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Guillermo Del Toro To Direct 'Pacific Rim' Instead Of 'At The Mountains Of Madness'?

by Kevin Jagernauth
March 7, 2011 10:43 AM
7 Comments
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Universal Balking At R-Rating & $150 Million Price Tag; Tom Cruise Not Confirmed For Role



It's been a long, hard road for Guillermo Del Toro for the past few years. He held on as long as he could with "The Hobbit" before the constant delays eventually forced his hand to get out and moving on to something else. That salvation appeared to be in the form of "At The Mountains Of Madness," the director's longtime passion project, an adaptation of the novel by H.P. Lovecraft. It seemed to be moving forward as his next gig with James Cameron producing, and Universal reacting very positively to pre-production visuals presented to suits, and moreover, the ambitious project was set to come in at the approved $150 million budget. But it appears the studio isn't quite ready to pull the trigger on an R-rated horror big budget horror film.

Deadline reports that Legendary Pictures is putting the pieces together on "Pacific Rim" and it may just leap frog 'Mountains Of Madness' as Del Toro's next film. The project first came on the radar last fall when it was reported the it was apparently being offered to Del Toro and it looks like things are now moving forward. The script was bought from a 25-page treatment by writer Travis Beacham ("Clash of the Titans") back in May, and is set in a near future where 'malevolent creatures' threaten earth, and humanity must use advanced technology to fight them off. Clearly, for a director who likes to imagine new worlds, this could be a good fit.

At any rate, Universal is apparently getting cold feet on 'Mountains Of Madness' despite their love for the project. With a big price tag and an R-rating, the film would need to do big numbers to recover its cost and it's a major gamble to make for the studio. While everyone will be quick to point to "Inception" as an example of visionary directors being given free reign with box office success, that film was PG-13 and thus able to sell tickets to a much broader swath of moviegoers. While we we hope Del Toro gets to make his dream project, we do understand the studio's hesitancy to greenlight the project.

Speaking of which, io9 reported earlier today that according to producer Don Murphy, Tom Cruise was set to star in 'Mountains Of Madness' with a June start date lined up. However, reps for Cruise tell us he's not confirmed and the summer date has long been in the cards. As Deadline elaborates, even with Cruise circling, Universal don't seem ready to take a chance on the film.

If Del Toro directs "Pacific Rim" he will apparently try and mount 'Mountains Of Madness' afterward but another option might be to try and find a way to make the film with a PG-13 rating on a smaller budget. We'll have to wait and see how this one plays out.

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7 Comments

  • BuntyHoven | March 8, 2011 2:56 AMReply

    Shoulda gone with some sort of "Guillermo lines up 'Rim' Job" headline for us immature types.

  • hotpot | March 8, 2011 2:21 AMReply

    I will not see a Tom Cruise unless it is really good. So this movie needs to be great.

  • alan | March 8, 2011 2:04 AMReply

    paul,

    guillermo is saying something very close to his heart with this film; exploring questions and fiddling with his own answers he's contained since he was a kid. the novel is violent and honest, something very hard to pull off with a grain of fantasy. to dumb it down to a PG-13 with no cursing ( practically, you'd curse if you'd see these creatures coming at you ), numb violence, and heavy-handed ignorance guiding the production is incompatible with the story and guillermo's film.

    but jim cameron is a magician, and is already swooping down from the sky to help... :)

  • Visionaries rule! | March 8, 2011 1:59 AMReply

    This just pisses me off! Universal is willing to spend 200 million on a Battleship movie starring Rihanna and a Ouija movie from the writers of Tron Legacy, the producers of the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street remakes, and the director of Terminator Salvation but they won’t let two visionary directors, Guillermo del Toro and Gore Verbinski, make R-rated films (At The Mountains of Madness and Bioshock) that will be unlike anything audiences see. The reason Universal is having so many flops is that they are putting out films people are tired of seeing (The Dilemma, The Wolfman, Leap Year, Get Him to the Greek, Land of the Lost, Cirque du Freak, and Charlie St. Cloud). If they really want to turn things around go big or home and let directors make films that are going to surprise and captivate audiences by showing them something they do not see from studios.

  • Paul | March 8, 2011 1:37 AMReply

    Truthfully, both sides should work on a compromise. If Del Toro wanted to, he could shoot an R rated film with the forewarned knowledge of a theatrical PG-13 & all the departments could organize the production in such a way that it could effectively be edited for both a PG-13 cut & R rated cut to exist. With the right planning in pre-production I feel it could be done in such a way that they could make two great versions of the same film without upsetting anyone. Sure, you might lose the vulgarity- Fuck, shit, etc. But with the right cutting & little additional scenes here & there (to fill in information gaps left by the removal of heavy gore moments) a great PG-13 cut could be made for the theatrical venue. THEN several months down the line you release an R rated cut on BluRay & give fans an option. I think with the proper planning most of these rating issues could be overcome.

    OR he could shrink the film to about $70-90 million and instead of making the R-rated AVATAR he'd still get to make a large scale R rated action-horror flick.

  • Mark | March 8, 2011 1:12 AMReply

    Universal spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on shit, yet they can't pony up $150 million for James Cameron, Tom Cruise and Guillermo Del Toro? Del Toro wants to make a visionary horror epic in the vein of Alien and The Shining, too bad there are no visionary studio heads left to greenlight GREAT MOVIES anymore.

  • Smash Tit-house | March 7, 2011 11:03 AMReply

    aw shit. this is terrible news. i hope it turns out to be false. we need more lovecraft on screen before we need wanna-be Godzillas from the clown behind the abysmal Clash of the Titans.

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