Guillermo Del Toro’s At The Mountains of Madness is dead

Sorry Guillermo Del Toro fans. Although earlier reports suggested his big budget horror film At The Mountains of Madness would begin filming in June, The Criterion Cast has revealed the film was given the red light, rather than green.

Deadline report that his next project might now be Pacific Rim, scripted by Travis Beacham, which comes complete with monsters and a distinct new world, the kind of aesthetic realisation Del Toro does best.

Developed independently of Warner Bros, Del Toro has been kept in the loop on Pacific Rim, and his relationship with Beacham during the eight months to date has been strong. The two haven’t worked together before but came close with New Line’s The Killing on Carnival Row.

Universal pumped the brakes on At The Mountains of Madness after expressing concerns over its R rating and US$150 million budget. An adaptation of an HP Lovecraft story about the discovery of a thawing alien in Antarctica, ATMOM was going to be shot in 3D with James Cameron producing and even had Scientology king Tom Cruise in line to star.

As more of a horror than action/thriller, even a Cameron/Del Toro presentation of visuals couldn’t win over the big wigs over at Universal when up against an R rating and a budget that would require a box office return of US$500 million to make it worthwhile.

This isn’t the first pre-production disappointment for Del Toro, who also spent several years co-writing The Hobbit before ultimately deciding to jump ship and hand over the reins to Peter Jackson. In an effort to save Mountains from the tip, the possibility of moving to another studio is still on the cards and with Cameron involved, it’s probable that they’ll vie for discussions with Fox.

But unless the “horror” element is toned down to a PG-13 and the budget stripped bare it’s looking grim for our mad aliens in Antarctic mountains. More news as it unfolds.

Discuss: Could a PG-13 rating really save the project or would it remove everything that’s so gloriously dark and brooding about Del Toro’s directorial style?

One Response to “Guillermo Del Toro’s At The Mountains of Madness is dead”

  1. Surely it’s a good thing we’ve been saved from seeing Cruise on the big screen? I don’t want to see him in 3D let alone 2D. His days are up. This did sound like a promising project…hopefully will come to light. Why make it to PG-13 standards though? Don’t get it.

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