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The Last Voyage Of The Demeter: How Working With Guillermo Del Toro Influenced André Øvredal - Exclusive

André Øvredal got to experience the best of both worlds as a filmmaker in 2019, first by having the opportunity to direct an adaptation of the best-selling book series "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," and second because he was collaborating on the movie with Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.

Based on Alvin Schwartz's trilogy of YA novels of the same name, the movie version of "Scary Stories" was co-produced and co-written by del Toro. In an exclusive interview with Øvredal about his new film, the horror thriller "The Last Voyage of the Demeter," Øvredal told Looper how his collaboration with del Toro forever changed his filmmaking sensibilities.

"I learned so much from him, from the precis of storytelling, the meaning of story," Øvredal said. "[I witnessed] his ability to take a step back and see what the movie is from a bird's perspective, what is this movie supposed to be, and then jump down into the details and nitty-gritty machinations of moments to help portray what a grand thing is supposed to be. [It] was astounding to be experiencing [it]."

In addition to del Toro's writing and producing duties on "Scary Stories," Øvredal said the filmmaker had his eye on the visuals for the movie as well as the creature design — an area of expertise for "The Shape of Water" and "Pan's Labyrinth" writer and director.

"He was there a lot through the design of the creatures and helped me with that. That was a masterclass in how to think and how to portray these monsters," Øvredal said. "I got his way of collaborating with people and his balance between being forceful, as a director needs to be, but gentle in the way that inspires. [It] was something to behold in a way."

Øvredal thanks del Toro in The Last Voyage of the Demeter's end credits

Four years after collaborating with Guillermo del Toro on "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," it's André Øvredal's turn to apply what he's learned from his venerable colleague when it came to creating his screen iteration of the classic monster Dracula in "The Last Voyage of the Demeter."

New in theaters, the film sets itself apart from previous screen adaptations of "Dracula" in that it solely centers on "The Captain's Log" chapter in Bram Stoker's classic novel. Starring Liam Cunningham, Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, and David Dastmalchian, the story chronicles the havoc Count Dracula (Javier Botet) wreaks upon the crew of the Demeter, a merchant schooner that is transporting the crate of the bloodthirsty vampire from Carpathia to London.

Among the people Øvredal thanks in the end credits of the film is del Toro, whom the director said he hopes to reteam with for a "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" sequel. "I'd love to [reteam with him]," Øvredal noted. "The project still exists." 

In the meantime, Øvredal said he can't wait to get del Toro's thoughts on "The Last Voyage of the Demeter."

"We talked about it at the very beginning, but then he went off and made his own two movies while I was making this — 'Nightmare Alley' and 'Pinocchio.' I don't think anybody's seen much of him the last couple of years. I haven't shown him the movie yet, but I'm hopefully about to. I'm curious to hear what he thinks."

Ironically, del Toro recently lined up a monster cast for an adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic novel "Frankenstein."

"The Last Voyage of the Demeter" is now playing in theaters.