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Del Toro Updates: FRANKENBatch & Kaufman On SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE

It’s nice to have some Del Toro news to report past Pacific Rim, and a couple of substantial updates have broken out.

GuillermoDelTodosBannerFirst up is Del Toro explicitly stating his desire for his Crimson Peak star Benedict Cumberbatch to join him on a second film; Frankenstein. Were Cumberbatch to take the role (and there’s no word of actual negotiations- just conversations) then it would be a return to the neck-bolts for ‘Batch… he’s played the doctor’s monster AND the doctor in Danny Boyle’s stage adaptation recently. It’s not 100% clear which role Del Toro is looking at him for, but with Doug Jones supposedly and naturally lined up to don the make-up, I’m thinking Frankenstein, P.h.D for the actor.

Even more interesting is an update on Del Toro’s long-discussed Slaughterhouse Five adaptation, which is apparently now a collaboration with none other than Charlie Kaufman (writer: Synecdoche, New York, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind).

“Charlie and I talked for about an hour-and-a-half and came up with a perfect way of doing the book… I love the idea of the Trafalmadorians — to be ‘unstuck in time,’ where everything is happening at the same time. And that’s what I want to do. It’s just a catch-22. The studio will make it when it”s my next movie, but how can I commit to it being my next movie until there’s a screenplay? Charlie Kaufman is a very expensive writer! …I”ll work it out.”

That may strike fear into some that Del Toro is turning a classic novel of dark witticism into a 435be9bde4527625e8ff5a4fa475642ccreature feature, but I think it’s fair to give Charlie Kaufman some benefit of the doubt. It’s not as if the book is some sacred, unadaptable text or that it already has a film that does it complete justice. It’s a tough one to crack and George Roy Hill’s ’72 movie is decent, but there’s room to play here. And while it’s obvious for Del Toro to point towards the story’s alien component, they do pretty much represent the major thematic and structural concern of the novel. So it goes, and so it’s time to put away your dismissiveness for the time being, lit nerds. Let’s keep an eye on it.

There’s a ton of TV work like The Strain and Nutshell Studios and Monster on Del Toro’s docket, plus Justice League Dark, and all the rest. More ammunition in the revolver means more chances to fire, so hopefully we’re entering the most consistent and abundant time for the guy’s work yet.

 

Source | The Guardian (via Indiewire)