Sometimes, it takes just the right combination of clout and timing and just plain persistence for a dream project to make it to the bigscreen.
Looks like the day has finally come for “At The Mountains Of Madness.”
This long-rumored adaptation of the classic H.P. Lovecraft story has been in the works by Guillermo Del Toro and his writing partner Matthew Robbins for a while now, and now, along with producers Susan Montford, Don Murphy, and James Freakin’ Cameron, it appears that “Mountains” will be the next film Del Toro directs.
Yes… I know there are a ton of projects right now that Guillermo’s name is attached to, but I also know the way he thinks, and there is no film that has been closer to his heart longer than “At The Mountains Of Madness,” and there are very few authors more important to Guillermo’s worldview than Lovecraft. This has always been priority one for him, and Cameron is one of the few producers who I think could genuinely help protect Guillermo’s vision.
Universal deserves a lot of credit these days for being the studio that seems to be willing to gamble more often than anyone else. “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,” “Paul,” “Your Highness,” “At The Mountains Of Madness”… these are movies that are ambitious, that have strong voices, and that seem less than commercially obvious.
Since “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” Universal has been working to strengthen their relationship with Del Toro, hoping to having him make his home at the studio, and he’s set up a number of personal projects there including his take on “Frankenstein” and a new adaptation of “Slaughterhouse Five.” Obviously it was a major blow to that relationship when Del Toro left to go work on “The Hobbit,” and after three years, it must have been gratifying to the studio to see him return to the States, hungry and ready to get moving on something.
“At The Mountains Of Madness” has always been a difficult sell on the studio level. Set in Antarctica in the ’30s, it’s the story of an expedition that uncovers evidence of ancient beings, gods whose existence challenges everything we know about our world and our history. When those Old Ones begin to awake, the result is a horrifying, bleak ride. There’s no love story, and there’s nothing about it that softens the blow of the story. It is designed to terrify, and it’s a horror film on a scale that will require some hearty support from the studio.
I’m just glad to see all of the effort expended on this may finally result in a movie. Del Toro’s one of those guys who puts his whole heart into the films he makes, and every time one of them stalls out, that’s a little piece of him it takes along with it. This will be good for him, but more importantly, it’s going to be very, very good for horror fans, and I look forward to taking a trip to the bottom of the world with Del Toro as soon as possible.
Michael Fleming of Deadline Hollywood broke the story.
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