No, not Del Taco (although we would FLIP if they brought that chain to New York City). We’re talking about Guillermo del Toro, the visionary director — sorry, Zack Snyder — of Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy series and, perhaps most important, the upcoming series of Hobbit films. He’s seven months deep into the preproduction phase of the $300 million project, which will be released as two separate movies in the years 2011 and 2012 (so far away!). One might think that he would be fully consumed with all things Tolkien at the moment, but that turns out not to be the case. In an interview with Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times, Del Toro confesses that what he’s currently most interested in is getting someone, anyone, to turn his best-selling vampire novel, The Strain, into a television series.
With the success of Twilight and True Blood, one would think a television series that revolves around a mysterious vampire virus unleashed on New York City would be an easy sell in this climate, especially considering the pedigree of the creator. However, that turns out not to be the case. According to Del Toro:
“I prepared a ‘bible’ of the three seasons [of The Strain] and went to the network that I had a deal with, which was Fox. They read the bible and listened to the pitch with the opening scene of the 747 stopping mysteriously on the runway at JFK and the mystery that followed, and I was very happy with it.”
And how did the network respond? “They said two things: It’s too expensive, first of all, and what we would really love is a vampire comedy. That was my first and only encounter with television. I retreated quickly.”
It’s shocking to us to hear that the network that somehow decided to greenlight both Hole in the Wall and Moment of Truth would turn their backs on a vampire procedural that would no doubt be a crowd-pleaser. That said, now that we’re aware they’re on the hunt for a vampire comedy, we can finally dust off our treatment for the Once Bitten reboot that we’ve been scribbling into our Moleskine for the last six months. Fame and fortune, here we come!
Prepare for the Guillermo del Toro decade: ‘The Hobbit’ director is just getting started [Hero Complex/LAT]