Monday, March 14, 2011

Pan's Labyrinth Meets HP Lovecraft

Will this movie ever get made? Let's hope so! From

The New Yorker's news desk ran a melancholy addendum to its Feb. 7 feature about director Guillermo del Toro and his attempts to make a $150 million live-action film of H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness." Apparently Universal refused to greenlight the project due to del Toro's insistence that it be released with an "R" rating rather than a "PG-13."

Del Toro's e-mail to New Yorker writer Daniel Zalewski was two sentences long: "'Madness' has gone dark. The ‘R’ did us in."

The "Pan's Labyrinth" director has spent the last few years on big budget dream projects: "The Hobbit," "Frankenstein" and "At the Mountains of Madness." He left "The Hobbit" in May 2010 (or was fired, depending on who tells the story), following a series of start-date delays, and Peter Jackson, writer-director-producer of the original "The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy, stepped in. "Frankenstein" never had a firm start date and remains in limbo. For a while, "At the Mountains of Madness" -- the story of an Antarctic expedition uncovering the ruins of an ancient city and the remains of mythical creatures -- seemed as though it might be the first of the three projects to end up on-screen. This was a startling prospect considering Lovecraft's tale had long been considered unfilmable.

Del Toro's adaptation had Tom Cruise attached to star and James Cameron ("Avatar") involved as an executive producer and 3-D consultant, and Universal had already given the director pre-production money for creature designs. Del Toro told the New Yorker he wanted "Madness" to have "the polished aspects of a studio film" like Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," but retain the grungy vibe of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and the original "Saw" while capturing the sense of psychic disturbance and primordial terror that was Lovecraft's stock-in-trade...

The amazing del Toro movie that just got spiked
Matt Zoller Seitz
Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011

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