Five Reasons That Will Contribute To Guillermo Del Toro Directing Doctor Strange

This post is entirely speculation, though it is based upon logic as well as current news.

Notice that in the title of this article I sad “could” as opposed to “would” because the last I heard was that Del Toro was busy working on Legendary Pictures’ upcoming fright-feature “Crimson Peak,” as well as executive producing the FX series based upon the trilogy he wrote with Chuck Hogan, “The Strain,” “The Fall” and “The Night Eternal.”

But I have been reading the tea leaves and checking the entrails regularly, and here’s what I have seen:

1.  Despite Rumors To The Contrary, Guillermo Del Toro Will Not Be Doing “Justice League Dark” Anytime Soon

Why?  Because NBC is working on “Constantine,” a series not based on the Francis Lawrence movie of the same name, but the DC (formerly under their Vertigo imprint) series, also of the same name.  While it’s possible that the character could appear in both places at the same time (this is, of course assuming that the television series has a long life), it’s probably not going to happen.  The character of John Constantine is the lynchpin that the team revolves around, and without him the concept is pretty much dead in the water, besides being somewhat esoteric.

Matt Ryan/John Constantine

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

And that’s even considering how much Warner Bros would have to invest from the budget end of things, which would probably be huge (though they could do it with a partner, as long as it’s not Legendary Pictures, since they and Warner Bros. somewhat acrimoniously parted ways.  That being said, they still work with Village Roadshow Pictures).

2.  DC/Warner Bros. Doesn’t Seem To Have Much Of A Plan Toward Developing Their Characters

Whether or not someone likes what Marvel is doing with their characters, you have to admit that they not only have a plan, but they are executing it really, really well.  This is primarily because the head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, has apparently developed a plan to develop their characters, and is following it.  Marvel’s roadmap is divided into Phases:  Phase One consisted of “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” ” Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “Thor” and culminated in “The Avengers.”

Notice the pattern:  First there’s an introduction of the characters–which may or may not have more than one film in the future–and a film that brings them all together.

Phase Two consists of “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Guardians Of The Galaxy,” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Phase Three will consist of “Ant-Man,” “Captain America 3,” “Thor 3″ and “The Avengers 3.”

As I said, you don’t necessarily have to like what Marvel is doing, but what you can’t deny is that there is a plan at work.

Warner Bros/DC?  Not so much.  What seems to be driving them is profit above all, which I understand, but that’s not a plan.  Though it didn’t exactly start that way because for awhile it appeared that DC was building toward a Justice League feature–and probably still are–which began with “Green Lantern.”

Oh, but wait!  Green Lantern?  Don’t I mean Batman?  No, I don’t because Christopher Nolan’s Batman films aren’t necessarily part of DC’s greater cinematic plans because Nolan quite deliberately kept them separate from the rest of the DC Universe, which was probably not a great decision in retrospect.

Though that’s why “Green Lantern” was so important:  It was the beginning of DC/Warner Bros. establishing a larger canvas on which to display their properties.  If Green Lantern had worked they could have brought Ryan Reynolds back as the character in other DC films, such as the Justice League, or even the upcoming “Batman Vs. Superman” feature.

But it was not to be because Green Lantern was unable to recharge either his lantern or the box office, where it earned almost $220 million on a $200 million dollar budget; not enough to make a profit.

So DC rebooted Superman, in “Man of Steel,” without a doubt the most violent Superman film ever made.

Which could perhaps explain why that film made “only” $668 million dollars.  It’s a lot of money, but for a character as iconic and as firmly established in the public consciousness as Superman, it actually wasn’t that great a performance.

For the sequel, “Superman Vs. Batman,” DC will not only feature Superman and Batman, but Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor as the villain.  It seems apparent that they are trying to follow a strategy similar to Marvel, except more compressed.

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Why ‘Superman Returns’ Is More Faithful To Supes Than ‘Man Of Steel’

Superman Returns movie poster

Wow! What’s with all the destruction! I would never allow such violence to happen!

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has enjoyed the holiday, hopefully with those that care for, and vice versa.

It goes without saying that the course that Bryan Singer charted with the 2006 film, “Superman Returns” was an unsustainable one. It cost $270 million to produce and earned $391 million in worldwide box office receipts.

Box office aside, I get the feeling that ‘Returns’ would have been more successful it it also borrowed the humorous tone that Donner brought to his film.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, which means that Singer’s Superman was tonally off compared to the material that inspired it.

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‘Haunter’ Trailer

I don’t see how I missed this one.  The last film Vincenzo Natali released was “Splice,” which was executive produced by Guillermo Del Toro.  It’s a fascinating film, even though you could see that the director didn’t quite make the point that he was working at.

His film before Splice was “Cypher,” and while it’s a pretty interesting take on a spy drama, though for my money “Cube” is his crowning achievement.

His latest film, “Haunter” stars Abigail Breslin as a ghost who appears doomed to spend her time in a limbo of sorts unless she solves the mystery of her own murder.  It looks interesting, though truth be told, I would see this movie knowing that Stephen McHattie (Pontypool) – who’s got to be one of the most awesome character actors ever – appears to be playing the killer (who also seems to be a ghost!).

Guillermo Del Toro Enters The Treehouse Of Horror!

Guillermo Del Toro, who most recently directed “Pacific Rim” is back in the directors chair with the opening to “The Simpsons Treehouse of Terror XXIV.”  Along with nods to his own movies, he gives props to classic monsters like Frankenstein and the Invisible Man.

Blade also makes an appearance, which is awesome because Marvel, which has the rights to the character, could have been all sorts of douchey and said “No,” despite the fact that Del Toro directed “Blade II.”

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ Trailer

Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ films are very curious to me.  They’re epic, beautifully made films, but they also seem to proclaim that epicness from the highest peak.  There’s no surprise to them – whether or not you have read any of the books they’re based upon – because you can tell where they’re going.

This is one reason why I was so psyched that Guillermo Del Toro was going to direct “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” namely that the tried and true formula that Jackson introduced in his earlier films would be, if not changed, at least shook up a bit.

And ‘Journey’ did that.  There were elements of slapstick present that I assume Del Toro contributed (because they are present in his own films, and nowhere to be seen in Peter Jackson’s).

Despite leaving the production at the first film in the trilogy, I hope his presence will continue to be felt.

Why ‘Pacific Rim’ Will Spawn A Sequel

Pacific Rim - Victory!I should mention that I have said the same thing about “Tron: Legacy,” and while there appears to be minimal movement on that front, all signs seem to indicate that it is happening.

Guillmero Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim,” which cost somewhere between $180-200 million to produce, and earned just over $407 million worldwide – most of that overseas – is going to result in a sequel.

How do I know this, you may ask?  Other than my almost obsessive desire to see the more of the universe that Del Toro created, that is?

First, Pacific Rim isn’t a continuation of anything.  It’s not a sequel, or based upon an existing franchise.  In such situations, marketing is crucial, though considering that Legendary Pictures was divorcing itself from its partnership with Warner Bros. at the time, it can be argued that ‘Rim’ performed relatively weak in this country (just over $100 million) primarily for that reason.

By way of comparison, you have to keep in mind that Star Trek: Into Darkness earned just over $465 million, and the likelihood of a sequel is high, despite that it performed significantly weaker overseas than Pacific Rim.

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‘Pacific Rim’ Effects Video

The visuals of this clip are provided by Mirada Studios, about the making of the prologue from Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim.  Those effects are pretty impressive, though what seems to be lost amongst all that visual wizardry is the music behind the trailer, which is provided by Ramin Djawadi (pronounced Java-dee).

The track is called “Gipsy Danger,” and it’s on the ‘Pacific Rim’ soundtrack.

It’s an awesome piece of music.

‘Pacific Rim’ DVD Due Out October 10th

Pacific Rim DVD Cover

Here’s the cover to the upcoming DVD for Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim,” coming out October 10.  The robot versus monsters epic has earned just over $400 million dollars worldwide, while speculation of a sequel continues.

Thanks to Superherohype.

‘Pacific Rim’ No. 1 Internationally Last Weekend

Pacific Rim - Victory!I am not yet ready to serve the naysayers that implied that “Pacific Rim” would be a flop a juicy slice of humble pie, though I am warming up the oven.

Guillermo Del Toro’s love letter to Saturday afternoon monster features finished first in 50 territories, and hasn’t yet been released in China, Brazil, Spain and Japan.  It’s still up in the air as to whether or not the film will be profitable, but I wouldn’t bet against it.

When all is said and done, I expect that it will earn somewhere in the ballpark of $400-500 million, which I hope will indicate to Legendary that there’s enough interest to warrant a sequel.

Why did ‘Pacific Rim’ Underperform Last Week?

Pacific Rim 2As I wrote in my review last week, I enjoyed Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” quite a bit.  It was a serious film, that at moments didn’t take itself quite too seriously.  If you have seen either of Del Toro’s ‘Hellboy’ films (as well as the last – and only, that I am aware – film he worked on with Peter Jackson, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” you probably noticed that serious moments were occasionally interspersed with levity that fit the situation, as opposed to, I don’t know, a leg humping robot.

“Pacific Rim” is a perfect summer film in many ways, yet for some reason more people decided to see Adam Sandler in “Grown Ups 2,” where a high point seemed to be a male deer pissing on Sandler (and speaking of which, “Grown Ups 2” is – so far at any rate – doing better than “Pacific Rim” domestically, though worldwide, there’s no contest.  Then again, ‘Rim’ cost significantly more to make).

Though Business Insider has a theory as to why “Pacific Rim” started out so (relatively speaking) weak at the box office, and it’s worth reading.