As the beef between him and Michael Bay finally seems quelled, Guillermo del Toro can return to doing what he does best – namely, keeping a dozen projects in the air simultaneously. “Pinocchio,” "The Secret Garden,” and others are all waiting for his stamp of approval, but now a new cable project promises an influence that del Toro has yet to fully adapt – manga.
The art form has certainly wound its way into many directors’ recent films (“Looper,” “Chronicle,” “Sucker Punch”), and now – speaking of Rian Johnson’s sci-fi actioner – del Toro is teaming with HBO to develop a project that sounds like an alternate hunt for the Rainmaker. “Monster,” an 18-volume series by author Naoki Urasawa, tells the story of a young doctor’s search for the most evil sociopath alive, who then turns out to be – yep, a 12-year-old boy. He decides to spare the boy’s life, but in doing so, creates a domino effect that could lead to a plot of mass genocide.
Del Toro will co-write the story with “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” writer Steven Thompson, and also plans to direct the pilot. Interestingly, “Monster” was originally set up, with Urasawa onboard for a feature film version, over at New Line, but after the sprawling story proved too difficult to wrangle into 2 hours, the effort faded. (It has also already been adapted into an anime series).
The director was persistent though, persuading Urasawa to keep the faith, and with his “In The Mountains of Madness” producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford present and ready here as well, it would appear patience has paid off. There’s no production or premiere date set yet, but as with all of del Toro’s myriad projects, keep a close eye. [Deadline]