Exclusive Interview: Guillermo del Toro Discusses Director's Cut of Mimic and More!
It's difficult to say which is harder to believe: the fact that it has really been more than 14 years now since Mimic first hit theaters (making this writer feel incredibly old) or that it's actually taken that entire time for Guillermo del Toro to finally be able to release a cut of the film that is 100 percent his artistic vision and not Miramax's, the studio behind the film's initial mishandling.
For those of you who may never had heard about any of the controversy surrounding Mimic when it was released back in 1997, then now is as good a time as any to get you caught up. At the time, del Toro was an up-and-coming director from Mexico who had been hired by Bob and Harvey Weinstein to direct his first project within the studio system here in the States.
And while del Toro had proven the strength of his storytelling abilities with his inaugural feature film Cronos, it seems that the Weinsteins were never inclined to trust his approach for Mimic even from the start. See, del Toro had more of a character study style horror flick in mind while Bob and Harvey wanted more of an action-packed creature feature to unleash on movie-going audiences. So when everything was said and done, the theatrical version of Mimic was vastly differed from what del Toro had hoped for due to Miramax replacing a good amount of the footage he planned with more action-heavy sequences and unnecessary jump scares, leaving a lot of the story-driven moments of Mimic on the cutting room floor.
And while there is a fair amount of people who enjoyed the original Mimic (like this writer), it has remained one of those “what could have been” kind of projects for both del Toro and his legions of fans for many years now; would the movie have fared better had del Toro’s approach been upheld, or was it always destined to be a troubled project from a director who was only beginning to wield his cinematic prowess? It’s something that’s always been hard to tell…that is, until now.
Once Miramax was no longer under the thumb of the Weinsteins, del Toro made his move and took back Mimic in order to create a version of the film that would be the closest we’d ever get to experiencing the director’s original vision. And now that it has finally made its bow onto Blu-ray shelves and online retailers everywhere, Mimic: The Director's Cut (review here) is something of a landmark both within the genre world as well as for other filmmakers everywhere who have also struggled with studio interference throughout the years.
In honor of del Toro's arduous efforts to gain control back of the film so he could release a cut that was satisfying to both himself and his fans, Dread Central recently chatted with the visionary filmmaker for an exclusive in-depth interview discussing the brand new director's cut of Mimic and why it was so important for him to get control of this project even after so much time had passed. Del Toro also shared his thoughts on familial themes that seem to pop up in almost all of his films, his approach to creating engaging movie commentaries for fans and filmmakers alike and so much more.
As a filmmaker, del Toro understands that being able to take criticism on your work comes with the territory and over the years as he continued to add more projects to his resume, he discussed how Mimic always loomed over his legacy as the only movie he never truly felt even he could defend to its critics throughout the years. Del Toro explained, "I'm someone who is okay with the fact that someone may not like a movie that I make. I'm comfortable with that; what I wasn't comfortable with was saying that I was truly happy with all of my movies, because I wasn't. I'll be honest and admit that there are definitely some of my movies that I love more than others and Mimic had always been something I was never crazy about. It was the only one of my films that I just could never defend, but now that we've released the Blu-ray, I can finally say that I'm happy with this movie."
"It's not my original true vision for Mimic because that's just something that would never happen- there were just a lot of scenes that we weren't able to shoot and more changes that happened beyond that, but what I can say is that this version is better than the theatrical one and I'm incredibly happy with how it turned out," added del Toro.