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Guillermo del Toro was William Friedkin’s backup director on The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

Guillermo del Toro was William Friedkin’s backup director on The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

William Friedkin personally requested that Guillermo del Toro be his backup director on The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.

While it is unfortunate that director William Friedkin could not be in attendance for the world premiere of what turned out to be his final film, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, that hasn’t stopped behind-the-scenes stories from coming out. As revealed at the Venice International Film Festival, none other than Guillermo del Toro was on set as Friedkin’s backup director.

Speaking in Venice (as per Variety), producer Annabelle Dunne said, “That’s very common, Hollywood is ageist.” She added that she ran the idea by Friedkin ahead of filming The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, who mulled it over before telling her, “Ok, honey I have the guy. Get a pen: it’s Guillermo Del Toro, you got that?” According to Dunne, del Toro was adamant about being on set every day, no matter what his duties were (or weren’t). “It was joy for all of us, including the actors, to have his presence there…He made it abundantly clear it was Billy’s movie. He said he was our mascot.”

While it may be more about insurance than being a case of ageism, older directors do sometimes have younger ones on standby. As it happens, it’s often someone who is a friend that doubles as a massive fan. del Toro taking the job for The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial partly stems from his love of Friedkin’s The Exorcist, while a comparison can be made to Paul Thomas Anderson serving as the backup director on what became Robert Altman’s final film, A Prairie Home Companion, as PTA has often cited Altman as one of his key influences. Altman passed away just months after A Prairie Home Companion was released. Friedkin died in August from heart failure and pneumonia.

Upon Friedkin’s death, del Toro posted on social media, “The world has lost one of the Gods of Cinema…Cinema has lost a true Scholar and I have lost a dear, loyal and true friend. William Friedkin has left us. We were blessed to have him.”

Unfortunately – considering the contributions William Friedkin made throughout his 50+-year career – The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial will not be released in theaters. Instead, it will be available on Paramount+ next year. It will also be a posthumous release for actor Lance Reddick.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/guillermo-del-toro-was-william-friedkins-backup-director-on-the-caine-mutiny-court-martial/

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