Guillermo Del Toro is a visionary filmmaker whose larger-than-life big-screen dreams often exceed his reach with Hollywood studios. That appears to be the case with Hellboy 3, which despite massive support from online fans, is apparently no longer a possibility. Even more than that sequel, however, Del Toro’s true passion project is a cinematic version of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, which he’s attempted to get off the ground for years with no success, even with Tom Cruise on board. In a new interview with Collider, del Toro provides his latest depressing update on his long-dormant proposed adaptation.
Del Toro says that, despite the fact that Deadpool and Logan have shown studios that R-rated genre movies can also be gigantic box-office hits, his adult-horror take on At the Mountains of Madness remains a no-go.
“We thought we had a very good, safe package. It was $150 [million], Tom Cruise and James Cameron producing, ILM doing the effects, here’s the art, this is the concept, because I really think big-scale horror would be great…but there was a difference of opinion; the studio didn’t think so. The R [rating] was what made it. If Mountains had been PG-13, or I had said PG-13 … I’m too much of a Boy Scout, I should have lied, but I didn’t.”
The director further elaborated on his ability to get his movies financed, as well as the one-for-me, one-for-them strategy he employs:
“A lot of people think of directors like Caesar sitting on a chaise lounge, like somebody feeding them grapes, and you say, “I would like to do Mountains of Madness now.” And it’s not. You’re a blue collar guy working your way, putting numbers in front of studios, putting [together] stars, packages, whatever, and you have your stuff to move. That’s why I tried to do a small movie and a big movie, because the small movies, you suffer with the budget, but you have complete freedom; you can do whatever you want. That gives you a line.”
Given that Del Toro and Lovecraft are a match made in horror heaven (the director’s love of slimy, subterranean aquatic monsters comes directly from his fondness for Lovecraft’s work), this continues to be a heartbreaking scenario. And the fact that he’s done so much work on the project only further underlines what a crime it is that At the Mountains of Madness isn’t currently moving forward:
“One day, I’ll show you the art, I’ll show you everything we did. We did over 300 pieces of art, we did storyboards, we did models…we had a whole presentation. You will cry, you will go, ‘Why?’”
We believe him. For now, we can only hope that Del Toro finally finds a way to convince a studio to pony up the cash for At the Mountains of Madness. In the meantime, you can read all his latest comments on the film at Collider.
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