The Big Picture
- Guillermo Del Toro was excited to explore the concept of Tatooine’s underworld in a Star Wars movie but the project never moved forward.
- Del Toro saw the experience as a learning opportunity and expressed gratitude for the chance to design and develop a great world.
- After the project fell through, Del Toro went on to find success with his film The Shape of Water and entered a new stage of his career.
The galaxy far, far away has had plenty of filmmakers involved in the creation of its mythology, but it almost saw Guillermo Del Toro at the front of a Star Wars movie. While Lucasfilm never placed the project into motion, the filmmaker was excited to explore a very special corner of the universe created by George Lucas. During the Q&A at Collider’s 10th anniversary screening of Pacific Rim in IMAX 3D, the director spoke with our Editor-in-chief Steve Weintraub about the Jabba the Hutt movie he was working on with screenwriter David S. Goyer:
“We had the rise and fall of Jabba the Hutt, so I was super happy. We were doing a lot of stuff, and then it’s not my property, it’s not my money, and then it’s one of those 30 screenplays that goes away. Sometimes I’m bitter, sometimes I’m not. I always turn to my team and say, “Good practice, guys. Good practice. We designed a great world. We designed great stuff. We learned.” You can never be ungrateful with life. Whatever life sends you, there’s something to be learned from it. So, you know, I trust the universe, I do. When something doesn’t happen, I go, “Why?” I try to have a dialogue with myself. “Why didn’t it happen?” And the more you swim upstream with the universe, the less you’re gonna realize where you’re going.”
While Del Toro seemed very excited about the prospect of getting to play in the Star Wars sandbox, the film didn’t move forward with its development. Negotiations happened during the time when the studio was hopeful about expanding the franchise with spinoffs made for theatrical release. The only ones that became a reality were Rogue One, which showed the story of how the Rebel Alliance stole the Death Star plans, and Solo, the famous smuggler’s origin story starring Alden Ehrenreich.
The director didn’t get to explain how one of the galaxy’s most famous warlords fell from his position of power, as he moved on towards working on stories such as The Shape of Water. The romantic tale about a creature from the depths falling in love with Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) went on to earn thirteen Academy Awards nominations, taking home four prizes, including Best Director and Best Picture. Everything worked out in the end for Del Toro, as he entered a new stage of his career after developing the world of Jabba.
‘Star Wars’ Moves Towards Television
While Rogue One managed to take in more than a billion dollars at the worldwide box office, Solo wasn’t so lucky, leaving plenty to be desired out of its performance when it was released in 2018. The money loss by Han Solo’ origin story made Disney cancel the rest of the spinoffs it had planned for theatrical release. As an alternative, the company focused on creating television series based on the franchise, including The Mandalorian and Andor. It remains to be seen if Guillermo Del Toro could try to work on Star Wars again at some point in the future.
Look for a lot more from our Q&A with del Toro soon.