Sometimes an idea can fester and grow, turning into something quite fantastic. One such idea is coming from Forbes’ Mark Hughes concerning Guillermo del Toro‘s recent departure from Justice League Dark and the rumored halt on production of Pacific Rim 2.
The director isn’t know to twiddle his thumbs and wait, as we know he’s jumped from projects before because studios got cold feet. A few examples include WB’s The Hobbit and Universal’s At The Mountains of Madness, both were almost ready to go into production but sadly the studios had budget concerns and couldn’t get behind del Toro’s amazing vision. He then jumped straight into Pacific Rim, which was once expected to be a Tim Burton project. Pacific Rim 2 might also join that group of what-if projects, if Legendary and Universal can’t figure things out soon, as del Toro likes to keep himself busy. Apparently, projects like Disney’s Haunted Mansion and a mysterious project at Fox Searchlight might grab his attention first, but I’d rather see him do something like this instead.
Mark has a great idea for what he could do next as the studios and bean-counters figure everything out, and that’s tackling the massive Marvel epic that should be Thor: Ragnarok. A project that already has it’s main cast, a script, a budget (likely more flexible with Feige having more control on projects now), and an established universe. Something Guillermo had zero issues with when he went and make the very underrated Blade 2. He even tried to help Marvel Studios produce a live-action Hulk series, with the commitment to direct it’s pilot episode, and was once attached to direct Doctor Strange years ago. His Marvel roots are strong, and it’s about time to him actually do something at Marvel finally.
I’ll be frank, that I’m not the biggest fan of the Thor films. Marvel has been sort of dragging their asses on the franchise, by limiting the realms they explore, the scale of the entire film, and force-feeding us ridiculous/pointless Earthbound scenes that waste so much screen time it takes me out of the film entirely. The original Norse mythology, you know Thor’s mythology, helped fuel the creation of the Middle-Earth books and film franchises, you’d think Marvel would think a little bigger in scope with Thor, but they haven’t, it’s a waste and a shame.
However, finding someone like Guillermo del Toro to help things out, might benefit one of the few lacklustre franchises at Marvel Studios soar to new heights. As he is excellent at extensive creative set/creature/costume design and world-building, something the nine realms are in desperate need of. You’d be shocked to learn a lot of his design work for The Hobbit, was scrapped and replaced with Peter Jackson’s concepts once he exited.
Here’s one of his designs for Smaug, which is very different take on the iconic dragon, but actually looks like something that could be flying around in the Thor cinematic universe.
We already know Marvel’s Kevin Feige is a huge fan of the Hobbit franchise, as he’s hired a large bulk of their actors for MCU roles including Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Andy Serkis (Age of Ultron/Black Panther), Evangeline Lily (Ant-Man), (Guardians of The Galaxy) and Martin Freeman (Captain America: Civil War). They seemed to find roles for Hugo Weaving and Richard Armitage in Captain America: The First Avenger, even before they made the film. It’s doubtful they’ll ever find a way to work with Peter Jackson, so, they might as well get the guy who was originally going to make the films in the first place.
It doesn’t hurt he’s already worked with Loki himself Tom Hiddleston in Crimson Peak. Everyone pretty much agrees that Tom is the standout of the series, and does overshadow Chris Hemsworth, they might as well hire someone with a previous working relationship with Hiddleston, who knows his attributes and where to use him best.
He also worked with Heimdall’s Idris Elba on Pacific Rim.
The thing of it is, Ragnarok ticks all the boxes that would interest Guillermo, and he’s yet to make a hardcore fantasy film of this scale. It has huge fiery demons, many realms yet to be explored/created which include the underworld realm of Hel, armies of the undead, the angelic valkyrie, monstrous creatures, dwarves, light elves, rock trolls, death and war. Basically, he’d get to make his own version of Middle-Earth without having the commitment of two-three films, and the weight of making something as good as Lord of The Rings on his shoulders.
Guillermo isn’t one to shy away from large scale genre material, and having him make a super dark Thor installment, might actually give fans what they’ve been dying to see for years. A downright cool as hell Thor movie, with top-notch action sequences and enough realms/creatures to keep us engaged with this fantasy film.
Kevin Feige now has a direct line to Disney’s big-wigs which might help to wrangle a big fish like del Toro for a directing job. In previous years, Marvel has gone with unknowns or budding talent, but I think for Ragnarok they need to get someone who can blow us away. As is, it’s the least Marvel movie on my radar, even though it has just as much potential of awesomeness as anything else.
Do you think Marvel should reach-out to Guillermo del Toro about making Thor: Ragnarok his number one priority project?