We have a big announcement from Cornelia and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro: the novelization of Pan’s Labyrinth that they’ve collaborated on, will be published in the US and UK on July 2nd, 2019! Foreign-language rights to the novel, The Labyrinth of the Faun, have already been sold to seven other countries.
Del Toro’s film Pan’s Labyrinth came out in 2006—set in 1940s Spain during the Spanish Civil War, it tells the story of a young girl named Ofelia, whose mother married a sadistic army captain, uprooting them to live with him in a remote mill at the edge of a dark forest. As Ofelia’s mother grows ill, and her stepfather’s brutality becomes more and more clear, the lines blur between fantasy & reality, fairytale & horror, dreaming & waking.
Cornelia worked with del Toro on The Labyrinth of the Faun for several years, exchanging drafts and notes. Alongside the novelization of his story, Cornelia also wrote nearly a dozen short stories, offshoots of the original tale often about characters on the periphery, which expand upon motifs from the original. Pan’s Labyrinth, Cornelia says, is not only her favorite film,
“It demonstrates what I believe to be true: that fantasy is the sharpest tool to develop and unveil all the miracles and the terrors of our reality. It is both political and timeless, a rare achievement in storytelling. My life has often given me reason to believe in magic. But when Guillermo del Toro asked me to turn my favorite movie into a novel, even I wondered whether I had entered the realm of fairy tales.”
The Labyrinth of the Faun is also the first novel Cornelia’s written down in English, from the first draft through the revising process. As many of you know from seeing Cornelia’s notebooks, typically her writing process begins with a combination of notes and illustrations, drafting the stories in German longhand in A4 notebooks. Later in the drafting process, Cornelia’s translator works with her and translates the manuscript into English. For this retelling of Pan’s Labyrinth, though, Cornelia felt it would be different. Because her first language is German, and del Toro’s is Spanish, Cornelia thought it would be most natural to work on the stories in a language she and del Toro share.
Have you seen del Toro’s 2006 film? Tell us what you’re excited for about Cornelia’s adaptation in the comments!