'At the Mountains of Madness' Happening, Only It Will Be PG-13... - Bloody Disgusting!

‘At the Mountains of Madness’ Happening, Only It Will Be PG-13…

How desperate is Guillermo del Toro to being us an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness? Well, he’s willing to compromise with Universal Pictures, against his better judgement, stating that he’ll make the creature feature a PG-13 horror film.

The 3-D film originally had Tom Cruise in talks to star, but also had a ballooning budget of over $120M, which was a lot considering del Toro wanted it to be R-rated. The studio killed the movie, which resulted in us being gifted with Pacific Rim, among other great stuff like the forthcoming “The Strain.”

Del Toro now has a blooming relationship with Legendary Pictures, producers behind the project, and in an interview with the WSJ reveals that At the Mountains of Madness may be back in his cards.

I said to them, that’s the movie that I would really love to do one day, and it’s still expensive, it’s still … I think that now, with the way I’ve seen PG-13 become more and more flexible, I think I could do it PG-13 now, so I’m going to explore it with [Legendary], to be as horrifying as I can, but to not be quite as graphic. There’s basically one or two scenes in the book that people don’t remember that are pretty graphic. Namely, for example, the human autopsy that the aliens do, which is a very shocking moment. But I think I can find ways of doing it.

We’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility in the future. Legendary was very close to doing it at one point, so I know they love the screenplay. So, we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’s certainly one of the movies I would love to do.

Madness is the deliberately told and increasingly chilling recollection of an Antarctic expedition’s uncanny discoveries-and their encounter with untold menace in the ruins of a lost civilization-is a milestone of macabre literature.

I always trust the filmmakers to do what’s right for the movie, and if he thinks he can pull it off with a PG-13, well, God bless. You can see some of del Toro’s early sketches here.

Unfortunately, it looks like this could take a back seat to Pacific Rim 2, which he briefly talks about.

I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.

You can read the entire review at the aforementioned link.


  • Fantasma George

    Well, Avatar was rated PG13 and had blue kitty fucktoy sex, pretty sure Del Toro could work around it flawless.

  • Leebo

    I’m pretty sure they can release the PG13 at the cinema and an unrated shiny disc.

    • Saren Nevac

      Exactly what i thought also. That way everyone is happy.

    • Gregory Miller

      You can get away with a lot of gore in a PG-13 film. It’s our Victorian dread of sex and potty words that usually pushes a film into an R rating. I saw a man’s head get cut in two by a bear trap on a Sunday afternoon on the SyFy channel so I’m not going to worry about the juicy bits being removed. And as you said, there is always the unrated director’s cut when it hits DVD.

      • ljbad

        SyFy is a TV channel, and TV has completely different rules. TV channels like SyFy can’t show nudity or say like 2 swear words, but they are fairly lenient on how much blood you can show (just look at Hannibal). Movies have a much harder time getting away with showing blood and gore and getting a PG-13 rating.

        I honestly couldn’t care less how much gore is in my horror movies as long as the storytelling is good and it keeps me interested and in suspense.

  • Dr. Storm Crow

    I really hope they don’t prominently feature the giant eyeless penguins…

    • James

      They do have to be a part of it as strange as they were.

      • Dr. Storm Crow

        I know, and I understand that, but man, screw those penguins.

        • James

          Haha I do agree!

  • J Jett

    as Leebo said, they could just make the theatrical cut PG-13 and have the BR/DVD release be unrated. i’m desperate for this movie to be made. i’ll take a PG-13 version (if there’s no unrated cut) over no film any day.

  • CTHL

    Never thought of the story as being particularly R rated in the first place…

    • morehorror4me

      Ditto. Atmosphere of dread, the icy cold, and those horrible unspeakable things…bring it.

  • zombie84_41

    It’s del toro if fucking Soderberg did a full on brain scene in contagion and show it I’m sure del toro can do something too. I norm don’t like PG-13 creature films, but when done right and with the right people its surly going to be solid.

  • Gabbi Cordero

    It may be controversial to say but i don’t think del toro is the man for “at the mountains of madness”. his passion is undeniable and that is something a lot of hollywood suits are missing for the projects they either sign off on or reject outright. however, one thing guillermo lacks is the talent to back up a project the magnitude of lovecraft. his reputation is so overblown it’s mind-boggling. i appreciate his penchant for sneaking in dark fantasy to his movies such as pan’s labyrinth and the orphanage but outside of those two films i struggle to find any redeeming qualities amongst his work. the devil’s backbone and chronos are two of the most boring, overly praised films i’ve ever seen. mimic is another slog. and people must believe that he has lovecraft down because he did tentacles and some passing references to old gods in the insanely lame hellboy movies. the cthulhu mythos is a lot deeper than those two recycled tropes. don’t get me started on pacific rim. people want to insist that it wasn’t given a fair shake, they want to blame the marketing. the vast majority of summer blockbusters are hollow gun fests and mindless brawls. if he couldn’t deliver on that front, that’s an indictment on him. he’s not an underdog or some indie darling, so can we please stop harping on this guy? stop drinking the kool-aid.

    • J Jett

      Gabbi, i respectfully disagree. i’m not a del Toro fanboy but i’ll continue “drinking the kool-aid”.

    • Kagutaba

      Gabbi, I’m with you. I’ve been saying for years that he’s overrated, yet every time I say anything I get dog piled by fanboys. But, it’s wasted energy. Del Toro is set for life and he’ll get to indulge all his quirky sensibilities to his hearts content, no matter how much he misses the mark. So, whatever. Ya know?

      • J Jett

        Kagutaba, well this is a special day for you. no one is dog piling you for not liking del Toro! 🙂

        • Kagutaba

          Didn’t say I don’t like him, just that he’s so overrated 😀

    • M M

      I’ve always kinda wanted to see Neil Blomkamp do it. After district 9 I would love to see what he would do with an elder thing.

  • McGilli

    Whenever I need a reminder that PG-13 can be done properly I remember the 2002 remake of The Ring.

    But then at the same time – would The Thing, Jaws, Alien, Aliens etc ever be as great as they are if they were PG-13?

    • woodchuck

      Jaws was PG, not even hard enough for PG-13

      • sweetooth0

        PG-13 didn’t exist when Jaws was released. And frankly, if Jaws were released today, there is no way in hell it would get away with a PG rating.

        • ChildoftheKoRn

          Eh, I’d love to agree with you but I’d have to think it would turn into the vegetarian great white from finding nemo… I threw up a little in my mouth just now…

          • sweetooth0

            I mean, if the 1975 movie were released in theatres, I have serious doubts the MPAA would give it a PG.

          • ChildoftheKoRn

            Yeah I was more trying to make a joke. Lack of sleep is seriously adding to my ability to cause laughter, lololol.

  • markajacoby

    Hell… I’d take a “G” rated “Madness” over another lame ass “Pacific Rim” film

  • Rake

    I would have rather seen him drop the budget down than drop the rating to PG13. After reading the original draft of ATMOM it came off as a Thing sequel and the action was way over the top with him even bringing in Cthulhu at the end. Del Toro isn’t the man for the job, he’s too focused on showing how cool the monsters are instead of leaving in suspense and the imagination.

    • Cheshire TrollCat

      Wow stop being a boring buzzkill. I want to SEE the monsters. Not watch a well payed actor drive himself insane. Its del toro so there are going to be monsters.

    • robthom

      “I would have rather seen him drop the budget down than drop the rating to PG13.”

      He has the creativity and the track record to prove that he can do more with a smaller budget then 99% of the hollywood shlub directors who waste twice the budget.

      Throwing budget at the screen over creative freedom is why there are so many unfortunately popular high gloss turds released these days.

      Plus its not even a full sci-fi deal where he’ll need ships and gadgets everywhere. He could use a lot of available props for recreating tombs circa 1920.

      No reason he cant do an amazing job with full creative freedom for 60-80.

      Hellboy 2 had creatures everywhere, more then he’ll need for ITMOM, and vast underground cities and machines for 85.

    • ML Tyler

      I would rather see At the Mountains of Madness than a “The Thing” sequel with a cameo by Cthulhu. If done right, it would be PG-13, not R because of the very thing you say: ” leaving in suspense and the imagination”
      Read a Book.

  • ThunderDragoon

    He’ll do a great job.

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  • Philip Hansen

    Why wouldn’t it be PG-13? There isn’t anything in the story that would grab the movie an R-rating. There is little or no gore and no nudity. If Del Toro thought Mountains needed to be R-rated, he needs to go back and read the story again.

  • Ricardo Concepcion

    Anyone who’s actually read the story (or any of his others) knows Lovecraft gradually built up an atmosphere of subtle horror and despair. By the time the “monster” was unveiled, it was almost anticlimactic. He did not need to lean on blood and gore for effect, and neither should any director worthy of replicating his work. We’ll see…
    What concerns me more than the question of blood and gore is whether or not the movie will be told from the first-person point of view of the main character. This happens in just about every Lovecraft story (I have read most of them) and is an essential ingredient in his particular brand of horror since it enables you to get inside the character’s head and experience the level of dread they are feeling in a way the third-person point of view simply cannot convey. Hollywood has not, traditionally, been very successful at utilizing the first-person POV in movies. again, we’ll see…

  • Shaun Vavra

    Be honest with yourselves, most movies will never come close to the book, and that is OK. Different mediums present their own set of problems. Do you really want to spend more than 2 hours watching a film? 3 hours is pushing it. Read the books and see the movies and enjoy!

  • Alex

    I would love to act in any HP Lovecraft movie, 🙂