Guillermo del Toro, who raised the bar on monster-making in Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth, is now set to helm two more classic monster movies — as well as adapt a classic Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. novel. Though del Toro's next project is a two-movie version of The Hobbit, he's also apparently cut a deal with Universal to remake two of its oldest monster franchises: Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. These stories, along with Dracula, were cornerstones of the Universal Pictures monster factory in the 1930s. Can del Toro surpass the glory of those crazy 30s Frankenstein sequels? He says he has a plan. According to Slice of Scifi:
The director will add his own twist to the well-known "Frankenstein" franchise, a story he has been waiting to tell all his professional life. "To me, Frankenstein represents the essential human question: ‘Why did my creator throw me here, unprotected, unguided, unaided and lost?' " del Toro said. "With that one, they will have to pry it from my cold dead hands to prevent me from directing it." However, for "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," del Toro plans on sticking closely to the original Robert Louis Stevenson tale.
Probably the last great version of Frankenstein to hit the screen was Kenneth Branagh's version with a scarred, whiny Robert De Niro emerging from a gooey, womb-like machine to become the monster. As for Jekyll and Hyde, I'd like to see del Toro have the guts to really stick to the original story, which does not contain any annoying girlfriends or maids who are menaced by Hyde. Every single filmed version has had one or two ladies in it, which completely blows the premise of the original tale about a man who is so alone that he's driven to explore himself and divide in half. And del Toro will also be adapting Vonnegut's beloved novel Slaughterhouse-Five:
In his upcoming version of "Slaughterhouse-Five," del Toro will migrate away from the first film adaptation of Vonnegut's inspiring novel and provide a more literal rendition, one that stays truer to the novel. "There are ways that Vonnegut plays with and juxtaposes time that was perhaps too edgy to be tackled on film at that time," del Toro said.
We'll see. This is one of those movies, like Watchmen, that could have fans clutching their heads in agony because it's really meant to be a book not a film. del Toro's 9 Year Calendar [via Slice of Scifi]