Guillermo Del Toro Acted as Back-Up Director for William Friedkin’s ‘The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,’ Producer Reveals at Venice Launch

Guillermo Del Toro acted as back-up director for his friend, the late great William Friedkin, during the shoot of Friedkin’s last movie “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” which world premieres on Sunday at the Venice Film Festival.

Friedkin, who died on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles at age 87, contractually needed a back up in order for the movie to be made, “That’s very common, Hollywood is ageist,” said producer Annabelle Dunne who decided to reveal what until now had been a “state secret” and recounted that when she raised this issue with Friedkin he said: “let me think about that.”

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Friedkin then called her the next day and said: “Ok, honey I have the guy. Get a pen: it’s Guillermo Del Toro, you got that?

When Dunne called Del Toro, who at the time, was promoting his “Pinocchio,” he told her: “I am going to come to set every single day and sit next to you.”

“It was joy for all of us, including the actors, to have his presence there,” she recalled. “He made it abundantly clear it was Billy’s movie. He said he was our mascot.”

The film was completed prior to William Friedkin’s passing.

“The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” stars Kiefer Sutherland as Lt. Commander Queeg who stands trial for mutiny for taking command from a ship captain he feels is acting in a mentally unstable way that is endangering both the ship and its crew.

The Republic Pictures feature is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Hermon Wouk. The story has previously been adapted for the screen in a 1954 film By Edward Dmytryk with Humphrey Bogart as Queeg and as a Robert Altman-directed 1988 TV movie.

“The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,” which is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution, will drop on Paramount+ this fall in all international markets where the streaming service is active and will play on Showtime in the U.S. It will not get a theatrical release.

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