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.