Thursday, October 3, 2013

At the Mountains of Madness

So, I was reading a piece within the last few days about "Interesting Movies Stuck in Development Hell" -- one or two of which sound like they would indeed be interesting, but most of which it sounds like we shd be grateful having been spared. One film I'd put in the latter category is Del Toro's big-budget version of H. P. Lovecraft's AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. For one thing, I think this is one of the worst things HPL ever wrote* -- long, repetitive, and endlessly coy in describing what's going on. For another, I haven't been so impressed with Del Toto's work in the past** that I think he'd do a good job on Lovecraft. Those reservations grew when I learned, from reading this piece, that Del Toro plans to cast Tom Cruise as the hero. I tried to sit down and think of a major male star today who's less like a Lovecraftian character than Tom Cruise, and I just couldn't come up with one.

Here's the link. Following some of the links on the link lead to more Del Toro concept art, and some discussion of how PROMETHEUS co-opted some of MOUNTAINS' thunder. So to speak.

--John R.
current reading: THE MAGICIANS AND MRS. QUENT by Galen Beckett (just finished)
THE BLACK CAULDRON by Lloyd Alexander (just started)

*yes, I'm aware this is a minority opinion. Nonetheless, I'll take the DREAM-QUEST over MOUNTAINS anytime.

**I'm one of those who think we dodged a bullet when he dropped out of THE HOBBIT and Jackson took over directing that movie himself.


Douglas A. Anderson said...


Yes, I think we dodged a bullet by missing Del Toro's adaptation of HPL. A draft of his screenplay was posted on the web a month or so ago. My comments (with a link to the script itself) are at:


David Bratman said...

Based on "Pan's Labyrinth", I agree that Del Toro would have been ill-suited for The Hobbit, even more than Jackson. Not a criticism, just that his aesthetic is entirely different. To his credit, Del Toro seems to have realized this himself, which appears to be at least part of the reason he withdrew.

Eosphoros said...

GDT’s aesthetic is usually adapted to a project, to some extent – Hellboy and El Laberinto del Fauno are very different in many respects, as is Pacific Rim. I don’t see a style GDT is absolutely nailed down to.

Besides that, I think he’s a better filmmaker than PJ. Quite a brilliant one, actually.