Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 16:18 UK

Del Toro signs four-picture deal

Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo Del Toro's other films include the Oscar-winning Pan's Labyrinth

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has signed a four-picture deal with film studio Universal that will keep him occupied for the next decade.

The Hellboy director will remake Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Frankenstein and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.

According to Variety, though, the deal will probably begin with a film of the Charles Dickens-inspired novel Drood.

Before that, however, del Toro has to direct two films based on The Hobbit and other works by JRR Tolkien.

Produced by New Line and MGM, the Lord of the Rings prequels will be del Toro's main priority for the next four years.


After that he will devote himself exclusively to Universal, producer of his most recent film Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

The director said he saw the agreement as "the renewal of my marital vows with Universal".

"Guillermo is in the most prolific time of his life," said Donna Langley, Universal's president of production.

"We came out the other side of some tough conversations with a stronger bond and sense of long-term commitment."

Scheduled for publication in 2009, Dan Simmons' novel Drood offers a fictional interpretation of the life of Charles Dickens as he prepared to write his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Slaughterhouse Five, in which a prisoner in a German POW camp during World War II travels through time and space, was previously filmed in 1972.

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