September 13, 2020
The director has a new novel out, an animation series on Netflix and two films in the pipeline – and still had time to watch three films a day in lockdown
A specialist in fantasy and the supernatural, Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro was born in Guadalajara in 1964. He worked as a special effects makeup designer, before making his directing debut with 1993 vampire story Cronos. He went on to make two highly acclaimed supernatural films in Spain – ghost story The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, which sets a fantasy mythology against the background of the Franco dictatorship. His work in Hollywood includes two Hellboy films, Japanese-themed robots-v-monsters epic Pacific Rim and gothic drama Crimson Peak. The Shape of Water (2017), a love story about a woman and an amphibian being, won multiple awards including Oscars for best picture and best director, and the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival.
He is preparing a stop-motion version of Pinocchio, with voice artists including Tilda Swinton and Ewan McGregor. He also recently launched Wizards, the third of the Tales of Arcadia trilogy of children’s CGI animation series, currently screening on Netflix. And he has just published a new fantasy novel, The Hollow Ones, written in collaboration with Chuck Hogan, his co-author on book trilogy The Strain, which also spawned a TV series. Set in modern-day Manhattan, the early 60s deep south and Elizabethan England, The Hollow Ones introduces immortal occult detective Hugo Blackwood – named in tribute to the fantasy writer Algernon Blackwood.