a story that opts for inclusion.
The film was a box office success and swept the 2017 Oscars by raising four statuettes,among them Best Director, Best Music Written for a Motion Picture, Best Production Design and Best Picture, with which del Toro managed to complete a very satisfactory cycle with the help of this fantastic love story.
Guillermo del Toro’s films as screenwriter or producer
In addition to being a great director, Guillermo del Toro has also had success on the big screen in his role as screenwriter and producer , some of his most remembered triumphs at the international box office are:
- The Orphanage (2007, producer)
- The Hobbit Trilogy (2012-2014, screenwriter)
- Mama (2013, producer)
- Julia’s Eyes (2010, producer)
- The Book of Life (2014, producer)
What is Guillermo del Toro working on now?
If there is something in the life of the Mexican filmmaker, it is his constant production of different audiovisual works, either as a screenwriter, producer, or director. His next big project announced is a real-action adaptation of the popular children’s story Pinocchio, which they hope to release in 2021
. has exact date for this release. Another job that will put him in the director’s chair will be the documentary on the life of filmmaker Michael Mann.
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