Guillermo del Toro may be a prolific filmmaker, with The Shape of Water, Hellboy, and an upcoming Pinocchio adaptation on Netflix featuring among his extensive body of work. But the director has recently revealed the flip side of the coin – and the sheer scale of the ones that got away.
Replying to a fan question on Twitter, del Toro said, “By my count I have written or co-written around 33 screenplay features. 2-3 made by others, 11 made by me (Pinocchio in progress) so about 20 screenplays not filmed.”
If you ever feel unproductive, consider the amount of time del Toro’s spent on these projects. He explained: “Each takes 6-10 months of work, so, roughly 16 years gone,” all in service of what the Pan’s Labyrinth director describes as “experience and skill improvement.”
By my count I have written or co-written around 33 screenplay features. 2-3 made by others, 11 made by me (Pinocchio in progress) so- about 20 screenplays not filmed. Each takes 6-10 months of work, so, roughly 16 years gone. Just experience and skill improvement.September 21, 2021
The list of works that Guillermo del Toro has worked on over the years that haven’t come to fruition is numerous. Perhaps most famously, his Justice League Dark project, involving Swamp Thing, Constantine, and Zatanna among others, fell by the wayside after multiple years in development. The concept has since been revived under the watchful eye of producer J.J. Abrams.
Del Toro also reportedly once had a Van Helsing movie, a Haunted Mansion remake, and a version of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson all in the works, though the latter eventually made it to the big screen without del Toro’s involvement. There’s enough scattered throughout his career for del Toro’s “unrealized projects” to get its own Wikipedia page. (opens in new tab)
Next up for del Toro is Nightmare Alley, starring Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper. The thriller is set for release in theaters on December 17.