Here Be Monsters

Media, Reading & Writing, The Arts

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Guillermo Del Toro’s wonderful new book has a forward by James Cameron and an afterword by Tom Cruise, and me in it somewhere toward the end. This is the poshest company I’ve ever been in.

I was surprised to find myself in ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities’ because the fantasy director’s notebooks, interviews and acquisitions cover the eight films he has made so far; Cronos, Mimic, The Devil’s Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II and Pacific Rim, but it also includes the designs for the aborted film version of one of my own novels, ‘Spanky’. Now I know why it didn’t get made (too dodgy for the studio, surprise surprise).

Guillermo did in fact use some of the designs we came up with for Blade II, though, and I sometimes wonder how my life would have changed if the film had been made. The section on Mimic is really cool, especially since the film was rereleased in its director’s cut – which, unlike most such cuts is different and much improved. The designs here help to make sense of the outrageous central idea.

This is a stunningly realised volume with a pleasing Eastern European vibe, packed with sketches and photographs, only missing the monsters from ‘Pacific Rim’, probably because of the lead-time involved in such a sumptuous publication.

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