Guillermo Del Toro Says PROMETHEUS Has Probably Nixed AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS

by     Posted 2 years, 116 days ago

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It looks like the final nail has been hammered into Guillermo Del Toro‘s adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft‘s novella At the Mountains of Madness.  Del Toro’s passion project came a hair away from getting the greenlight, but Universal pulled the plug over an unwillingness to pay a blockbuster price tag for an R-rated movie.  Del Toro moved on to direct the monster movie Pacific Rim (due out July 12, 2013), but there was always the hope that maybe ATMOM might live again.  But now the brilliant director has said Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus has taken the wind out of the project.

Hit the jump more.

at-the-mountains-of-madness-book-coverSpeaking on the message boards of his official website, Del Toro Films (via Prometheus Forum), Del Toro laid out the sad news:

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.

When pressed for more details on why Prometheus means no At the Mountains of Madness, Del Toro elaborated:

“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,”

Regarding the “same premise”, both stories involve explorers coming into contact with a distant, ancient, and lethal civilization.  I’ve read ATMOM, and judging by the trailers for Prometheus, it definitely sounds like the two stories could end the same way.

As always, Del Toro is a class act about the whole thing.  If Prometheus is a smashing success, I wonder if Universal will have non-buyer’s remorse.  As we confirmed yesterday, Fox was willing to accept an R-rating for Prometheus despite the large price tag.  And keep in mind that while Prometheus has a terrific cast and Scott returning to the Alien universe, At the Mountains of Madness had Tom Cruise interested in starring and James Cameron on board to produce.  At least Prometheus looks great, so hopefully we didn’t lose ATMOM to a mediocre flick.




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  • Stewart

    I’m really stoked for prometheus but I was also very excited for ATMOM to be made eventually.

  • Christopher S

    On the other hand, if Prometheus is a success then it could prove that big budget Sci-Fi R-rated films make money so Universal may call him back in to greenlight it. Could be the same kind of thing with Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, 2 studios making 2 different movies with the exact same premise.

  • terry

    Del Toro better start delivering the goods or he’ll be another Hollywood casualty.

    • mattinacan

      he’s been bringing the goods for years, what are you talking about?

      • Gerberzy

        Yah Terry, what the hell are you talking about?

      • matt

        By “goods” he may mean $ which Del Toro’s films do not usually make a lot of.

  • melvin white

    Hollywood is so stupid, they won’t produce a project that sounds cool because it would be R and sounds to much like a different project but they will produce stuff that is exactly the same as another project, a.k.a. their unexplainable obsession with remakes!

    • Norbert

      I think it’s Del Toro who doesn’t want to make the movie, not hollywood. Hollywood will gladly make it if Prometheus sells.

      Also there is nothing stupid in not making R rated movies. The rating system is stupid yes but the studios are a business and they would go bankrupt if they kept making unprofitable movies. R rated movies usually are more risky since the target audience is narrower. It’s easy to make a lower budget R rated movie but anything with a big budget is a major risk. Have in mind that even a 40mil movie will probably have to make well over a 100mil to pay for itself in the current system.

    • Ryan

      What is so “unexplainable” about remakes? Reboots and remakes use proven marketable formulas, that’s it.

      • diles1

        Precisely. Brands and action sell internationally, which is where a great deal of the profits come from for big budget movies now especially considering that marketing costs at least half as much as the production budgets and vendors siphon off most of the upfront box office revenue. These movies are huge risks and companies can get really hurt, so in the midst of a downturn we might expect a turn to more branded fare, which is what we have seen.

        Of course, the studios calculate that the big movies bring in big profits, which can go to fund both bigger and smaller films. Strictly speaking, ATMOM may have been perceived as more of a risk because Lovecraft hasn’t really been a big ticket seller as of late (or ever). Alien, of course, hasn’t had a big hit since Aliens or, we could say, sadly, Alien v Predator. They may come from the same pedigree (well, really, just Lovecraft, they both come from a Lovecraftian vision), but the brand is Alien.

        Anyone know how much Prometheus cost?

  • Elitist Prick

    I would think a successful Prometheus would make a studio more amenable to ATMOM, precisely because they love similar projects and attempting to replicate success. Whether Del Toro would be interested in being involved is another matter.

    Worst case scenario: In an attempt to imitate Prometheus, ATMOM happens without Del Toro, it sucks, it bombs, and future R-rated horror films (not to mention Lovecraft adaptations) are nixed.

  • Jeff

    I wonder if ATMOM had anything to do with Cameron announcing he’s not going to produce other people’s films? Though I assume he’s still doing “Fantastic Voyage”, just not taking on any other films.
    A successful “Prometheus” with an “R” rating would be a good thing for the industry.

  • Sanjuro

    Then do Call of Cthulhu instead. It would be better first anyways. For almost a century Hollywood has borrowed from Lovecraft, it’s time to give back.

  • your dark knight ends

    Ther is no way Del Toro would do ATMOM just to repilcate Prometheus (if it does does great at the box office) it’s his dream project, it’s not going to happen.

  • Boognish

    well, good, now make hellboy 3.

  • Boognish

    well, good. now go make hellboy 3.

  • Homunculus

    I waited anxiously for G del Toro’s film ATMOM. All might not be lost after “Prometheus”. Let’s keep our hopes high for another chance to open up for del Toro.

  • Howardus

    Oh hell. Bugger bugger hell. My dream of seeing Del Toro take on Lovecraft has been killed off finally has it? The knife keeps twisting. Studio wouldn’t buy it but was perfectly happy to produce Battleship. A movie based on the board game Battleship. If that wasn’t bad enough, Prometheus spat on its grave during the funeral. I hated Prometheus. It wasn’t enough of a film to stand on its own, it was flooded with Alien references but wasn’t an Alien film, and its borrowing from Lovecraft wasn’t enough to make it any better. Urgh. Load of bollocks.

  • Cly

    I was just thinking how similar the two stories are. I’m so disappointed in Prometheus, even without much being lifted from Lovecraft, it was just a terrible movie. Not scary in the slightest, nor interesting. Certainly not thought-provoking. Why Ripley? WHY!

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  • William

    Prometheus was a failed attempt to continue / cash in on a successful series. I’ll even go out on a limb and state that Alien Resurrection wasn’t this craptacular. And yes, I’m an unrepentant Ellen Ripley fanboy. Ridley Scott had me and a million others, waiting to go back to the big thrills of Alien, but even with some nice scenery and a decent cast, it just didn’t work out.

    I believe that if Mr. Del Toro will let himself go with ATMOM, it will not be diminished by the (tenuous) similarities in plot. Contact, 2010, Mission to Mars and a few other B movies have done well with a similar theme, minus the monsters.

    The Elder Things are just waiting to kick the crap out of a buncha lumpy ‘engineers’ in a flying croissant… and Shoggoths are gonna eat that lame-ass land squid.

    I’ll pay my nine dollars to find out.

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  • dj7

    do u even know… that ATMOM is Del Toro’s 2 dream movie project ( 1st being Frankenstein ).. he would be the last person to cancel this project.. or may be he will never.. its like he would return from the dead to make this movie…!

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