How involved are you going to be in ‘The Orphanage’ remake now that New Line has announced it?


Well,
I plan to be involved. I love the first movie and I think this is a
chance to launch it and have the Spanish language original reach as
much of an audience as we can. I hope that it replicates the success of
‘Pan’ and that Juan Antonio, the director, is launched onto the scene
because I think he’s a real talent. I’m also curious though to do a
variation. I’ve never done that. If I do it I’ll do it with something
that I know really intimately. I won’t direct it, but I think if you
find the right director you can find a really interesting take.


So you wouldn’t want to do something like ‘The Grudge’ where they bring the same director in?

I
don’t think so because he already said what he had to say about it. If
he wanted to then of course. If he came to me and said, ‘I want to do
it because of x or y –’ then I would let him in a second. He’s a really
great director, that guy.


So
you’re going to be doing this through next summer. How does the
impending strike affect you because I’m assuming you’re in the guild
here, but you also work in Spain?


It
affects me only as a producer in that obviously I won’t have any other
projects as director by the time that the strike hits. So I’m probably
going to be recuperating from ‘Hellboy’ and writing. I’m going to be
writing a movie in Spanish. I want to try to do one in Spanish after,
either ‘3993’ or one that I’ve been trying to do for a while called ‘An
Honest Man’ which would be the first time that I’d do something that
doesn’t have a fantasy element to it. It’s pretty nasty. I think I’ll
take six or seven or eight months to write that and for myself. So I’m
not breaking any rules. As producer then, for example, if New Line
wants to go with ‘The Orphanage’ before that they’ll have to go without
me because I’m going to be in post on ‘Hellboy’. I’m affected in the
sense that I do believe the things that the WGA are asking for are
things that are already pertinent and will be more so in the very near
future.


Because that also effects other stuff that you’re linked too, right?

Yeah,
and I would love to have any of those movies, if an alternate universe
existed where I could have those movies prepped and ready for after the
strike it would be great, but as it is if the strike hits I very likely
will end up doing the one in Spanish because I can do that with non SAG
actors in Mexico or Spain or Argentina.


This question is early, but how do you market this film?

Well,
the thing that I feel with Universal that I’m very happy about is that
they’re marketing or they’re approaching the movie with glee. First of
all it’s a franchise only if you view at such because the first movie
was not a blockbuster that had everybody saying, ‘We’ve got to just do
the next one immediately.’ So the fact that they took it shows an
enormous amount of faith and balls which I think they go together.
They’ve been going at it very rightly ever since. They’re saying that
they’re going to put character and world first and foremost before
genre, before action. They’re saying these are the worlds, these are
the characters, this is the place that they live in and this is the way
that we’re going to put out there. It’s not a movie that they’re going
to try and conform. I think one of the things on the campaigns for the
first movie, when I met them on the first movie, I kept saying,
‘Where’s Hellboy?’ You had all this action and no Hellboy. You had all
these scenes, and then even then I thought the action was emphasized
too much in the selling of it because the characters were really
charming, I thought, with Liz and Hellboy and Abe and so on and so
forth. Listen, I think the main difference is that they want to do good
with the movie. They want to do right for the movie and send it out
into the world and say, ‘This is a little saga that we’re trying to
continue.’ I think the selling point that they have other than
character and world is the scope. The scope of the movie is so
different from the first movie. It’s so different from the scope of
anything that I’ve ever done, frankly. It’s a much bigger movie than
‘Blade’ or ‘Mimic’ or ‘Hellboy’ or anything.


So when this movie opens and it makes $200 million and ‘Hellboy 3′ is green lit where do you see it going?

In
that eventuality what Mike and I are always trying to do is if this is
the last one of the series then you left some threads out, but
everything felt satisfactory, but if there was a third one it would go
to, we hope, a very tragic place. Well, not tragic but a very dramatic
place. When we started plotting this one we talked about how it would
end so that we knew where we were going in case it happens. If it
doesn’t happen then we still plotted it to know where we’re going.
Obviously I don’t want to divulge the ending or this or that, but it’d
obviously go there. It would ultimately show what would happen if
Hellboy fulfilled his destiny and why he would fulfill his destiny as
the Beast of the Apocalypse. That’s the only logical way that the
character can end.


So you see this a natural trilogy?

I
think it’d be beautiful. I always thought the first one was like,
‘That’s it?’ When they asked if I had any ideas for the second one I
didn’t jump up immediately and say yes. It took me a while to think
about it and find an idea that made me want to do it.