In the Visionaries panel at Comic Con 2011, we had two huge names in the genre movie industry… Guillermo del Toro and Jon Favreau! Everyone in the panel was probably geeking all over themselves when these two took the floor. If you think about it…
One half of the table represented movies like The Hobbit, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Splice, Hellboy, Blade II… with upcoming projects like Pacific Rim, and Haunted Mansion.
The other half of this panel included Iron Man, Couples Retreat, Zathura: A Space Adventure plus upcoming projects like The Avengers (exec producer), Cowboys & Aliens and Magic Kingdom.
Though Guillermo del Toro is very focused on where his creative mode goes, Jon Favreau is a bit all over the place… but that’s not a bad thing at all.
Apparently del Toro is having some health challenges and stated he feels like “excrement.” Have to hand it to the guy for coming out! That’s for sure.
Getting into the conversation, Favreau said that Guillermo lets people in behind-the-scenes with DVD add-ons and admitted to watching Devil’s Backbone over and over and that he had reached out to del Toro when he was making Zathura.
Guillermo cherishes the friendships he makes. He made a pretty funny observation that directors don’t usually hang out with each other because they’re jealous a*holes. (I never realized how much of a mouth del Toro has! Still, I think Kevin Smith has the foul-mouthed category, hands down.)
Favreau made note that while he’s developing the Magic Kingdom movie, del Toro is working on developing The Haunted Mansion.
They both chatted about how Walt Disney was at the leading edge of his industry when he brought in music with animation, then the full-length animated movie and all the risks Disney took to make his cutting-edge products. These two obviously admire the man greatly!
Favreau said that del Toro has bought a house for all his curios and each room has a different theme or library to it.
Del Toro noted that both he and Favreau come from the fan’s perspective. He said many folks tackle projects for the money and not because “they have a boner for it.”
Del Toro’s movie, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, is based on an old ABC movie that left an impression on him as a kid. It was one of the scariest things he’d ever seen. He was the kid that screamed and hid under the seat in some scary movies.
They then showed a trailer
They talked about how in the early days and the perspective that CGI is a lazy special effect… and about now showing the monster too early or it won’t have the same emotional impact it might if you keep it hidden for some of the movie first. It’s about the tension builder.
They talked about “puppets” or non-CGI type monster props in the movies and del Toro said he uses the company Spectral Motion in his American movies.
Favreau touched on Cowboys and Aliens and the different reactions. On one hand, some think it’s an awesome concept and on the other, folks are offended. He’s a bit confused because the offended people seem to think his concept is implausible while an alien robot turning into a truck is OK.
He thinks all high-concept films cross certain lines, but that’s the point. To bring these extreme scenarios into something the movie-goer can emotionally attach to.
They then showed some scenes from the movie… this is the very same WonderCon footage they had brought. That’s fine by me!
After the teasers, Favreau touched on how once you release a film, it becomes everyone else’s and it’s up to them what they think it’s about. He quoted the venerable Steven Spielberg with something he said:
“You don’t know what you have done until the audience tells you, unless it’s a sequel.”
Then del Toro made note about the state of the media and how everyone jumps on everything and every little detail they think they hear and how inaccuracies can occur because of that process. He made a very good point, in a very polite way.
On Pacific Rim, without letting out any details, he says it’s the most fun he’s had making a movie yet as they design giant *ing monsters all day long.
Favreau did a cameo as a Thark in the upcoming Andrew Stanton movie, John Carter, which stars Taylor Kitsch.
Del Toro is still keeping the hope alive for making his pet project, At the Mountains of Madness, since they do control the rights.
Guillermo Del Toro said that he’s had staff on his projects that he met on the floor of Comic Con. He tries to hire obscure help with each movie of his. He even gave out an email address that you could write to.
All in all, it was yet another very enlightening experience at the panel and a great little “get to know these guys” session, with Jon Favreau and Guillermo del Toro.