He writes, directs and produces movies and TV shows, pens novels and memoirs -- and now Guillermo del Toro may be setting his sights on the stage.
Last night (Sunday, Jan. 26) at the 56th annual Grammy Awards, legendary singer/songwriter Paul Williams spoke to the press backstage after winning a Grammy for his vocal and writing contributions to electronic dance music duo Daft Punk's smash CD Random Access Memories.
Williams is beloved for composing classic pop songs like "Rainy Days and Mondays" and "An Old-Fashioned Love Song" but is perhaps best known to genre fans for playing the orangutan Virgil in 1973's Battle for the Planet of the Apes and the evil music producer Swan in 1974's Phantom of the Paradise, Brian De Palma's rock version of The Phantom of the Opera, for which Williams also wrote all the songs.
Phantom of the Paradise has become a cult favorite over the years, and Williams mentioned during his remarks to the press last night that the members of Daft Punk were huge fans of the film. He also stated that he's working with another fanatical Phantom fan, Guillermo del Toro (who owns the Phantom's actual helmet from the film), and this is what he revealed they're collaborating on:
"I'm writing a musical based on Pan's Labyrinth with Guillermo del Toro, and my whole relationship with Guillermo del Toro is based on his love for Phantom of the Paradise. I'm writing that with Gustavo Santaolalla, who's a brilliant, brilliant composer from Argentina."
Pan's Labyrinth is del Toro's 2006 film about a little girl who deals with the horrors of post-civil-war Spain by escaping into a fantasy world that is both enchanting and dangerous. The movie won three Academy Awards (it was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Foreign Language Film), was widely praised around the world and is considered one of del Toro's finest efforts.
Whether or not it has the makings of a great stage musical is another matter -- anyone remember the disastrous musical of Carrie that was one of Broadway's biggest bombs? But apparently del Toro wants to try. He, himself, has said nothing about the project; Williams' comment was the first time anyone's apparently revealed its existence. The other fellow Williams mentioned is a film composer who won back-to-back Academy Awards -- in 2005 for his Brokeback Mountain score and in 2006 for Babel -- so del Toro clearly wants some master composers working on this thing.
We'll keep our eyes on this one, but in the meantime, do you think Pan's Labyrinth would translate to the stage as a musical, or does this have the makings of a flop?