Though released almost at the same time as “Pacific Rim,” co-author Mark Zicree’s hardcover compendium chronicling the creative works of director Guillermo Del Toro is anything but a cash in. It’s a wonderful treasure trove of amazing sketches, and incredible conceptual work, that not only explores the mind of Guillermo Del Toro, but pays tribute to one of the finest fantasy directors working today. Guillermo Del Toro has almost single handedly kept the fantasy genre alive with his dark neo-Gothic epic works, and “Cabinet of Curiosities” gives his fans that rare glimpse in to his mind and his life that they’ll be more than happy to read from beginning to end.
Starting from “Cronos” and ending with “Pacific Rim,” Guillermo Del Toro allows fans a look in to his note books and early conceptual designs, that show readers many of the ingenious works of art that were either developed in to something completely different, or we never brought to screen. Del Toro has a vivid and immense imagination with recurring themes steeped in steam punk and Lovecraft. He draws incredible monsters and beings that surpass conventional molds, allowing unorthodox and often creepy menaces to develop from the conventional. Del Toro is interviewed at length for the book, discussing many of the concepts and sketches, as well as what he initially planned for films like “Hellboy II.” For example, he originally designed the elf make up after comedy actor Charlie Day. Day would later co-star in “Pacific Rim.” There’s also the recurrence of character actor Ron Perlman, who Guillermo Del Toro harbors a special creative relationship with.
Director Del Toro refers to the man numerous times, and often considers Perlman his palette upon which to mold characters with. Even with adaptations, we’re taking looks in to a new world that Del Toro has concocted, and he goes in to great lengths and detail about his work on “Blade II” and the “Hellboy” movies. Del Toro explains how his development of his new breed of vampire originated from a failed pitch to direct the “I Am Legend” movie in the nineties, and how they were meant to be featured in his vampire movie “Cronos” but never featured. There are also a lot of concepts and scribbles for planned scenes, and action packed moments never included, and a very lengthy look at the anatomy of the reapers. Del Toro realized the Reapers vividly, and we gain a great idea of their existence through the notes co-author Zicree features in the book.
With “Hellboy II,” Del Toro discusses his development of the elf army, the Golden Army, and many of his creatures, including the elementals. Within the massive hard cover collection, there’s a loving introduction from Del Toro’s wife, as well as essays from collaborators like director Alfonso Cuaron, and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola who discusses scouting locations with the director, and visiting dank sewers for inspiration. We’re also allowed glimpses in to Del Toro’s personal life, with pictures of his entire house, his hallways, and corners of his office that are littered with artifacts, and note pads, as well as maquettes for creatures from his past films. To add to the fun, there’s a look at the projects that Del Toro was never able to develop, including adaptations of “The Count of Monte Cristo,” and his plans for “At the Mountains of Madness” that fans still crave to this day. “Cabinet of Curiosities” is strictly for hardcore Del Toro fans and fantasy buffs, and it’s a wonderful encyclopedic look in to one of the most original minds in film making.
In Stores October 29th. Pre-Order It Here.