And he has retained a highly contagious passion for every aspect of filmmaking. He refuses to start using a 2nd unit camera team, preferring to oversee every shot with trusty cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, who has shot all of his movies.
On projects he hopes to shoot in the future:
And if you’re very lucky he’ll show you his constant companion, a dog-eared notebook stuffed with intricate sketches of past, present and future films. Highlights include demon drawings from Mephisto’s Bridge (a 15-year-old del Toro script about a Faustian doppleganger) recycled into Hellboy II; and concept art for dream projects like satanic Sherlock Holmes mystery The List of 7 and H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains Of Madness, about the discovery of a lost civilisation in Antarctica.
Pages from his scrapbook related to Hellboy II are online.
On the connection between his childhood and his choice of material:
I saw my first corpse at four, I worked next door to a morgue as a teenager, I’ve had guns put to my head and seen people killed in front of me. That’s why I turned down directing Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban and The Chronicles Of Narnia – I don’t understand youth because I’ve never had one.
Hellboy II closes the LA Film Festival tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to it as he's a consummate visual stylist.