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Guillermo del Toro eyes Pacific Rim, leaves Mountains of Madness behind
Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Hellboy helmer Guillermo del Toro has been trying to make a movie of H.P. Lovecraft's seminal work At the Mountains of Madness for years. The problem is, no studio is committed to spending what could be up to $150 million dollars making a R-rated horror movie about Lovecraft's Old Ones. Even with Tom Cruise willing to star in the movie and Avatar's James Cameron onboard as a producer, Universal Pictures has cold feet about making the movie, uncertain if they would recoup their investment.
And that hesitation has cost the project its momentum. Del Toro had to ask the studio for a go-no go answer by yesterday. The answer should be obvious by reading the title of this story.
And that's pushed del Toro into the arms of Legendary Pictures and Pacific Rim, the idea from Clash of the Titans screenwriter Travis Beachman about giant monsters attacking our world. It's a high concept monster movie, precisely the kind of project that del Toro is interested in making. I'm certain that he'll bring all of his usual insane and highly creative art ideas to Pacific Rim, and the monsters will be phenomenal to see onscreen.
Yet I'm like one of a legion of Lovecraft fans disappointed that we won't get to see At the Mountains of Madness done in the way it should be done, by a filmmaker whose an unabashed fan of the material. I don't blame Universal at all; they gave us Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and that film cost $70 million dollars to make. It bombed hard and wasn't even accepted by the larger video game or superhero moviegoing crowds. Horror films don't typically return $100 million dollars to their makers, so spending $150 million on Madness, and then spending even more to market and promote it doesn't make practical business sense. It's got to be let go.
Lovecraft's Old Ones must return to their slumber in development hell and wait for another realignment of the stars if they want to star in a movie. Ageless, eternal and patient, they can afford to dream their dreamless sleep and wait.