The career of director Guillermo del Toro is an incredibly impressive one, especially if you’re as big of a fanboy as del Toro is himself. With movies like Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth, Cronos, and the upcoming The Shape of Water under his belt–not to mention The Strain novel series and its TV adaptation–he essentially gets to create his own geeky franchises, while also playing with his favorite properties.
That doesn’t mean the director has no regrets, though. During a TimesTalks interview, del Toro recalls the one thing he wishes he didn’t turn down: Universal’s Dark Universe. Before Tom Cruise starred in The Mummy, which flopped at the box office, and The Bride of Frankenstein was put on an indefinite hiatus, Universal Studios had big hopes for its relaunch of the classic monster movies. Those hopes centered around none other than del Toro.
“I’ve said no to things that are enormous and I’ve never looked back. The only time I repent I didn’t do something was in 2007, when Universal in an incredibly gentle and beautiful manner said, ‘Do you want to take over the Monster Universe?'” the director remembers. “And they gave me the reins of several properties, and I didn’t do it. That I repent. So this is a confessional moment, I repent. That’s the only thing.”
Given how what’s been seen of the Dark Universe has turned out, it’s not hard to blame del Toro for that particular regret. With his adoration of the horror genre and unique style of storytelling, the possibility of a franchise of monster movies with del Toro as the architect sounds like a dream.
Sadly, it never came to pass. Then again, given how the current universe has turned out, who’s to say they can’t reboot the movies again and try to correct the course? If Spider-Man can start over several times, so can Count Dracula.