Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Guillermo Del Toro Confirms 'At The Mountains Of Madness' Is Dead

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 8, 2011 at 12:59AM

Update: Guillermo Del Toro also reached out to the New Yorker, telling the magazine, "Madness has gone dark. The ‘R’ did us in."
30


Update: Guillermo Del Toro also reached out to the New Yorker, telling the magazine, "Madness has gone dark. The ‘R’ did us in."

Last night, it was reported that Universal, despite being in love with what they were seeing from Guillermo Del Toro for his dream project "At The Mountains Of Madness," were getting gunshy about giving a greenlight the massively budgeted, R-rated horror film. With a $150-million price tag and a visionary scope and scale, not even the potential lead of Tom Cruise could assure suits that the film would be a moneymaker. While nothing was quite certain, another project, "Pacific Rim," was being readied by Legendary Pictures as a possible next vehicle for Del Toro. But our hopes that somehow Universal and Del Toro might be on the same page have been dashed as the project is now officially tanked.

The Criterion Cast shot off an email to the director to follow up on rumors that circled earlier Monday that 'Mountains Of Madness' was gearing up for a June shoot. By the time Del Toro responded, the writing was already on the wall and he got right to the point in his response. Asked if the filming had a go-ahead and a summer start, Del Toro said: "The opposite- Dead. – G"

This is a crushing blow, and a clear indication that Hollywood more than ever is afraid of original ideas-- "Inception" be damned-- but we also can't entirely blame Universal for hedging their bets.

Getting an R-rated film to do boffo box office is a hard, hard task not made any easier when you're selling a niche, R-rated horror film. What do "300," "Wedding Crashers," "The Hangover," "The Matrix" and "The Passion Of The Christ" all have in common? Yes, they are some of the highest grossing R-rated movies of all time, but they were also cheap, the most expensive among them was "300" with a budget of $65 million. Peanuts, compared to 'Mountains Of Madness' which would have cost more than double, not to mention the P&A coin that would need to be spent. As Deadline noted yesterday, the film would need to take in $500 million worldwide to break even. It would have to be the most successful R-rated movie of all time ("The Passion Of The Christ" currently has that honor with $370 million worldwide) or do "Lord Of The Rings" or "Pirates Of The Caribbean" sized numbers. And now you begin to understand why the studio had trouble flipping the switch.

And it's not like Universal hasn't taken gambles. Looking back at 2010, the studio took a swing and missed on films like "Green Zone," "The Wolfman," "Robin Hood" and most notably "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World." And let's be clear, not one of these films did they let wither on the vine. All received strong support and in the case of the latter, it was probably pushed harder than any of them and it was cheapest of them too. But with a relatively paltry $60 million budget, to date, the film has still only brought in $47 million worldwide and with only a couple more foreign territories to open it looks like it will have to look at the long run in terms of breaking even. So yes, it's disheartening but also not very surprising.

So what will be next for Del Toro? We kind of hope it isn't "Pacific Rim" if only because it sounds like the most generic monster movie ever -- the story is set in a near future where ‘malevolent creatures’ threaten earth, and humanity must use advanced technology to fight them off [shrug]. But we hope he gets out there, proves himself with a successful movie, and is allowed to come back and make 'Mountains Of Madness' the way he always wanted, without compromise.

This article is related to: Films, Guillermo del Toro, Genre Films, At The Mountains of Madness


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates