Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Old Ones Were, Are, And Shall Be...


I can't contain my excitement about this news. The whole net is reporting today that Guillermo del Toro's long in development Lovecraft adaptation At The Mountains Of Madness is going to be his next production. This is particularly good news for people who've been following it's creeping, crawling progress, because only just recently the project was depressingly declared as being all but dead. That news came as a double blow, right after the news that del Toro finally walked away from the floundering Hobbit movies. Right now I couldn't care less if The Hobbit ever gets made. I just want to see Madness.

The really awesome thing about this announcement is that it looks like the movie is going to be bankrolled by none other than James Cameron. Now, other than his cool production design, with Bob Skotak, on Galaxy Of Terror, I'm not a big fan of the uber director's work (ok, I love ALIENS too). BUT, his involvement as producer bodes very well for the successful realisation of GDT's vision for Madness. Guillermo has said for years that Madness will be a very difficult film to get made because it needs to be hugely expensive at the same time as being almost impossible to market. In his own words:

"ATMOM is a delicate project to push through a studio: no love interest, no female characters, no happy ending...

But I believe it's time to resurrect the big tentpole horror movie. The event horror movie. Like THE EXORCIST was, or THE SHINING or ALIEN or JAWS in their time..."


... in other words, having Cameron on board - with all his money, clout and technological resources - is just what this sprawling nightmare epic needs. Cyclopean alien cities, Elder Things, Shoggoths... terror, blood and madness in the Antarctic wastes. Pre-production starts soon. It could be lensing as soon as this time next year. FUCK YES.

20 comments:

CiNEZiLLA said...

I will chant along loudly with your FUCK YEAH and will also reveal that a graphic artist that you have posted about earlier, told me last year that he and GdT had had serious talks about production design on that specific movie as we spent uite some time discussing Lovecraft and his influence. Let's just say that the graphic artist is absolutely the go to man when dealing with Lovecraftian images. and Del Toro is gonna make the world crumble with this piece of awesomeness. Sure beats The Hobbit any day in my book.

Thanks for posting this Aylmer, you just cheered up my mood immensely!

J.

CiNEZiLLA said...

...but knowing the previous beef the graphic artist has had with Cameron, I'd guess that he'll be off the project...

Although time will tell, and we shall wait patient like the elders...

Aylmer said...

It's pretty exciting J. I'm intrigued to know who this artist is. Someone I've posted on? Well, I know it's not Frank Frazetta anyway! Having Cameron on board is a bit scary, because he's just way too powerful and way too used to getting his own way. We can just hope that he respects GDT enough to leave him alone to get the job done. As you say, only time will tell.

CiNEZiLLA said...

Just think what creature Cameron screwed the designer out of when he made his big sequel. :) think Japan, think pioneer...

Aylmer said...

Wow, I hope he remains involved!

abdul alhazred said...

Oh this is very exciting - I'm glad he's not following thorough with that Hobbit business. This is much more suited to his talents. Very good news indeed, my friend, you made my day.

Aylmer said...

I thought you'd be stoked Abdul.

Trick or Treat Pete said...

very good news indeed! Del Toro is also doing The Haunted Mansion and I'm sure he will do a better job than that first HM flick.
Dreaded Dreams
Petunia Scareum

Doug said...

i'll be really stoked when i finally see an ad for it "coming soon", you know...but until then this is good news.

Aylmer said...

I know what you mean. It's been coming a loooong time...

Will Errickson said...

FUCK YES indeed. I demand madness! Hope it truly all comes together.

Aylmer said...

tentacles crossed

Anthony1138 said...

It's about time that Guillermo put an end to all that Hobbit nonsense. AtMoM is an amazing story and I have no doubt that del Toro's vision will translate beautifully to film. FUCK YES indeed.

Aylmer said...

So that's a unanimous FUCK YES all round then.

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

Uuhhh....I don't mean to rain on your parade, but are you all aware of the screenplay that is more than likely gonna be used?
They alter the story in a VERY corny way. The movie starts with a boat drifting into harbour and the lone survivor tells his story....fine so far....BUT, at the end, Captain Starkweather has a conversation with one of the Elder Things that is inside the body of one of his crew and it all gets a bit 'lapsed catholic'. The gist of the conversation is that The Elder Thing tells him that there is no god, and that THEY created all life on Earth.

That doesn't work for me. AT. ALL. There should be NO conversations between the humans, Elder Things and Shoggoths, there should be NO 'obvious alien in human form' (oh, btw, there is no mystery as to which member of the expedition is the alien as they show the scene CLEARLY where it takes his body). The exposition scene, to me, would make SO much more sense if it happened during the scene where the bas-reliefs are discovered in the city. Del Toro could take a leaf from his own book and do what he did at the beginning of Hellboy 2 - cut to a visual depiction of events depicted in the carvings, maybe as stop-motion animation or puppets - keep it OLD -SCHOOL and CREEPY.

I just get the feeling that no-one is ever going to be able to get that cold, despairing cosmic DREAD at the heart of Lovecraft right on film. The Thing by Carpenter was THE closest, IMHO.

Gran'pa is being done a MASSIVE disservice here.

Aylmer said...

I agree, the Old Ones should be kept mysterious. And that sounds like some awkward exposition. However, I don't think I'm that hard to please when it comes to HPL on screen. For example, I think Gordon's FROM BEYOND is a great adaptation and Carpenter's IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS is an awesome homage. I'm sure there's a lot of hardcore Lovecraft fans who would disagree. If it looks good, is scary and has the "trappings" then it's already 90% there for me. I read they're doing rewrites now, so hopefully they'll iron out those script issues?

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

In The Mouth Of Madness is a close second to The Thing, but I find it a little schlocky and a bit too full-on in parts. Its a damn shame that Carpenter never made that Lovecraft movie that he worked on the screenplay with Hans Rodionoff on, the one that DC turned into a graphic novel? That woulda been killer. Have you heard that Ron Howard is interested in the movie version of the bloody awful Image Comic, 'The Strange case Of HP Lovecraft'? RON fucking HOWARD?!?!?!

Aylmer said...

I like the schlockyness of ITMOM. Jurgen Prochnow fucking rules as Sutter Cane.

Speaking of Carpenter, do you consider THE FOG to be Lovecraftian? I think it has a cool Innsmouth vibe to it. More HPL in tone than story.

Another HPL homage that I love is DEAD & BURIED.

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

The Fog definitely has that vibe to it, but then so does Prince Of Darkness - I could imagine HPL writing something like either of those movies if he had lived longer. Have you seen 'Cast A Deadly Spell' with Fred Ward?

Aylmer said...

Yup, Prince of Darkness too for sure. Carpenter must truly love him.

I haven't seen Cast a Deadly Spell but it's a favourite of Abdul's (of From This Swamp blog).