Guillermo del Toro Signs Exclusive Deal With DreamWorks Animation

The Oscar-winning filmmaker will write, produce and direct animated family films for the studio.
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Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro has signed a multiyear exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation to write, produce and direct animated family films for the studio.

As part of the arrangement, del Toro has taken up offices at the Glendale, California, campus. 

This is the latest deal for the filmmaker, who is coming off numerous Oscar wins for The Shape of Water and who earlier this month signed an overall deal with Fox Searchlight to write, produce and direct live-action feature projects.

"Animation is an art form that has influenced my work greatly since childhood," del Toro said Thursday in a statement. "To me, it's the perfect medium to bring to life any and all ideas, no matter how outlandish or wild. I am eager to work with [DWA Film Group president] Chris [deFaria] and the talented artists at DreamWorks — some of the most talented people in the business — to make these images a reality. I have worked with DreamWorks for about a decade, and the horizon just keeps getting wider."  

Del Toro already has a strong relationship with DWA on both the feature and television sides. The filmmaker acted as a creative consultant for Kung Fu Panda 2 and Megamind, and other input earned him executive producer credits on Rise of the GuardiansPuss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda 3. With DreamWorks Animation Television, he is the creator and executive producer of Trollhunters, which airs on Netflix, and has two other series in the works.  

According to DWA, del Toro's involvement with the film division will extend beyond movie projects to also include working with deFaria and the studio's many artists and technologists "on some of the company's innovative pilot programs that are developing groundbreaking techniques for advancing storytelling on multiple content platforms."

When deFaria was an executive at Warner Bros., he and del Toro worked on several projects together, including 2013's Pacific Rim. In talking to The Hollywood Reporter, the exec noted that while del Toro's previous arrangement was more on an individual basis, the new deal means "he's going to be with us all the time. He's going to have exposure to us and we will have exposure to him and his unique ideas all the time."

DeFaria added that he hopes this is the first of many deals, as he wants DreamWorks Animation "to be a home for artists who have terrific voices."