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Guillermo del Toro (1964)

Guillermo del Toro Gómez

Type :  

  Summary  

Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican director, producer, screenwriter, novelist and designer. He is mostly known for his acclaimed films, Blade II, Pan's Labyrinth and the Hellboy film franchise. He is a frequent collaborator with Ron Perlman, Federico Luppi and Doug Jones. His films draw heavily on sources as diverse as weird fiction, fantasy and war.

  Biography  

 early life
Del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He was raised in a strict Catholic household. Del Toro studied at the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Cinematográficos, in Guadalajara. He first got involved in filmmaking when he was about eight years old and studied special effects and make-up with SFX artist Dick Smith. Del Toro participated in the cult series La Hora Marcada with other renowned Mexican filmmakers such as Emmanuel Lubezki and Alfonso Cuarón.

He spent eight years as a special effects make-up designer and formed his own company, Necropia. He also co-founded the Guadalajara International Film Festival. Later on in his directing career, he formed his own production company, the Tequila Gang.

In 1998, at the age of 34, Guillermo was given a $30 million budget from Miramax studios to shoot his second film, Mimic. During this time, his father, automotive entrepreneur Federico del Toro, was kidnapped in Guadalajara, Mexico. Although Federico was eventually released safely, there was intense economic pressure from his captors, to the point that del Toro's family had to pay twice the amount originally asked. The event prompted Del Toro, his parents and his siblings to move abroad. In an interview with Time magazine, he said this about the kidnapping of his father: "Every day, every week, something happens that reminds me that I am in involuntary exile ."

 career
Guillermo del Toro has directed a wide variety of films, from action hero comic book adaptations to historical fantasy and horror films, two of which are set in Spain in the context of the Spanish Civil War under the authoritarian rule of Francisco Franco. These two films, El Espinazo Del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone) and El Laberinto Del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth), are among his most critically acclaimed works. They share similar settings, protagonists , and themes with the 1973 Spanish film The Spirit of the Beehive, widely considered to be the finest Spanish film of the 1970s.

Del Toro views the horror genre as inherently political, explaining, "Much like fairy tales, there are two facets of horror. One is pro-institution, which is the most reprehensible type of fairy tale: Don't wander into the woods, and always obey your parents. The other type of fairy tale is completely anarchic and antiestablishment."

He is close friends with two other prominent and critically praised Mexican filmmakers, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu. The three often influence each other's directorial decisions, and have been interviewed together by Charlie Rose. Cuarón was one of the producers of Pan's Labyrinth. After Blade II, Del Toro turned down many directing jobs for other films to do some of his other projects, he turned down a directing job for Blade: Trinity and Resident Evil: Apocalypse to write/direct Hellboy. He also turned down The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to do Pan's Labyrinth, for which he also received a Nebula Award for Best Script. He also turned down Resident Evil: Extinction, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Halo to do Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

Del Toro has also contributed to the web series Trailers From Hell.

On December 9, 2010, Guillermo del Toro launched Mirada with partners Guillermo Navarro (his long-time cinematographer), director Mathew Cullen and Executive Producer Javier Jimenez. Mirada was formed in Los Angeles, CA to be a collaborative space where they and other filmmakers can work with Mirada’s artists to create and produce projects that span digital production and content for film, television, advertising, interactive and other media. Mirada launched as a sister company to production company Motion Theory.

 personal life
Guillermo del Toro is married to his high school sweetheart Lorenza Newton, cousin of Mexican singer Guadalupe Pineda. He fell in love with Lorenza when both were studying at the Guadalajara School of Sciences and became inseparable since. He currently lives in Agoura Hills, California with his wife Lorenza and his two daughters, Mariana and Marisa. In addition to home in which he lives with his family, he owns a separate house exclusively to house his books, posters artwork and other belongings pertaining to his work, explaining, "As a kid, I dreamed of having a house with secret passages and a room where it rained 24 hours a day. The point of being over 40 is to fulfill the desires you've been harboring since you were 7."

In 2009, in an interview with Charlie Rose, del Toro described his Roman Catholic upbringing as excessively "morbid," saying "I mercifully lapsed as a Catholic, I say, but as Buñuel used to say, "I'm an atheist, thank God." Though insisting he's spiritually "not with Buñuel" and that "once a Catholic, always a Catholic, in a way," he followed by saying, "I believe in man. I believe in mankind, as the worst and the best that has happened to this world." He has also responded to the observation that he views his art as his religion by saying, "It is. To me, art and storytelling serve primal, spiritual functions in my daily life. Whether I'm telling a bedtime story to my kids or trying to mount a movie or write a short story or a novel, I take it very seriously."

In a Q&A, Del Toro admitted to be a fan of first person shooter video games, citing games like Half-Life, Call of Duty and BioShock and claiming that "video games are the comic books of our time... It's a medium that gains no respect among the intelligentsia".

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  • Development
  • inSANE
    Creative director
    2013

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Guillermo del Toro", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.