I'm sure that many of you have seen the latest from Harry Knowles at AICN by now. If not:
"I was just contacted by the company & the sculptor. It was sculpted shortly after Guillermo announced it as a project as a pro-active bid to get involved in the project by the sculptor, Martin Astles - the lead sculptor at Illusion Industries. So it was made in an attempt to land a gig."
So, I wasn't wrong in assuming that it was for the film.
Apparently, it is one of the designs that was not accepted. Still, it gives us an idea of what is being proposed and considered. I do not know if Del Toro and company have arrived at a final Hatbox Ghost character design, but I don't think that any formal announcement has been made. I've been watching the web very carefully for news on pre-production, and searching for clues in the meantime. That's how I came across Illusion Industries.
---------- Post added 03-22-2012 at 09:24 PM ----------
I'm AMAZED by how many web news outlets monitor my/our postings. In a matter of only a few hours, HBG2's lightened image of Astles' Hatbox Ghost design sculpt and my/our speculations as to its purpose were carried on Ain't It Cool News, IMDb, Geek Tyrant, Latino Review, Movies With Butter and several other sites. I began commenting on Twitter, G+ and Facebook about it before and while I was writing about it on MiceChat.