Guillermo del Toro talks At the Mountains of Madness again

H.P. Lovecraft‘s 1931 story AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS was notoriously once set to be a big-budget, R-rated horror movie writer/director Guillermo del Toro. Unfortunately, that adaptation didn't move forward due to the studio fearing a a hard R would cause the movie to flop. Even with Tom Cruise and James Cameron involved.

Del Toro recently sat down with Collider Nightmares and revealed what he’s learned since that fateful film-making experience.


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?”

He then went on to speak about the shocking lack of control a director can have sometimes:

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.

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.

Del Toro on R-rated movies like DEADPOOL and LOGAN not making a difference to studio heads:

We all think, from the outside, that studios are going to learn this or that, but studios don’t think that way. I remember a joke somebody said to me about a drunken guy who goes to a revival tent. They pour alcohol and they put a worm [in it] and you see the flesh of the worm dissolve in the alcohol, and they say, “What did you learn?” And the drunken guy says, “That if I drink, I won’t have worms.” That’s sort of the way the studio mentality works; everything is an exception. You need to come in with a way or numbers that make sense.

The article, which you can read in full RIGHT HERE, then goes on to suggest the rather awesome idea that maybe Del Toro should attempt to get the film off the ground, this time as an animated film. As an animator, of course I love this idea, but really, R-rated animated horror movies are something I would love to see take off. Not just for my own sake. I think they could be the "new thing" if handled correctly.

Anyway, AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS may never come about, but we still have another del Toro film coming our way soon with THE SHAPE OF WATER.

Extra Tidbit: I'd love to del Toro take on ANY Lovecraft story, truthfully.
Source: Collider



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