By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García
Guillermo del Toro entered the geek radar with Blade II in 2002. Seven years later, the Guadalajara native has seen his stock rise even while he’s stuck to the realm of the fantastic, thanks to the success of the Hellboy series and Pan’s Labyrinth. This month, in an interview in Wired magazine, Del Toro hit back at those who would dismiss him as a filmmaker catering to a geekier crowd:
People think because you love genre you don’t know anything else. It’s condescending. If the emotion is provoked and the goals are achieved, what does it matter? Is Thomas Pynchon a more worthy read than Stephen King? It depends on the afternoon. And I love Kurt Vonnegut. He threads the profane and irreverent with the profound and soul-searing.
Even while praising him, though, Wired’s Scott Brown seems to ignore del Toro’s statement; Brown refers to him as a “schlock-meister” twice in the article, and uses the term “pasty indoor kid” to contrast del Toro with friends and fellow directors Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Thankfully, though he’s determined to hang an asterisk onto del Toro’s success, even Brown concludes, “Suddenly, we’re looking down the barrel of the Del Toro Decade,” citing a list of projects that includes:
* A vampire-oriented novel, The Strain, written with Chuck Hogan and which presumably doesn’t include shiny skin
* The film adaptation for The Hobbit, a two-film project he was selected for by Lord Of The Rings mastermind Peter Jackson
* A new movie version of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five
During the interview, del Toro also says the day is coming for a new, pan-media form of story telling, encompassing film, television, print, video and even video games:
We are used to thinking of stories in a linear way—act one, act two, act three. We’re still on the Aristotelian model. What the digital approach allows you to do is take a tangential and nonlinear model and use it to expand the world. For example: If you’re following Leo Bloom from Ulysses on a certain day and he crosses a street, you can abandon him and follow someone else.
Video games seem to figure heavily in del Toro’s vision of this “single platform” future: he says “the Citizen Kane of games” will come about during the next ten years.
“We’re using [non-linear storytelling technology] just to shoot people and run over old ladies,” del Toro says. “We could be doing so much more.”