After departing The Hobbit due to on-going delays Guillermo del Toro moved onto a movie adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s horror novella At the Mountains of Madness. James Cameron was producing and Tom Cruise was attached to star, however a week after del Toro was scouting locations in Canada and Alaska Universal pulled the plug. The prospect of a $150 million budget R-rated horror movie scared them, and it left Guillermo no option but to swiftly move into Pacific Rim (which will probably work out quite nicely).
Guillermo del Toro has various projects in the pipeline both as a producer and director, but he still has hope to make At the Mountains of Madness, and in a recent interview he revealed he’ll have one last go at it this year.
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“I’m going to try it one more time. Once more into the dark abyss,” he laughed. “We’re gonna do a big presentation of the project again at the start of the year and see if any [studio's] interested.” And yes, Tom Cruise is still game to be on board if they can find a home for it. “Yeah, Tom is still attached. I think it would be so fantastic to make it with him. He’s been such a great ally of the project.”
Last year del Toro expressed concerns that Madness would no longer be worthwhile due to similarities to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, but the director has now seen Scott’s film and he’s changed his opinion.
“Not really, I saw it finally and.. yes, there are things in common, but, you know, screw it. Lovecraft was there first,” he laughed.
Guillermo 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”. If Pacific Rim is a big hit it may give del Toro some pull with studios, and he may finally get to make it.
At the Mountains of Madness follows a group of scientists and archaeologists who travel to Antartica on an expedition. There they stumble upon the ancient relics of an abandoned city hitherto completely unknown to mankind and uncover a prehistoric species that is awakened only to wreak havoc on their victims.