Guillermo del Toro shut down Nightmare Alley filming mid-scene

Guillermo del Toro was in the middle of filming a scene when production was shut down on Nightmare Alley.Back in March, bosses at Disney announced the psychological thriller, starring Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Ron Per…

Guillermo del Toro was in the middle of filming a scene when production was shut down on Nightmare Alley.

Back in March, bosses at Disney announced the psychological thriller, starring Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Ron Perlman and Rooney Mara, was shuttered amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a recent interview with IndieWire Live, the Oscar-winning director revealed he had approached the studio to ask them if he could stop filming a week before the industry-wide shutdown.

“We reacted super fast, we proposed the studio to stop as opposed to being asked to stop,” del Toro explained. “That saved us. Nobody to my knowledge in the cast or the crew got coronavirus.

“We were roughly 45 percent in. We were literally in the middle of a great scene. We went to lunch and talked to the studio and when we came back we said, ‘Everybody leave your tools and leave now’.”

The Shape of Water director also shared his hopes about getting production back up and running in the fall, adding: “Fingers crossed. You never know.”

Filming on his stop-motion Pinocchio musical has already resumed, and the 55-year-old has been creating 80-page documents for both Pinocchio and Nightmare Alley to ensure safety protocols are met during the coronavirus crisis.

“In stop-motion, you have many sets nearby one another in a warehouse-like space,” he shared. “We had to create a protocol where we now space the sets a certain number of feet. We created different shifts so no one is exposed. In this moment, security is paramount.

“I don’t think we can go back to what we consider the old normal. Everything will be a little altered.”

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Ewan McGregor voicing Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Ewan McGregor is voicing the character of Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s take on Pinocchio. The Scottish actor has revealed that he had finished recording his dialogue for the Talking Cricket before the Covid-19 outbreak struck. “That I had …

Ewan McGregor is voicing the character of Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s take on Pinocchio.

The Scottish actor has revealed that he had finished recording his dialogue for the Talking Cricket before the Covid-19 outbreak struck.

“That I had started working on before I left for New York, so some of that is recorded,” McGregor told ACE Universe. “And of course it’s stop-frame animation, so it’s going to take them a great long time to make that film. But my first part of that, which is recording his dialogue, is sort of done.”

He then teased the possibility he would be singing in the movie, after his well-received performances in musical movies such as the live-action Beauty and the Beast and Moulin Rouge!

“There may or may not be a song that needs to be recorded. I’m not sure I’m at liberty to discuss that. Even though we’re just privately talking, you know,” he joked.

The Oscar-winning director’s stop-motion animation version of Carlo Collodi’s classic novel, which will be set in Italy during the rise of fascism in the 1930s, will also feature the voices of Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton, and Christoph Waltz.

Mark Gustafson is serving as co-director alongside del Toro on Pinocchio, while Patrick McHale is co-writing the script.

The 55-year-old filmmaker previously revealed that his version of the classic tale, which was transformed into an animated musical fantasy film by Disney in 1940, will be a bleak re-telling.

“In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend,” The Shape of Water director said. “He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world.”

Pinocchio is set to be released on Netflix in 2021.

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Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard reunite for new comedy

The Help co-stars Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard are teaming up once again for new comedy Fairy Tale Ending. The duo will be working together again on Universal’s upcoming female ensemble comedy, eight years after they shared the screen in …

The Help co-stars Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard are teaming up once again for new comedy Fairy Tale Ending.

The duo will be working together again on Universal’s upcoming female ensemble comedy, eight years after they shared the screen in the 2011 drama. They will also serve as producers alongside Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane.

Howard confirmed the news by sharing an article on social media and adding, “Let the happy dancing commence because the cat’s out of the bag — I’m teaming up with @octaviaspencer + @macfarlaneseth to make hilarious movie magic in Fairy Tale Land! More details to come, but I’m thrilled to finally share this news.”

Both Spencer and MacFarlane shared her message, with The Shape of Water actress adding, “So excited to be working wirh (sic) @brycedhoward again. Going to be one helluva ride!”

According to Deadline, Universal bosses recently acquired the pitch from Jim Hecht and Tracy McMillan, who will be both writing the script.

Howard will be producing via her Nine Muses Entertainment label, Spencer via her Orit Entertainment company and McFarlane and Erica Huggins for their production company, Fuzzy Door. Eric Carlson, Susan Carlson, Hecht and McMillan will also serve as producers.

Spencer, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Help, recently appeared in comedy Instant Family with Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. She will soon be seen playing Poppy Parnell, an investigative reporter behind a hit true-crime podcast, alongside Lizzy Caplan and Aaron Paul in upcoming TV series Are You Sleeping.

Howard, the daughter of director Ron Howard, is best known for playing Claire Dearing in the Jurassic World franchise, and she will reprise the character for the third instalment in 2021. She recently added her voice to family movie A Dog’s Way Home and will be soon seen portraying Elton John’s mother Sheila in biopic Rocketman.

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Octavia Spencer grateful to co-star Mark Wahlberg for work-out makeover

Mark Wahlberg gave his Instant Family co-star Octavia Spencer a work-out makeover during a 4am gym session. The Oscar winner told the action man she wanted to be in better shape and he invited her to join him at his home gym for a pre-dawn shape-up. …

Mark Wahlberg gave his Instant Family co-star Octavia Spencer a work-out makeover during a 4am gym session.

The Oscar winner told the action man she wanted to be in better shape and he invited her to join him at his home gym for a pre-dawn shape-up.

Spencer had heard all about the actor’s early morning gym busting, but thought they were just made up to boost the muscle man’s appeal.

“He really rubbed off on me,” The Shape of Water star told U.S. talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. “I was kinda stalking him on the Internet, and I didn’t think that it was real – the waking up and working out at four o’ clock… but they really do get up every morning…

“I did it once with him and then I do it on Mondays with my trainer… All joking aside, he (Wahlberg) is such a fitness guru that he actually has helped me modify what I’ve been doing with my trainer and I love him for that.

“Fitness and weightloss is such a personal journey, so to have a god like that going, ‘Hey, let me help you’, you’re like, ‘Thank you god!'”

Octavia has been documenting her exercise efforts on social media, and last month (Oct18), credited the use of Wahlberg’s Performance Inspired natural workout supplements with helping her achieve additional results.

“I never go sleeveless. But here is what I want to show you,” she told fans in a video as she showed off her arms. “I’ve been working out for years and the cellulite on my arms has NEVER gone away. It’s melting away from my thighs, too!”

“The changes I’ve made? @performinspired supplements,” she continued. “Combined with balancing nutrition and the right workouts the changes are amazing.”

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Guillermo Del Toro to make animated feature directing debut on Pinocchio

Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is teaming up with Netflix bosses to make his animated feature film directing debut on a revamped Pinocchio. The Shape of Water director will also co-write the script with Patrick McHale and produce the stop-…

Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is teaming up with Netflix bosses to make his animated feature film directing debut on a revamped Pinocchio.

The Shape of Water director will also co-write the script with Patrick McHale and produce the stop-motion musical version of the classic children’s story, which will take place in 1930s Italy and centre on a puppet who wants to be a real boy, according to Variety.

The project will be co-directed by claymation and animation expert Mark Gustafson.

Filming will begin later this year (18) and del Toro reveals he has dreamed of making his version of Carlo Collodi’s classic tale since he was a little kid.

“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio,” a statement from del Toro reads. “In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend.

“He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world.”

“I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember,” the statement continues. “After the incredible experience (Netflix bosses and I) have had on (TV series) Trollhunters, I am grateful that the talented team at Netflix is giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce audiences everywhere to my version of this strange puppet-turned-real-boy.”

Meanwhile, the filmmaker is also collaborating with executives at the streaming service on series Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.

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Shape of Water plagiarism lawsuit dismissed

Director Guillermo del Toro is celebrating after beating a plagiarism lawsuit over his Academy Award winning sci-fi romance The Shape of Water.A federal judge has dismissed the legal action brought against him in February (18), just ahead of the Oscars…

Director Guillermo del Toro is celebrating after beating a plagiarism lawsuit over his Academy Award winning sci-fi romance The Shape of Water.

A federal judge has dismissed the legal action brought against him in February (18), just ahead of the Oscars ceremony, by representatives overseeing the estate of playwright Paul Zindel, who accused the filmmaker of lifting plot elements from the late dramatist’s 1969 play, Let Me Hear You Whisper.

Judge Percy Anderson issued a short ruling on Monday (23Jul18) dismissing the claim with prejudice, meaning Zindel’s camp can never file another lawsuit on the matter again. The magistrate also ruled that del Toro and Fox Searchlight executives are entitled to recover the money they spent on legal costs in their defence.

The director has always maintained The Shape of Water, which picked up trophies for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design and Best Original Score at the Academy Awards ceremony on 4 March (18), was an original idea, and vehemently denied the plagiarism allegations.

“I have never read nor seen the play,” he told Deadline around the time the lawsuit was filed. “I’d never heard of this play before making The Shape of Water, and none of my collaborators ever mentioned the play.”

“I have been at this 25 years and have an unimpeachable reputation,” he added. “I have always made it an element of my career to talk about my influences in every single movie I have made, in the comment track of DVDs, on Twitter, in my museum exhibitions.

“I have been open about the things I love, and I have had no problem discussing them and how they were transformational in my movies… I am a writer/director who has generated TV series, books, movies and an enormous amount of screenplays through the years. Without a single complaint.”

Zindel estate representatives sought all the profits from the film and an injunction to block the movie from any further screenings in theatres.

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Guillermo del Toro contemplating new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches

Guillermo del Toro is considering taking on Roald Dahl’s The Witches as his next project.The 1983 novel, about a secret society of child-hating evil witches, was given the Hollywood treatment in 1990, with Anjelica Huston appearing as the Grand High Wi…

Guillermo del Toro is considering taking on Roald Dahl’s The Witches as his next project.

The 1983 novel, about a secret society of child-hating evil witches, was given the Hollywood treatment in 1990, with Anjelica Huston appearing as the Grand High Witch, and Brenda Blethyn and Rowan Atkinson co-starring.

Talking to Mail Online, Guillermo said he was “eating, drinking and thinking philosophically” about four potential new projects, including The Witches. He also still wants to make Pinocchio in stop motion, a feature he has been trying to get off the ground for years.

“I have given myself until September to decide, then I will pick one of the four and prepare to make it,” he revealed.

And his lead The Shape of Water actress Sally Hawkins may well feature in his as yet undecided next project.

Hawkins took on the role of mute janitor Elisa Esposito in the movie, which bagged Guillermo his first Oscar. The film won a further three Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures and Best Achievement in Production Design.

“Every time we meet up or speak on the phone or send an email the word ‘when’ is included. As in: ‘When are we to work together again?!'” he said of the English actress.

The Mexican filmmaker also has two TV projects he created currently in pre-production, Wizards and 3 Below, as well as crime drama Nightmare Alley and a new Michael Mann documentary.

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Guillermo del Toro launches label for horror and sci-fi movies

Guillermo del Toro has launched a new label to cultivate sci-fi and horror movies.The Mexican director was recently awarded the Best Director accolade at the 2018 Oscars for The Shape of Water, an ethereal love story which also took home Best Picture. …

Guillermo del Toro has launched a new label to cultivate sci-fi and horror movies.

The Mexican director was recently awarded the Best Director accolade at the 2018 Oscars for The Shape of Water, an ethereal love story which also took home Best Picture.

Guillermo, who’s famous for his otherworldly movies, now wants to help more unusual films get a chance to shine, so has teamed up with The Shape Of Water’s distributor Fox Searchlight to create an organisation designed to aid up-and-coming movie makers.

“For the longest time, I’ve hoped to find an environment in which I can distribute, nurture, and produce new voices in smart, inventive genre films and channel my own,” he said in a statement. “In Fox Searchlight, I’ve found a real home for live-action production – a partnership based on hard work, understanding of each other, and, above all, faith.”

The arrangement means that Fox Searchlight will produce and distribute feature films written and/or directed by the 53-year-old under the new label, as well as work in unison to help cultivate filmmakers specialising in fantasy, sci-fi and horror.

Guillermo is the mastermind behind Gothic fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth and horror The Devil’s Backbone, as well as supernatural superhero films Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army. While Fox Searchlight has produced some of the most critically acclaimed Hollywood pictures in recent years, including Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – which took home two Academy Awards this year – and former Best Picture winners Birdman, 12 Years a Slave and Slumdog Millionaire.

“As well as being a brilliant filmmaker, Guillermo is a passionate collaborator, curator and advocate for other artists,” said David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield, co-heads of production at Fox Searchlight, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Working with him on this new label, focused on the highest quality projects in the genre space, allows Searchlight to expand our reach to new filmmakers and new audiences around the world.”

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Guillermo del Toro quietly divorced last year

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro quietly divorced his wife of 31 years in 2017. The Shape of Water filmmaker, 53, went public with the news in a new interview with Mexican magazine Reforma, revealing he parted ways with Lorenza Newton at the …

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro quietly divorced his wife of 31 years in 2017.

The Shape of Water filmmaker, 53, went public with the news in a new interview with Mexican magazine Reforma, revealing he parted ways with Lorenza Newton at the start of the year, and finalised their divorce seven months later.

“I separated in February (of 2017) and divorced in September,” he says, “but few people knew.”

Guillermo raised questions about his personal life on Sunday (04Mar18) after walking the Academy Awards red carpet arm-in-arm with screenwriter Kim Morgan, instead of Lorenza, the mother of his two children.

He was also shown hugging Morgan on camera after he was announced as the winner of the Best Director honour, and gave “Kimmy” a special shout out in his acceptance speech, while also name-checking his other collaborators and his kids.

Guillermo, who also won Best Picture for The Shape of Water, tells Reforma he and Morgan, a screenwriter on his forthcoming movie Nightmare Alley, became good friends last summer (17), although he doesn’t specify if he and his Oscars “plus one” are also in a romantic relationship.

“She is working with me, we have a nice friendship,” he shares, before making it clear she did not play a part in his marital breakdown. “In case some news appears, let’s clarify that I separated (from Lorenza) in February. I started working with her (Morgan) at the end of the summer.”

Del Toro wed Newton in 1986. They are parents to daughters Marisa and Mariana.

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Guillermo del Toro: ‘Oscar win was hyper-real’

Double Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro felt as if he was in a “bubble of silence” when his film The Shape of Water was named Best Picture at the Oscars on Sunday night (04Mar18). The Mexican filmmaker, who also took home the Best Director prize, spent…

Double Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro felt as if he was in a “bubble of silence” when his film The Shape of Water was named Best Picture at the Oscars on Sunday night (04Mar18).

The Mexican filmmaker, who also took home the Best Director prize, spent the night partying with his cast and crew but now he’s coming back down to earth and he tells Deadline that becoming an Oscar winner is a surreal moment.

“You try to train yourself not to think much about it and concentrate on that you’re doing,” he says, “and then when the moment comes, the irony is then you go almost completely blank. It’s like everything else blasts away, and you’re in a bubble of silence, and you’re in the moment.

“Everything is very vivid, like you’re aware of everybody’s face, you’re aware of your footsteps, and of how many steps you’re taking. You see the dust on the set, you see everything. Everything becomes sort of hyper-real for a moment. Then you go up.”

The director reveals he didn’t write a speech because he read from one while accepting a Golden Globe in January, and it didn’t feel right.

“The only time I prepared a little paper was at the Globes and I thought it got in the way for me,” he tells the outlet. “So since then, what I do is I speak from the moment I’m in. All you see is a sea of faces. Famous faces, people you know, people you’ve worked with and people you want to work with.

“What I saw was very beautiful because the energy in the room was so beautiful. It’s impossible to transmit it if you were not there, you know?”

And it brought back memories from his first big The Shape of Water win at the Venice Film Festival in Italy last year.

“It sort of came full circle with the feeling in Venice for me,” he explains. “So the moment was a moment that lasted many months, bookended by a very very similar emotion.”

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