Soon after Bob and Harvey Weinstein left the Walt Disney Co.’s Miramax Films in 2005, Guillermo del Toro rang up the parent studio. The “Hellboy” filmmaker wanted to know from Disney which movies the Weinsteins were taking with them and which they were leaving behind.
Having clashed with the brothers in directing 1997’s “Mimic,” Del Toro had no interest in collaborating with the Weinsteins again, but he very much wanted to mount a remake of the 1973 TV movie “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” which had been in development at Miramax for several years, at one point with James Wan ("Saw") penciled in to direct.
Lucky for Del Toro, the Weinsteins left it behind. “I got it back, read it, and was still in love with it,” said Del Toro, who had personally optioned the remake rights to the 1973 original.
The feature film, opening Friday and being released by FilmDistrict, was ultimately produced and co-written by Del Toro, who closely mentored first-time feature director Troy Nixey. It’s taken Del Toro more than a decade to bring the film to theaters -- “I was shepherding this movie at every step,” the Mexican-born director said -- but he says the effort was worth it.
“I think it’s academically spooky,” he said. “It has nothing to do with hard-core gore.” To read more about the film and Nixey's feature directing debut, go here.
-- John Horn
Photo: Katie Holmes, right, and Bailee Madison star in "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark." Credit: Carolyn Johns / Miramax Film Corp.