This project has been on and off more than a kitchen light switch. Even with James Cameron coming on board, in what could be the coolest collaboration ever, this project is forever hanging in the balance of seeing the silver screen or falling into the “what could have been” pool of death. The Movie is based on a H.P. Lovecraft sci-fi fantasy. On an Antarctic expedition, a group of explorers discover an ancient civilization and accidentally awaken its inhabitants.
With Del Toro on board, this has become a movie that has to be made, and Del Toro is the guy who needs to make it. The filmmaker still hasn’t given up on the project! In fact, in a recent interview with Collider he talks about his plan to bring it to life.
Basically he wants to release two different cuts of the film — a PG-13 version and his unrated version. The reason the movie never got made in the first place is because Universal Pictures didn’t want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on an R rated film, but this way you get the best of both worlds. The studio gets their PG-13 movie, and the fans get their hardcore version. This is what the director said about it:
“The way I’m thinking is, PG-13 goes a long way. It’s not that the novel is graphic, but people forget that there are crucial elements in the novel that are pretty horrific. Like the human autopsy, you know? I think that’s a dark moment. So what I would like to do is shoot it, as dark as it is, in an unrated cut and a PG-13 cut. Ideally they would be released simultaneously if that’s at all possible. We could release one [cut] in a certain format and the other in a different format with the hopes that we can offer more intense moments in one cut and equally intense moments but without graphic content in the other cut. Lovecraft was famous for suggestion, and a lot of the piece can suggest, but there are [certain moments] you need to show. Part of it is budget, part of it is rating. The one thing I’ll say is that at this stage for me, Mountains is not made. So I’d rather make it in a way that doesn’t compromise the content, or not do it. And, in the last few years, what has changed is that I’ve seen PG-13 films that are very intense. For me Life of Pi, the first 25 minutes of that movie were really very intense with the violence on the boat and the sinking. I came to think, ‘you know what? It is possible to go to places that are intense but still have a strong appeal for a rating.’ That, I think, is the main thing that changed.”
He was then asked about the possibility of shooting At the Mountain of Madness directly after Pacific Rim 2, and this was his reply:
“The only thing I know is that I have two studios that like the project very much, which is Universal and Legendary. Legendary came very close to financing and Universal came famously close to financing and we were very much getting there. So I think that there’s a chance we’re still keeping it alive. What normally happens is I have stacks and stacks of beautiful designs. I have 30, 40, 50 pieces of key art. I have maquettes. I have concept art. I have hundreds of storyboards. And of all the things that have gone undone so far, the one that I would most like to share with the world is Mountains.”
There is still a chance that this movie could happen, and it’s not completely dead. Let’s hope the studios slap the greenlight on this project and bring it to life! This is Del Toro’s dream project, just let him make it.