Del Toro to helm animated Day of the Dead

Guillermo del Toro may have quite a lot of projects lined up, including Pacific Rim, but that obviously hasn’t stopped him from signing up to helm an animated Day of the Dead.

Reel FX will be making the film, which is slated to be directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez, the co-creator of Nickelodeon’s El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, and produced by Aaron Berger and Carina Schulze.

The script was penned by Gutierrez and Doug Langdale, and is described by the Hollywood Reporter as a Romeo & Juliet-style love story set against the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.

According to reports, music is expected to be a big part of the film, with Reel FX hoping to clinch deals with major pop stars for the soundtrack.

“Jorge has a unique aesthetic and sense of humor,” Del Toro said in a statement. 

“[And] Day of the Dead is a colorful, vibrant, vital fable… The object of the tale is not only to talk about life but to jolt us – into living to the fullest.” 

Del Toro – whose last Mexican feature was 1993’s Cronos – is currently juggling a number of projects such as Pacific Rim, Rise of the Guardians, Mama, Midnight Delivery, Pinocchio, Trollhunters, The Haunted Mansion, Alma, Beauty and the Beast, Drood, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Witches, and of course, the indefinitely postponed Mountains of Madness. 

Although most of these projects are currently in script stage, Reel FX is planning to release Day of the Dead in fall 2014. 

Personally, I think the movie could be fun if it adopts a dark and surreal atmosphere like The Crow: City of Angels did around the Day of the Dead. There is certainly enough material, characters and mythology to work with, as Día de Muertos can be traced back to an ancient Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. So here’s to hoping it is more noir than kitsch!