Guillermo Del Toro Says ‘The Fall’ Vampires ‘Don’t Sparkle’
Guillermo del Toro is a jolly fellow. You’ll be 20 minutes into a conversation filled with jokey repartee and his self-deprecating asides, and you’ll think: This is the guy who unleashed a swarm of killer cockroaches on a city full of children in “Mimic”?
Then, suddenly, a fuse will blow in the studio, and as your crew scrambles to re-light the set, del Toro will say, with a mix of charm and do-not-cross-me gravity, “My DP would punch you!”
But his director of photography is nowhere to be seen, nor are plague-laden roaches, and all soon returns to normal. Del Toro is here to chat about “The Fall,” the second book in his trilogy (co-written with Chuck Hogan), about a parasitic epidemic turning a city’s population into blood-sucking vampires. It’s grim material, no doubt, but the director-turned-novelist talks ebulliently, almost from start to finish, about the book, its influences and its development.
He’s got a right to be happy. Like the first installment, “The Fall” became a bestseller, thanks to robust pre-orders before it even hit shelves Tuesday. And, having dealt with a heartbreaking, years-long struggle to make “The Hobbit,” del Toro is energized to be temporarily working outside the Hollywood machine, writing fiction about a subject he’s been obsessed with since the age of 7.
The Oscar nominee is getting set to dive back into moviemaking, of course, and is deep into preproduction on his 3-D collaboration with James Cameron, “At the Mountains of Madness.”
That, too, is a project he’s been dreaming about for decades. Yet to hear del Toro talk about “The Fall” is to realize the special place fiction holds in his creative heart. And it doesn’t hurt that the book is one kick-ass page-turner.
MTV: I’m, first of all, curious about the process. You’ve written screenplays with other people; you’ve now written two books with Chuck Hogan. How do those two processes differ, if at all?
Guillermo del Toro: It’s much better than writing solo. Writing the books is very similar to writing the screenplays with collaborators. For the books, we get together for what Chuck terms “a four-day breakfast.” We talk and eat, and eat and talk. Eventually, we figure out everything we want about the book, we go away, we generate a 30-page outline, and then we call dibs: “I want this section. I want that section.” I think I get all the fun sections. I write them and send them to him, and when I get his sections, I realize he got a lot of fun sections, and I get envious and rewrite them. He rewrites my stuff, and we go from there. It becomes a single voice.
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