At the 2018 Academy Awards, Guillermo del Toro’s most recent directorial effort, The Shape of Water, swept the nominations board with 13 nods to its name, ultimately taking home 4 awards, most notably in the Best Director and Best Picture categories.
While The Shape of Water is categorised as an American production, this was nonetheless a big moment for the Canadian film industry too, as it was entirely shot in Ontario, and all 3 recipients of the Academy Award for Best Production Design were Canadian.
It goes without saying then that Del Toro not only brought significant exposure to the Canadian film industry, but also a great deal of opportunities to the Ontario region. Del Toro even graciously acknowledged the hard work and sublime results produced by the Canadian work force at a Q&A for which I was present, following a screening at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. In fact, a scene had even been shot in the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre, the very theatre in which we sat.
Del Toro’s clear reverence for the Canadian film industry (and its accompanying tax incentives, no doubt) carry over to his latest feature as story writer and producer, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Once again, del Toro teams up with Canadian producer J. Miles Dale, with whom he shared the award for Best Picture in 2018, to adapt the children’s horror book series by Alvin Schwartz.
Shot in St. Thomas, Ontario, the horror flick is being directed by acclaimed Norwegian director André Øvredal, best known for his work on Trollhunter and The Autopsy of Jane Doe.
A teaser was aired during the Super Bowl a number of weeks ago, and with the recent release of a full-length trailer, it’s become clear that this is very much the type of fare fans have come to expect from projects, particularly of the horror variety, with del Toro attached.
One can only hope that del Toro’s ongoing relationship with the Canadian film industry is a long and prosperous one, as a figure of his stature can only draw further attention to Canada as a hub for big budget filmmaking.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is set to release on August 19.