Guillermo del Toro was William Friedkin’s back-up director on his final film

The Caine Mutiny Court Martial
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William Friedkin had completed The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial before he died – and Guillermo del Toro was on stand-by if needed.

It’s a demand from some film financiers that once directors get to their 70s and 80s, there needs to be some kind of back-up plan in place, should the filmmaker in question hit health problems during the making of a picture. We saw this previously when the late Robert Altman was making his final movie, A Prairie Road Companion, when Paul Thomas Anderson agreed to be on stand by to take over if Altman couldn’t complete the film: in the end he wasn’t used.

We lost William Friedkin just a month or so back, and he too – at the age of 87 – was on the verge of releasing his final movie. Entitled The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, it’s just debuted at the Venice Film Festival, and producer Annabelle Dunne has revealed over the weekend that Friedkin had a very able substitute in place: Guillermo del Toro.

This had been kept very under wraps, not least that del Toro was present on set on a daily basis, but in a respectful way that made clear that it was Friedkin’s movie, and not his.

Jason Clarke (pictured) and Kiefer Sutherland headline the movie, which Friedkin completed before he died. It’s set for Paramount+ later this year, and we’ll pass on details of a release date when we get them.


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