Guillermo del Toro, the famed Mexican film director behind acclaimed flicks such as Pan's Labyrinth, has broken his silence on, er, Silent Hills in an interview with IGN. Regular readers will know that Konami ruthlessly killed the promising PlayStation 4 survival horror earlier in the year – and no one is more distraught than the Hollywood hotshot.
"The collaboration between [Metal Gear creator Hideo] Kojima and myself, the meetings, and the friendship that was developing was beautiful," he told the website. "We had an agreement on where to go. We had an agreement on how we were going to push the new platforms. We were having a blast." Then it all suddenly collapsed.
Shortly after rumours regarding Kojima's departure from Konami emerged, the publisher put up a notice stating that P.T. – the downloadable demo designed to announce Silent Hills – would be removed from the PlayStation Store. The story spiralled from there, with the publisher eventually confirming that the game had been cancelled.
"Honestly, that's what surprised me," he said of the speed at which things escalated. "It was a sort of scorched earth approach. It was not a gentle and ambiguous cancellation." The story's still running now, with the sampler wholly removed from the PlayStation Store, preventing anyone from re-downloading it or even Share Playing it.
But what did the duo actually have in mind for the game before it was so abruptly culled? "What we wanted to do with the title – and we were very much in agreement on this – was to take the technology and make it as cutting-edge as we could in creating terror in the house. The idea was very, very atmosphere-drenched," he explained.
"But what made Silent Hill so great was that you had the atmosphere but then you had a pay-off with a very active, very intense series of moments. We wanted to do some stuff that I'm pretty sure – just in case it ever comes back, which honestly I would love for somebody to change their mind and we can do it – but in case it comes back there was some stuff that was very new, and I wouldn't want to spoil it."
In other words: we'll probably never truly know the extent of what the directors had planned. And with this being the second title that Del Toro has seen cancelled – the other being THQ's ill-fated inSane – he doesn't know whether he'll be taking a third stab. "I've tried twice and I don't know if I'll ever come back to the form," he sighed.
Is this the part where we collectively dig out our pitchforks and start chanting obscenities at Konami's headquarters? It'd certainly make us feel a whole lot better.