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Guillermo Del Toro Says He's Prepared To Do 'At The Mountains Of Madness' As PG-13 Now

by Edward Davis
July 4, 2014 10:35 AM
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Pacific Rim. Guillermo del Toro

Happy 4th! We’ll keep this brief because there’s #MURICA times to be had. You’ll recall that back in 2011, Guillermo del Toro announced that his long-gestating adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains Of Madnesshad been killed by Universal. The studio was apparently in love with the project, but didn’t like the financial-recouping prospect of a $120+ million movie with an R rating, so they shuttered the project.

As early as last year, Del Toro did say he would try to mount the project again, and now the “Pacific Rim” filmmaker is suggesting he could make it at his “new home” at Legendary Pictures. And of course, he’s now willing to do it at a PG-13 rating.

“I said to them, that’s the movie that I would really love to do one day, and it’s still expensive,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “I think that now, with the way I’ve seen PG-13 become more and more flexible, I think I could do it PG-13 now, so I’m going to explore it with [Legendary], to be as horrifying as I can, but to not be quite as graphic.”

“There’s basically one or two scenes in the book that people don’t remember that are pretty graphic,” he continued. “Namely, for example, the human autopsy that the aliens do, which is a very shocking moment. But I think I can find ways of doing it. We’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility in the future. Legendary was very close to doing it at one point, so I know they love the screenplay. So, we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’s certainly one of the movies I would love to do.”

That definitely sounds fairly hopeful anyhow.

As for “Pacific Rim 2,” which now has a 2017 release date and also backed by Legendary, Del Toro suggested the sequel will be quite its own beast. “I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own,” he explained. “They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.”

See you in about three years.

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  • joe | August 12, 2014 10:45 PMReply

    Tom Cruise sucks. Please screen someone new. Sick of the same ol actors. People generally connect better when there is no association with a million other movies. Please give someone else a chace.

  • João Silva | July 10, 2014 7:06 AMReply

    A rated R movie can't get financed, but on the other side utter pieces of pure crap like "sharknado 2" get financed... -_-

  • Leon | July 7, 2014 2:11 PMReply

    F**k you sellout del toro. Rated R or not at all you greedy little pig. I hope you burn for these blasphemous comments.

  • JT | July 6, 2014 1:47 PMReply

    PLEASE keep Tom Cruise out of this when it finally gets made. I know he was cast when it was going to happen before, but I hope that fell through. Nothing would screw up this picture more than having this man involved in it. There are so many better actors and bigger box office draws who would not bring all the baggage that Mr. Cruise does.

  • The True Lovecraft Fan | July 5, 2014 6:21 PMReply

    In any case, PG-13 or R, Del Toro will adapt Lovecraft as monster cgi-fest. I've read the leaked early draft and it's nothing to wait for if you're a fan of Lovecraft, but if you liked the recent Godzilla film then maybe it's something to wait for.

  • Fishmonger | July 5, 2014 3:54 PMReply

    So he really wants to do it, and I think he would be the right person to actually make a good adaptation of a Lovecraft story. 95% of Lovecraft films are a tremendous waste. Then I read that he will compromise and be ok with the "flexibility" of a PG-13? Why don't you just go to Disney and make it then? An awesome opportunity to do Lovecraft justice wasted...

  • lovecraftian | July 5, 2014 11:31 AMReply

    PG it and your ruin it. it has some strong graphic scenes that you cant just gloss over.

  • Paul Taylor | July 5, 2014 10:50 AMReply

    Do an image search on "CSI autopsy", and tell me again why such a scene would require an R rating?

  • Steven Millan | July 5, 2014 4:42 AMReply

    If he really wants IN THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS to become an actual reality,del Toro will have to do whatever it takes and accept whatever kind of film ratings he has to,for I'm all willing to accept the film how it is(and will eventually become) as long as it's a real good film that does both del Toro and H.P. Lovecraft proud.

  • BW | July 4, 2014 5:37 PMReply

    Just seconding what was said below: Film the 18 cert, show an edited PG-13 at theatres and then 'director's cut' the *real* version on DVD/BluRay.

  • BW | July 4, 2014 5:34 PMReply

    Just seconding what was said below: Film the 18 cert, show an edited PG-13 at theatres and then 'director's cut' the *real* version on DVD/BluRay.

  • BW | July 4, 2014 5:34 PMReply

    Just seconding what was said below: Film the 18 cert, show an edited PG-13 at theatres and then 'director's cut' the *real* version on DVD/BluRay.

  • Jhellvik | July 4, 2014 5:07 PMReply

    I'd kind of like to see it in the hands of Nic Pizzolatto...or Chris Nolan!

  • Ivo | July 6, 2014 3:10 AM

    Blergh, no man!! wtf? Nolan? WHaaaat? have you read teh freaking book?

  • chwaggoner | July 5, 2014 1:48 PM

    Absolutely not. Guillermo understands the source material better than any other director. He is the most qualified because he truly loves Lovecraft and has the filmmaking style and influence to pull it off.

  • Brad | July 4, 2014 3:28 PMReply

    John Carter was one of the best movies of the past several years and got screwed by Disney's horrific marketing and regime changes. Given the dearth of willingness to do something like Lovecraft's classic on a big scale (not to mention JC II) I would KILL to see what Del Toro can do with the Masterpiece of the Fantastic. Ignore the idiotic nay sayers below.

  • dylan | July 5, 2014 9:04 AM

    Whatever you think about the John Carter(for me, too generic and derivative, inevitable since A Princess of Mars had be raided so much over the years) but responsibility for the "awful marketing" rests squarely with Stanton as he had full oversight of the marketing campaign.

  • Gregory Kay | July 4, 2014 4:04 PM

    Brad, I agree completely on John Carter; a great movie, one like the used to make. In addition to marketing, I think a large part of the flack against it is that all too often people allow self-appointed critics to decide what is proper to like and what's not, instead of keeping an open mind until they actually see the movie themselves, and then making their own decisions, regardless of what the so-called "experts" think.

  • Binks | July 4, 2014 3:49 PM

    If you truly thought John Carter was one of the best films of the last several years then I'm afraid you're the idiotic one.

  • jason | July 4, 2014 3:07 PMReply

    Hollywood studios have no balls. I'm sick of movies being made with all the emphasis on getting kids in the cinema, one of the best movies in recent years was Dredd precisely because it was made for an adult audience, no HP lovecraft based movie should be anything less than 15 at the lowest, preferably am 18 or R. If you can't stay true to the source, don't make it.

  • Rick | July 5, 2014 4:25 PM

    I liked Dredd, but if flopped. Which is exactly the studios point when funding rated-R movies? If no one's paying to see them, why should they be making them?

  • IPFreely | July 4, 2014 1:27 PMReply

    In America anyway, PG-13 might as well be a R rating as long as it's violence/gore. But anyway, film it how you want it, have the studio edit and release it as PG-13, then release it on Blu-Ray Unrated. Of course we all know how this works... it'll bomb at the box office and then do well on home media/VOD/etc.

  • MAL | July 4, 2014 1:00 PMReply

    I Like Del Toro, but do not understand his (or others') love for this story. Like so much of Lovecraft's work, this is an underwritten, suspenseless pseudo-sci-fi-horror that really did not make a lot of sense. It basically consisted of two people foolishly walking through corridors of an alien encampment and actually avoiding encountering its all-but-extinct builders.

  • JenniferAnn | July 4, 2014 6:18 PM

    In The Mountains of Madness is Lovecraft's finest work. It tells a story of an advanced civilization before the existence of mankind, slaves, an uprising that all but destroyed a species, violent monsters locked in the dark waiting to be turned loose upon the world... I'm sorry that you're unable to hold an appreciation for his work.

  • Gene in L.A. | July 4, 2014 4:50 PM

    So it didn't work for you. Sorry about that. For a lot of us it does work, just as "so much of Lovecraft's work" does. No writer appeals to everyone.

  • tristan eldritch | July 4, 2014 12:58 PMReply

    If he had better script-writers than on Prometheus, Ridley Scott would do an amazing At the Mountains of Madness.

  • tristan eldritch | July 4, 2014 12:53 PMReply

    He's too much of a lightweight to do it justice. He pretty much dumbed down Mike Mignola's Hellboy, and I can't see him doing anything else with this. Maybe he can get Edris Elba and some robots to cancel Cthulhu.

  • Adam R | July 6, 2014 9:15 AM

    Couldn't agree more. I love Hellboy, admire Pans and Devils Backbone but more and more I'm coming to the conclusion that outside of his spanish history, he hasn't got the chops for anything with much substance. Pac Rim is more or less beneath contempt for me - it sucked fun out of the two or more hours it was on screen, and I left the cinema lessened for having watched it, then I did it again on DVD just to make sure I hadn't
    just had a bad day and meh...

  • Emperor Zerg Rush | July 5, 2014 12:10 AM

    ..."dumbed down" Hellboy? You wrote that knowing that Mignola worked with him on that film, right? So what exactly were you expecting there - a page to screen monstrosity akin to Snyder's Watchmen?

  • Binks | July 4, 2014 11:39 AMReply

    I agree with the poster who says Del Toro is overrated. Pan's Labrynth was good. Everything else is definitely meh. Pacific Rim was junk and unbelievably dumb. Also, does It feel like Del Toro notifies the press whenever he farts? I am so bored of his non-news.

  • Phillipa | July 24, 2014 8:07 AM

    I like Pan's Labrynth and Hellboy. Pacific Rim is okay.
    I think Del Toro can make a badass adaptation of the story and you need to be a dumb american to not understand that.
    The problem is the studios.

  • cristina | July 5, 2014 1:19 AM

    You are the classic gringo that only knows the hollywood films from Guillermo Del Toro, long before Pan's Labyrint he made superb movies like Cronos or El Espinazo del Diablo.

  • zach braff | July 4, 2014 11:14 AMReply

    most overrated filmmaker working today.

  • Michael Haneke | July 4, 2014 11:39 AM

    Yes, Zach. You are.

  • Gustav | July 4, 2014 11:33 AM

    Haha, if you add "is the," your name and your comment form a complete (and true) sentence.

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