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After 30 years of success, the “Shape of Water” director is turning his attention to helping upcoming genre filmmakers.

Guillermo del Toro is having quite the month, earning rave reviews for “Pinocchio” while “Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” streams on Netflix.

The anthology series has prompted plenty of debate among horror fans, but has also received heaps of praise for the creative freedom it gave to both established and up-and-coming directors. In a forthcoming interview with IndieWire’s Eric Kohn, del Toro spoke about the importance of mentoring new horror filmmakers, and how the Netflix anthology series gives him the perfect platform to do it.

“All of my career even at the earlier stages has been about supporting the community,” del Toro said. “The more you have agency the more you can support it. So I could support Jorge Gutierrez with ‘Book of Life’ or Andy Muscetti with ‘Mammal’ or Juan Antonio Bayona with ‘Orphanage.’ But with an anthology you can support eight filmmakers in one fell swoop. We created an arena where we basically said, look, you have full control. Even if you disagree with me, you can disagree with me, but I’m going to give you every possible support so you can create with one hour in an ideal conditions. I enjoy that role because some of the filmmakers had less than optimal experiences; others were obscure filmmakers to some degree. Look, I’m 58 and I have a 30 year career. It’s a miracle that you can last three decades as a storyteller. If I can do something to usher in a variation of the genre, I like it. It was absolute madness to make this series.”

Following the success of the show’s debut season, del Toro is already thinking ahead to the directors that he wants to bring on board for Season 2 if the series is renewed.

“I have a list,” he said. “For example, we tried to get Jayro Bustamente before and he couldn’t because of COVID. When you think about Mexican filmmakers, there’s Isaa Lopez. She was going to direct one of the episodes when she got ‘True Detective’ and she couldn’t do it. Boots Riley wrote and was going to direct one episode and he got his series greenlit. I could go and spoil the entire second season for you, but I’m not going to do that.”

He continued: “Larry Fessenden is one hundred percent at the very very top of my list for a second list. Larry is one of those names that back in the days of the Spirit Awards I fought for him to be nominated with ‘Habit,’ which I think is phenomenal. I’ve been in touch with him since then. We were very close to remaking ‘The Orphanage.’”

Though del Toro has yet to direct any “Cabinet of Curiosities,” fans will still get to see his writing talents utilized in Season 2. The Oscar winner explained that he still wants a creative role in the series, even as he cedes more control to different filmmakers.

“I would like to write the opening and closing stories for the next season and leave the middle to others,” he said. “What I do is I curate stories that have not been done that could land well with the director. For example,’The Autopsy’ was a story revered among horror readers but was not well known and deemed unadaptable. So I said let’s adapt it.”

Reporting by Eric Kohn. Stay tuned for the full interview with Guillermo del Toro, which is coming soon.

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