Guillermo del Toro Universal Monsters

If you’re not depressed enough already, here’s some more unfortunate news: gifted filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has revealed that Universal Studios offered him the chance to re-launch the Universal Monsters films in a precursor to the failed Dark Universe, and del Toro turned the offer down. Now, The Shape of Water filmmaker has regrets. So do we, Guillermo. So do we.

Universal’s Dark Universe, intended to be their monster-centric version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is all but dead at this point. The failure of Tom Cruise’s The Mummy has likely brought the franchise to an early grave, and I doubt anyone will be complaining much about that. But oh, what could’ve been. Guillermo del Toro, one of the best filmmakers working today and someone with a keen insight into creating movie monsters, revealed that back in 2007, before the Dark Universe had fully taken shape, Universal offered him a chance to reboot their classic monster films. It’s an idea that sounds too good to be true, and alas, it was, because del Toro turned them down.

Speaking with TimesTalk (via Screen Rant), del Toro said that turning down the Universal Monsters reboot is the one decision he regrets in his storied career:

“I’ve said no to things that are enormous and I’ve never looked back, you know? The only time I repent I didn’t do something was in 2007, when Universal in an incredibly gentle and beautiful manner said do you want to take over the Monster Universe? And they gave me the reins of several properties, and I didn’t do it. That I repent. So this is a confessional moment, I repent. That’s the only thing.”

As a fan of del Toro and the original Universal Monsters, I have to say this news is a bit crushing. Del Toro would’ve been perfect to relaunch the Universal Monsters. For one thing, he would’ve kept the horror elements of these stories intact, unlike the Dark Universe, which inexplicably decided to transform the films into big, dumb action movies instead. Alas, we’ll have to add the Universal Monsters films to the ever-growing pile of unmade Guillermo del Toro projects like At The Mountains of Madness and The Haunted Mansion.

All is not lost, however. Del Toro’s excellent new film The Shape of Water is essentially a Creature From the Black Lagoon remake where the Creature is a romantic lead, which is probably much more interesting than any full-blown Black Lagoon remake will ever be.

The Shape of Water opens December 1, 2017. Go see it, please.

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