Academy Award winning director Guillermo del Toro signed a deal with Fox Searchlight Pictures on Tuesday. Fox Searchlight Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley made the announcement. They also said that the company will soon create a new label dedicated to horror, sci fi, and fantasy genre films, and del Toro will take the lead there.
Del Toro won two Academy Awards earlier this year for “The Shape of Water,” which was distributed by Fox Searchlight. Of the deal, he said:
“For the longest time, I’ve hoped to find an environment in which I can distribute, nurture and produce new voices in smart, inventive genre films and channel my own. In Fox Searchlight, I’ve found a real home for live action production — a partnership based on hard work, understanding of each other and, above all, faith. After the wonderful experience I had with Fox Searchlight on ‘The Shape of Water,’ I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the relationship. I am more than grateful to Nancy, Steve, David and Matthew for their trust in me and for joining me on this adventure.”
In their joint statement, Utley and Gilula said:
“Throughout the process of ‘The Shape of Water’ coming to life, we have observed first-hand Guillermo at work as a director, a writer, a producer — a creator. We believe in him and the vision for a new Searchlight label and we are eager to embark on this journey with him.”
The still-unnamed new label already has its first project in the works. Scott Cooper will direct “Antlers,” a story about “an elementary school teacher who takes in a troubled student that harbors a mysterious family secret with deadly consequences.”
The script will be written by Nick Antosca and Henry Chaisson, based on the short story “The Quiet Boy” by Nick Antosca. Guillermo Del Toro, David Goyer, and J. Miles Dale will produce, with Kevin Turen serving as executive producer.