Guillermo Del Toro Recalls Passing On ‘The Fly II’ and Hollywood ‘Cronos’ Remake

Cronos vampire shields himself from the light
October Films

Guillermo del Toro is a rare breed in the current cinematic landscape. While many of his dream projects have yet to see the light of day, the Oscar-winning director is still able to make artistic, original, and visionary genre films within the studio system. After all, he made The Shape of Water — a movie about “fish f**king,” according to John Carpenter — for Fox Searchlight Pictures, and it scooped four awards at the 90th Academy Awards. 

Once upon a time, however, del Toro was a rising hotshot trying to make a name for himself in Tinseltown. After experiencing success with his Spanish-language efforts, his agent got him meetings with Fox and Universal Pictures for projects that could have propelled him into the mainstream much sooner. However, del Toro wasn’t willing to sign on to projects that fed Hollywood’s cycle of churning out needless sequels and unnecessary remakes. The Oscar-winning filmmaker recalled the experiences during a recent talk with the Directors Guild of America

“My agent says, ‘You are gonna go and pitch for The Fly 2.’ And I go in, and I get in, and they said, ‘So, we’re making The Fly II, what do you think? I go, I said, ‘I think you shouldn’t make it… because the first one’s great.”

Del Toro’s first week in Hollywood also saw him meet with Universal Pictures about remaking his vampire film Cronos, which tells the story of an aging antiques dealer who happens across an artifact that gives him eternal life. Universal’s proposition also received a firm “no” from the Mexican director, but the trip wasn’t entirely meritless.

“They paid my room service, so I would order a large burger with cheese and fries and I would say, ‘This is the best job in the world,” del Toro added.

Fortunately, del Toro’s refusal to lower himself to projects he wasn’t passionate about paid off. With films such as Crimson Peak, Blade II, Pacific Rim, Nightmare Alley, and Hellboy to his name, his Hollywood trajectory is one that will undoubtedly stand the rest of time. Granted, a couple of those films fall within the realm of remakes and sequels, but they’re among the better ones out there.