Guillermo del Toro Reveals His Biggest Regret
I’m in the minority here, but I had a great time with The Mummy this summer and left the theatre looking forward to the future of Universal’s Dark Universe. Was it perfect? Absolutely not, but it was the dumb supernatural fun I needed and I’ll defend it until the day I die.
Unfortunately for Universal and me, though, The Mummy didn’t perform as well as we hoped and now the future of the Dark Universe might not see the light of day at all. However, that might not have been the case if Mr. Guillermo del Toro accepted the opportunity to oversee the ambitious project when he was offered it a number of years ago.
In a recent interview with the New York Times (per Den of Geek) while promoting The Shape of Water, the director revealed that he was offered the opportunity to helm the studio’s monster universe, only to regrettably turn it down.
“The only time I repent I didn’t do something was in 2007, when Universal in an incredibly gentle and beautiful manner said do you want to take over the Monster Universe?”
He continued: “And they gave me the reins of several properties, and I didn’t do it. That I repent. So this is a confessional moment, I repent. That’s the only thing.”
Admittedly, I’m a fan of every action-horror hybrid Universal has released in a bid to resurrect their iconic monsters for the modern age, but even I can admit these movies have their flaws. No matter how hard they’ve tried, the studio just can’t find any momentum for their classic ghouls at all, can they? With the exception of the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, everything else has failed at first attempt.
Van Helsing? The Wolfman? Dracula Untold? Nothing ever came of those, did they? I wish that wasn’t the case (The Wolfman is an underrated throwback to the good old days and deserved better), but imagine what Guillermo del Toro could have done if those were his monsters to unleash.
He might regret turning it down, but no one is sadder to hear the news than us horror fans.
The Dark Universe would probably be in a much healthier place under the guidance of del Toro - at least quality-wise. Maybe he’d have returned the monsters to their sympathetic horror roots as well rather than try to turn to make them action stars. As the box office keeps reminding us - with the latest evidence being 2017 - it’s that quality horror does perform.
That said, with the Dark Universe’s future up in the air, it’s not too late to start again. If they do, maybe they’ll offer the Mexican maverick a second chance? But for now we can all mourn as we wonder what could have been.