While Guillermo Del Toro fans are excited about the director’s upcoming monster movie “Pacific Rim,” they are still mourning the demise of “At The Mountains Of Madness.” A passion project for the helmer, the H.P. Lovecraft adaptation was kiboshed by Universal last spring, likely due to the high pricetag (said to be in the neighborhood of $150 million) and Del Toro’s insistence on an R rating, something that would have made the financial profitability of the movie a tough sell, even with Tom Cruise attached to star. Over the summer, Del Toro revealed he was still hoping to make it saying that he’s “not giving up. ‘Mountains of Madness’ has been with me for thirteen, fourteen years and I really don’t want to give up on it. Look, the movies I do, I stick with them when I think, well, if I don’t do it, nobody will….‘Mountains of Madness,’ the way I plan to do it is a very peculiar take, and I think if I don’t stick with it the version I would like to see would never get made.” Unfortunately, it looks like he’s finally throwing in the towel.
Over at his official fansite Del Toro Films (via Prometheus Forum), the director has hit the message boards to reveal that Ridley Scott‘s “Prometheus” has effectively killed off his movie, not only due to thematic similiarities, but apparently, they both share the same climatic twist. Here’s what he had to say:
Prometheus started filming a while ago- right at the time we were in preproduction on PACIFIC RIM. The title itself gave me pause- knowing that ALIEN was heavily influenced by Lovecraft and his novella.
This time, decades later with the budget and place Ridley Scott occupied, I assumed the greek metaphor alluded at the creation aspects of the HPL book. I believe I am right and if so, as a fan, I am delighted to see a new RS science fiction film, but this will probably mark a long pause -if not the demise- of ATMOM.
The sad part is- I have been pursuing ATMOM for over a decade now- and, well, after Hellboy II two projects I dearly loved were not brought to fruition for me.
The good part is: One project did… And I am loving it and grateful for the blessings I have received.
Del Toro also adds that not only do ‘Madness’ and “Prometheus” share a Lovecraft connection, he believes that even down to specific sequences, and the big reveal, the two films would be too similar. “Same premise. Scenes that would be almost identical. Both movies seem to share identical set pieces and the exact same BIG REVELATION (twist) at the end. I won’t spoil it,” he added. Without going too far into it, both stories concern teams of scientists/adventurers coming face to face with ancient/lost civilizations.
Perhaps once the dust settles, Del Toro may find a different way to approach ‘Madness’ but considering how faithfully he wanted to adapt the material, it seems “Prometheus” has taken the wind out of sails by touching upon the same core ideas. A bit of a bummer to be sure, and it seems for now, ‘Mountains’ will no longer be a peak Del Toro is seeking to climb.