Guillermo Del Toro Gives Exclusive Peek Inside His ‘Cabinet Of Curiosities’

The visionary filmmaker reveals the secrets behind two of the book's most striking images.

For the past three years, director Guillermo del Toro has been combing through his personal archives of notes, drawings and collection of strange effects to create a one-of-a-kind look into the imaginative filmmaker’s world.

The result is the gorgeous, 260-page “Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions.” When we spoke with del Toro about whittling down 400 pages of notes, he shared a little more insight into two specific images from the book, which hits shelves October 29.

“Fear At the Foot of the Bed”
“I had a thing as a child called ‘lucid dreaming.’ I would wake up in the middle of the night, dreaming that I was in the room that I was asleep in. It looked normal, but I would see things. The image of something at the foot of my bed or from behind the armoire kept repeating until the point where I saw this faun-like creature coming behind the armoire in my grandmother’s house. That was a big inspiration for the faun in ‘Pan’s Labyrinth.’ It really is a primal image for me because this creature is smiling, which makes it even creepier, and it has no face, which is something that I find particularly scary. It sends me right back to those childhood fears.”

“The Left Hand of Darkness”
“I was approached by Roman Coppola back in the early ’90s to co-write with Kit Carson a Western version of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo.’ I started thinking about how interesting it would be to look into the soulless, mechanical aspects of revenge. I thought the perfect representation of that would be a mechanical hand that fuses with a gun, a sort of steam punk Western universe. I worked on it for about a decade, and in 1997, 1998 when my father was kidnapped, one of the things I did obsessively was rewrite that screenplay to stay sane. It fell into all of the feelings of anger and revenge fantasies that come from being in the middle of a kidnapping. It is to this day one of the projects I would love to do. Legendary came very close to financing that. They were torn between financing that or ‘Crimson Peak.’ I still have a lot of hope for that to happen.”

Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.
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