Guillermo Del Toro will now also write books

Despite everything else on his plate right now, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro (the Hellboy films) will find the time to co-write a trilogy of vampire thrillers with Chuck Hogan, whose novel The Prince Of Thieves was recently announced as being adapted by and with Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland).

Story will revolve around an invasion of New York City by a vampiric virus. Series will trace the roots of the vampiric race back to its Old Testament origins.

The books will be published by HarperCollins in the U.K., and a special edition will be published simultaneously by the company’s Spanish-language imprint, Rayo, in the U.S.

Del Toro is currently in pre-production of two films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and will then enter a long-term deal with Universal Pictures.

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Guillermo Del Toro inks long-term deal with Universal Pictures

Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro (the Hellboy movies) has agreed to direct four new movies and produce scores of others for Universal Pictures by 2017. The deal will come into effect in 2012, as soon as Del Toro finishes work on his two Hobbit movies for MGM and New Line Cinema.

The films Del Toro will direct are new adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, as well as an adaptation of Dan Simmons’ upcoming Drood, a novel chronicling the last days of author Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist). Strangely, no Hellboy 3.

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Warner Bros prepping new Tarzan movie

Now that Hellboy II director Guillermo Del Toro will helm The Hobbit, Warner Bros has chosen the less prestigious Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing) to replace him in directing a new Tarzan movie. While it certainly would have been interesting to know what Del Toro would have done with Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic tale, I actually think Sommers is a perfect fit for the job.

Stephen Sommers is an extremely underrated director who delivers films which are meant to be entertainment and nothing else, and he does that well. If you need proof he can churn out a good Tarzan, check out his 1994 adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

Stephen Sommers’ movie will be an original take, not a retelling of any of the books or previous movies (though I’m sure elements will seep through). He will write the screenplay with Stuart Beattie, with whom he already collaborated on his next movie, G.I. Joe: Rise Of Cobra, to be released next summer.

Tarzan is best known to moviegoers for the 1999 eponymous Walt Disney cartoon and Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes, starring Christophe(r) Lambert. Others may recall a series of twelve films starring Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller in the thirties and forties. No date has been set for this latest adventure.

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Danny Elfman to score The Wolf Man, whole world utters loud “Duh!”

Superstar music master Danny Elfman (Hellboy II) has just been announced as the composer for Universal’s forthcoming remake of The Wolf Man. Elfman, who’s best known for his frequent collaborations with director Tim Burton as well as his theme for The Simpsons, is a good choice in my opinion, in addition to being a very obvious one (he did score Sleepy Hollow after all). I for one am looking forward to what musical wonders Mr Elfman will come up with.

The Wolf Man, a remake of the 1941 classic, will premiere on April 3rd in the US, UK and Denmark, with the rest of the world following shortly. Footage from the film was shown at this year’s Comic-Con, to very enthusiastic response. The premise of the film, which was written by Andrew Kevin Walker  (hey, Sleepy Hollow!) and David Self (Road To Perdition), goes like this, according to Wikipedia:

Set in the late 1880s, the film keeps the plotline of the original, with Lawrence Talbot meeting his father following the death of his brother. The film details events during Lawrence’s past that led to his estrangement from his father (which includes Gwen), and the setting is expanded from Blackmore (now identified as the village from the original) to London.[3] The official synopsis states Talbot was traumatized by his mother’s death as a child, while Gwen Conliffe is his brother’s fiancée. Following his brother’s disappearance, Talbot hunts a murderer, which turns out to be a werewolf, and the curse is passed on.

The film was originally to be directed by the über-talented Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), but he left very early on due to budget disagreements, with the pretty competent Joe Johnston (Hidalgo) taking over as helmsman. Benicio Del Toro (Things We Lost In The Fire) plays the lead character and is joined Anthony Hopkins (Beowulf), Hugo Weaving (V For Vendetta) and Emily Blunt (Charlie Wilson’s War).

The Wolf Man will be Universal’s third attempt at resurrecting their old horror franchises, following the success of The Mummy and the failure of Van Helsing (a seriously underrated movie by the way). It seems as though The Wolf Man, which features makeup from maestro Rick Baker (Norbit), will be a decidedly more serious-minded affair than those movies, which turned away some moviegoers with their more light, fun approach to the source material.

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