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Walt Disney Studios announces collaboration with Guillermo del Toro

September 11, 2009 |  2:19 pm

K3rmxencDELTORO Walt Disney Studios and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro are forming a new production company, Disney Double Dare You, to create animated films with a spooky edge.

Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook announced the partnership today in a star-studded presentation to the D23 Expo fan convention that brought actors Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, and directors Tim Burton and Robert Zemeckis, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and singer and actress Miley Cyrus on stage at a packed auditorium at the Anaheim Convention Center. 

Del Toro, who is in New Zealand doing pre-production on the forthcoming film "The Hobbit,"  delivered a recorded presentation in which he said he hopes to create animated films in the chilling spirit of one of his favorite Disney theme park attractions, "The Haunted Mansion."  The first project is called "Trollhunters."

"I love to take audiences into fantastic new world and provide them with some anxious moments in the process," Del Toro said. "It is part of the Disney canon to create thrilling, unforgettable moments in the process. It is part of the Disney canon to create thrilling, unforgettable moments and villains in all their classic films. It is my privilege for Double Dare You to continue in this tradition."

It is unclear how many films the acclaimed director of "Pan's Labyrinth" and the comic-book inspired "Hellboy" Del Toro is committing to make under the partnership with Disney -- or when he'll find the time. He is committed to directing two "Hobbit" films for Warner Bros./New Line Cinema and MGM, which are scheduled for release in 2011 and 2012.

--Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Writer/director Guillermo del Toro puts the finishing touches on Brian Steele as Cronie Troll on the set of the 2008 movie "Hellboy II: The Golden Army." Credit: Universal Pictures