Exclusive Interview: Guillermo del Toro Discusses Director's Cut of Mimic and More!
The director went on to talk about just why it took so long for him to regain control of Mimic even though the Weinsteins had been out of the picture at Miramax since 2005. "I had been following the ownership of Miramax very carefully and especially so when it was first announced that Disney was looking to sell it. So as soon as the sale was announced, I had a meeting within a week to talk about doing a director's cut of Mimic. Surprisingly, it took a lot of convincing on my part to get the powers-that-be on board with this cut and release of the film because they weren't sure about it so when they finally agreed to let me do this, about four years had passed."
Del Toro added, "But this is one movie that I had always wanted to revisit for a long time, and even though I have a crazy workload already with so many other current projects, I knew I had to take my time with it so everything would look the best it possibly could. From the beginning, it took about two years for me to complete the Director's Cut of Mimic. We didn’t work on it all the time, but it definitely took a while to track all the material down at first from the Miramax archives. Then, I had to very carefully go through every single piece of footage we had as I put together my edit of Mimic to make sure we had what we needed to do this properly." Gathering footage was only one piece of the massive storytelling puzzle for del Toro, and he discussed how sound design and color timing were just as integral to a successful Director's Cut of Mimic as the scenes that never made it in the theatrical version.
"Sound was another huge aspect here because not only did we have to do sound design on all the new footage, we also had to recreate parts of the score and get everything to match up once the cut was assembled," said del Toro. " We also originally designed Mimic for 360 degrees of sound for the theatrical release because we always wanted a very bold, very active sound with the murmurs of insects surrounding you as you're watching it. But I knew when we started this process that we'd need to approach our sound differently for the Blu-ray because how you listen to movies in your home is very different than how you listen to them in theaters so we had to dial some of that back. But despite the changes, I still think Mimic sounds stunning, especially when watching it at home."
"Color timing on this was incredibly important as well. If you've seen any of my movies, then you know that I work within particular color palettes, and Mimic how it originally was released didn’t really reflect any of that. This version does, and I think this presentation actually revitalizes the film in some ways because the movie still looks good despite its age, and the visual and audio improvements give it a contemporary feel now. I spend a lot of time when shooting my movies lavishing a lot of details on the way things look, and with Mimic I probably spent far more time worrying about how the insects looked than a lot of other things in the film. In fact, when we were shooting, Mira joked with me that because of the amount of time and attention we spent on creating these insects that she thought I was pretty much on the side of the bugs throughout the story. And maybe I was…just a little bit," joked del Toro.