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Guillermo del Toro Says He ‘Should Have Lied’ About the ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ R Rating

"I'm too much of a Boy Scout, I should have lied, but I didn’t," said the filmmaker about the R rating, which he blames for killing the film.

Guillermo Del Toro

Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock

In March 2011, Guillermo del Toro announced that his adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains of Madnesshad been killed by Universal. Apparently, the studio loved the project, but didn’t like the idea of injecting $150 million into an R-rated film, even if it had Tom Cruise attached as the lead star and James Cameron as a producer. For years, the filmmaker kept his hopes up, suggesting he might bring the project to Legendary Pictures; he was even willing to make the film at a PG-13 rating. However, the movie never saw the light.

READ MORE: Guillermo del Toro Analyzes David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac,’ Proves It’s One of the Best Films in ‘Recent Memory’

In an interview with Collider, the “Pacific Rim” helmer spoke about the struggles he faced trying to get the movie done. “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,” he said. “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.”

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The filmmaker added, “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,” he said. “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.” Watch del Toro’s interview below.

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Comments

JonathanM

No one likes the moneymen mucking with the creative process, but there wouldn’t be an industry without them. For better or worse, they’re a factor in almost every film.
He cast Tom Cruise for commercial reasons, so he can’t claim some purist creativity on this. (And I don’t see films that feature that nutjob anyway.)

Jack

I’ll bet that (a) it didn’t have to be R, and (b) it didn’t have to be $150 million.

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