Director Guillermo del Toro has spoken about his love of the horror genre, and how he still hopes to film the HP Lovecraft story 'At the Mountains of Madness.'
The esteemed Mexican filmmaker came very close to making his long-cherished dream project in 2011, with James Cameron on board as producer and Tom Cruise attached to star, until Universal Pictures pulled the plug over budget and rating concerns. Subsequently he made this summer's 'Pacific Rim' for Warner Bros instead.
Speaking to IO9 in promotion of his new book, 'Cabinet of Curiosities,' del Toro says that he's still optimistic he will get to make 'At the Mountains of Madness' within the next decade, if not sooner.
"I was just talking to [Producer] Don Murphy yesterday... and they are absolutely working for the movie to happen, and they will never give up. And I'll never give up. But it has to happen with the right budget, and the right team."
A sticking point, however, will be the budget. The director has spoken of his desire to make a horror movie on an epic blockbuster scale, which would mean a budget of over $150 million. At the same time, del Toro refuses to tone down the content for a PG-13/12A rating, which from a studio accounting perspective makes the movie a very risky venture - a restrictive rating invariably means lower profits.
Del Toro concedes, "There are great low-budget horror movies. I have produced and directed a few. But the Lovecraft universe has such a scale in 'Mountains of Madness,' that it's impossible to do that."
The oversized hardback art book 'Cabinet of Curiosities' collects the director's sketches and notes which he has utilized in his work over the past twenty years - and notably, he has omitted any of his concept art for 'At the Mountains of Madness.'
"We couldn't put any of the art [in the book] because we still hope it gets made… The real art for the movie, which is stored carefully, is amazing and mind-blowing, but we can't expose it because we still have a hope of making the film."
However, this didn't stop del Toro from including Lovecraft's nightmarish Cthulhu when he directed the opening credits of this year's Halloween episode of 'The Simpsons,' in the clip which went viral earlier this month.
Del Toro is a busy man indeed. Having most recently worked on a pilot episode for a TV adaptation of his novel 'The Strain,' he will shortly commence work on his next feature film, 'Crimson Peak,' an adult-oriented ghost story which will re-unite him with his 'Pacific Rim' leading man (and almost-Christian Grey), Charlie Hunnam.
Happily for horror fans, del Toro shows no signs of tiring of the genre just yet.
"I am a huge horror fan... at this point, I make movies that are in a very strange genre where I make stuff into what I like. Even the big movies like 'Pacific Rim,' [it is] definitely not just a summer movie looking like a regular summer movie, with the regular summer movie moments. There are not many summer movies where an unborn giant monster baby goes out of the mother and strangles itself with the umbilical cord…"
"I don't think I've ever been confined by where what I do falls into, as a genre... I just keep coming back to the things that get me excited. And I guess what gets me excited is a degree of horror."
Guillermo del Toro's 'Cabinet of Curiosities' goes on sale from 29th October, whilst Warner Home Video release 'Pacific Rim' to DVD, Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-Ray from 11th November.
Would you like to see Guillermo del Toro's 'At the Mountains of Madness?' Think there's room in the multiplex for megabudget movies just for grown-ups? Let us know in the comments.
Ben Bussey is an editor of horror website Brutal As Hell, holds an MA in Cult Film & TV from Brunel University, and as a huge fan of everything Guillermo del Toro has done to date, he's absolutely anxious to see 'At the Mountains of Madness' made.
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