The Haunted Mansion
“It’s been a thrill for me because I’ve been able to walk on foot through the entire Haunted Mansion attraction, and take my notes and have access to all the original artwork. I’m very enthusiastic about that movie.
"Matthew Robbins and I finished the screenplay and we are going to deliver it to Disney, we already showed them the conceptual work for the characters and the mansion about a month and a half ago.
"At the spirit of it, I want to reflect the E-Ticket rides at Disneyland: incredibly exciting, incredibly thrilling, fun but not in that comedic way. Definitely 100% not a comedy – it’s a haunted house movie. It should be really spooky like the mansion!”
“ Frankenstein is sort of strange – all I have are my notes.
"It’s a little bit like Pan’s Labyrinth , which was in my notes for many many years in many versions and I kept accumulating notes and notes and notes… and finally, I just decided to write it at once and do it.
"Frankenstein is even more daunting. It’s a bit like Mountains of Madness , this movie is sort of a peak for me to reach.
"I’m really not trying to be falsely modest, but I think I need to get better as a director. I don’t think I’m ready yet, I’m being completely candid now.
"Each movie, for me, I learn something. I make a point to learn something narratively, technically. I’m going to need every single tool I can get.
"All I want to say is that this story has never been told the way I’m telling it.
"The novel is so complex and the ideal way of doing Frankenstein would be as a four, five part gigantic miniseries. It really is almost impossible to compress and I think from a literary point of view, from a storytelling point of view, the movie I’m planning to do is a very daring and perhaps a little crazy track.”
Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
“I would really love to write and produce that one.
"When people talk about addiction, they talk about the dark, moralistic aspects of addiction, which is very real - how it harms lives, how it really is incredibly enslaving.
"But the one aspect of addiction that lies in the tale of Jekyll And Hyde is that it must be thrilling and horribly liberating to become Hyde during Victorian times.
"I think that I would like to tackle the dark aspects of it but also the exhilarating aspect of Jekyll turning into Hyde and the spiritual and emotional hangover of the morning after - the ‘what have I done?’ aspect of it.
"Visually, I think it can be done differently than it has ever been done before.”
“This is the biggest project I have ever made in scope and in ambition; it really is very ambitious from a conceptual point of view and ambitious from a production point of view.
"I am under duress not to disclose much about it but it is a gigantic project...”
“We got the highest compliment from Lucy Dahl, Roald Dahl’s widow.
"She said to us it was ‘the most beautiful adaptation of my husband’s work’.
"I tried to be very faithful to the book to the point that I was literally having a page-by-page reading as I was writing the screenplay and marking the pages…
"It was very different from other adaptations I have done.
"It was such an important book for me growing up that I wanted people to not only recognise but be almost flabbergasted at how faithful the movie was to the book.
And that includes a very touching, tender relationship between the boy and his grandma and some of the most Roald Dahl-esque shocking moments with the witches.
"The rhyming and singing of the witches, talking about broiling and boiling the boys – the more disturbing aspects.
"I want to preserve the pathos and the darkness of the piece and that’s why it’s taking so long because it’s very hard sometimes for Hollywood to wrap around their head, ‘oh, it’s a classical children’s tale that includes dark aspects.’”
Saturn And The End of Days
“That one is funny, every time I can, I write one or two or three pages.
"It’s been with me for many years.
"I wrote in one sitting the opening twenty, thirty, pages in a day and a night but then I can sit for a morning in front of a computer and everything I write doesn’t work.
"When I find: ‘Oh! This is the solution for the next scene!’ – I write almost beat by beat. I write two pages every x number of months, but I’m not in a hurry, I control that one.
"It’ll be a European movie, it won’t be an American movie.
"I want to make it a small, very controlled production that I don’t have to get any input about a happy ending.
"It’s the story of a child that witnesses the end of days from the window of his apartment.
"It sounds like a strange conceit but it’s really fascinating and very emotional. It’s a micro-apocalypse.”
“I delivered my pages to the studio and right now I’m co-writing the draft with a screenplay writer I admire at Dreamworks called Tom Wheeler who wrote Puss In Boots , which I am executive producing.
“I am co-directing with Rodrigo Blaas, a Spanish animator.
"I wanna make an adventure movie for kids, where the kids are not just movie kids, they talk and react like real kids.
"They are not fake-smart with a great one-liner for everything, they are really troubled, they are really ambivalent.
"I want to try to get the complexities of childhood into an adventure movie.”