According to Deadline del Toro will next direct At The Mountains Of Madness, an adaptation of the HP Lovecraft tale that will be shot as a 3D film for Universal Pictures. Avatar director James Cameron will also come aboard as a producer.
del Toro has been wanting to make At The Mountains Of Madness for years and he was in talks with Warner Bros. to adapt it in 2006, but according to Toro they were “very nervous about the cost and it not having a love story or a happy ending”. However with the director being hot property after coming off The Hobbit and James Cameron putting his name on the project Universal are moving forward with the film, which will begin pre-production in the next few weeks for a summer 2011 shoot.
For those not familiar with At The Mountains Of Madness (such as myself) here is a summary of the novella written by horror writer H.P. Lovecraft in 1931:
Miskatonic University of Arkham, Massachussetts, sends a scientific expedition to explore the snowy wastes of Antarctica. Once there the team uses experimental drilling equipment to search for fossils from the days when Antarctica was a steaming, prehistoric jungle. In an icy cavern members of the expedition discover perfectly preserved specimens of a winged, column-like creature and bring them back to camp for study.
Informed of the momentous find by radio, the unnamed expedition leader and a companion race to the scene. When they arrive they discover the camp destroyed, the men and sled dogs alike slaughtered and dissected. The mysterious specimens are missing along with some scientific equipment and one team member. Suspecting mutiny or perhaps insanity the team leader sets off into the mountains, following the tracks of a hastily constructed sledge and footprints that are decidedly inhuman. Almost willfully blind to the truth until too late, the scientists realize the alien specimens were only hibernating and now seek to return to the ancient prehuman city that is their home. What follows is a story told in hieroglyhs, recording the rise and fall of an alien empire that genetically engineered man as a buffoonish, ape-like jester to amuse their inhuman intellects. The explorers must try to escape not only the city, but also the mindless, protoplasmic slaves who built it for their slumbering creators.
I believe I shall be there opening night, whenever that will be. I guess Guillermo del Toro leaving The Hobbit isn’t all bad, as he can work on amazing movies like this.