AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS: TORO, TORO, (del) TORO!
Written by Jeff Snyder
Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro still hasn’t given up on what has become something of a pet-project for him. This pet-project, of course, is one of H. P. Lovecraft’s most famous pieces of literature (the most famous probably being the Call of Cthulhu because…well…Cthulhu) At the Mountains of Madness. Señor del Toro states that he is “going to try one more time”. This one more try will begin with “a big presentation at the beginning of the project … at the start of the year and see if any [studio’s] interested”. Funding is definitely the largest roadblock in the way of this monstrous production hitting the silver screen within the foreseeable future. With del Toro at the helm, At the Mountains of Madness has an enthusiastic and talented director and producer and in Tom Cruise, who is “still attached” to the project, del Toro has a big name actor who is “a great ally of the project”. This is not to make light of how big of an obstacle getting funding will be as the budget has been estimated to range around $150 million. While that’s not the biggest budget around these parts, the recent Hobbit film was estimated to be around $250 million, it’s certainly not an indie film.
So what of del Toro’s claims that Prometheus killed any chance of At the Mountains of Madness getting filmed? Well, Guillermo finally got around to seeing Prometheus and rethought his earlier words. Now, he’s left with a surprisingly cavalier attitude that even though “there are things in common … screw it.” Screw it, indeed, Mr. del Toro. Screw it, indeed.
All in all, At the Mountains of Madness is my favorite H. P. Lovecraft story and I think del Toro matches Lovecraft’s style. Both are very good at building the atmosphere of the story, which is a big reason I love a lot of Lovecraft’s writing and del Toro’s filmmaking style. As others have noted, now is not the time to get excited yet since the film has to still be picked up, but there is definitely a glimmer of hope off in the distance that At the Mountains of Madness will see the light of day, eventually.