Nearly 9 years after Guillermo del Toro announced a Disney film label for animated films that never got off the ground, Fox Searchlight Pictures announced a deal with Academy Award winning director Guillermo del Toro that covers live action feature film projects to be written, produced and/or directed by del Toro. Fox Searchlight is also creating a new, soon to be named, label which will serve as a home for projects in the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres, including those produced and curated by del Toro. Films will be financed, marketed and distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
“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. 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. After the wonderful experience I had with Fox Searchlight on ‘The Shape of Water,’ I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the relationship. I am more than grateful to Nancy, Steve, David and Matthew for their trust in me and for joining me on this adventure,” said del Toro.
“Throughout the process of ‘The Shape of Water’ coming to life, we have observed first-hand Guillermo at work as a director, a writer, a producer — a creator. We believe in him and the vision for a new Searchlight label and we are eager to embark on this journey with him,” said Utley and Gilula.
“As well as being a brilliant filmmaker, Guillermo is a passionate collaborator, curator and advocate for other artists. 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,” said David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield, Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Co-Heads of Production.
The first film in the pipeline will be the previously announced Antlers, a story about an elementary school teacher who takes in a troubled student that harbors a mysterious family secret with deadly consequences. The film will be directed by Scott Cooper with a script written by Nick Antosca & Henry Chaisson, based on the short story The Quiet Boy by Nick Antosca. Guillermo Del Toro, David Goyer, and J. Miles Dale will produce, with Kevin Turen serving as executive producer.
Del Toro was attached to write and direct a movie based on Disney’s Haunted Mansion. It is unknown where that project stands, however it may be presumed that if the Disney purchase of Fox goes through, this deal will not prove to be much of an obstacle. Bob Iger previously showed support of Fox Searchlight and that he expects them to continue to find success after the pending acquisition.