Having won an Academy Award for their collaboration on “The Shape of Water,” Fox Searchlight Pictures and director Guillermo del Toro have signed a development deal that will include a new genre label to serve as a home for horror, sci-fi and fantasy projects.
Films under the new label will be financed, marketed and distributed by Fox Searchlight, company co-presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley said in their announcement. The name of the label will be announced later, but Searchlight said it would include projects produced and curated by del Toro.
The first movie in the pipeline will be “Antlers,” a story about an elementary school teacher who takes in a troubled student, based on the short story “The Quiet Boy” by Nick Antosca. The project will be directed by Scott Cooper, writer/director of “Hostiles.” Del Toro is one of the producers on the movie.
The studio’s deal with del Toro also covers live-action feature projects that the Oscar-winning filmmaker will write, produce and direct.
“As well as being a brilliant filmmaker, Guillermo is a passionate collaborator, curator and advocate for other artists,” said David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield, co-heads of production at the studio. “Working with him on this new label, focused on the highest-quality projects in the genre space, allows Searchlight to expand our reach to new filmmakers and new audiences around the world.”
“The Shape of Water” won four Oscars, including for best picture and director. Searchlight financed and distributed the movie, which has grossed more than $190 million worldwide.
Del Toro made his name in the horror and fantasy genres with movies like “Cronos” and “Mimic.” He later crossed over into the mainstream with “Hellboy,” “Pacific Rim” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.”
In a statement, the director 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.”