It’s not uncommon for a major studio to sign an overall deal with a filmmaker with whom it’s found success, and Fox Searchlight just signed one such deal with Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, just one month after his film The Shape of Water won four Oscars including Best Picture. Searchlight clearly loved working with Guillermo and who can blame them?
The deal with cover live-action feature films that either written, produced and/or directed by the filmmaker with a new yet-to-be-named label to be created for those films. Presumably, this label will be the home for horror, sci-fi and fantasy films that will be curated and produced by del Toro and financed, marketed and distributed by Fox Searchlight.
The first film under this deal is ANTLERS, about an elementary school teacher who takes in a troubled student that harbors a mysterious family secret with deadly consequences. That’s the latest film from Hostiles and Black Mass director Scott Cooper, working from a script by Nick Antosca & Henry Chaisson, based on Nick Antosca’s short story “The Quiet Boy.” Del Toro, David Goyer, and J. Miles Dale are producing the film with Kevin Turen as exec. producer.
In a statement, del Toro said, “For the longest time, I’ve hoped to find an environment in which I can distribute, nurture, and produce new voices in smart, inventive genre films and channel my own. In Fox Searchlight, I’ve found a real home for live-action production — a partnership based on hard work, understanding of each other and, above all, faith. After the wonderful experience I had with Fox Searchlight on ‘The Shape of Water,’ I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the relationship.”
Fox Searchlight Pictures presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley added their own statement while announcing the deal. “Throughout the process of ‘The Shape of Water’ coming to life, we have observed first-hand Guillermo at work as a director, a writer, a producer — a creator. We believe in him and the vision for a new Searchlight label and we are eager to embark on this journey with him.”
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor