Guillermo del Toro Finally Enters the Mountains of Madness


After nearly two months of anticipation and speculation about what movie Guillermo del Toro will direct next, Deadline has come forward to confirm that Universal has given the go-ahead for del Toro’s adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, produced by none other than James Cameron and to be del Toro’s first movie shot in 3D. Del Toro has been wanting to make this movie for years, but the inordinate cost to make what could be a difficult R-rated period horror movie held it back, but with Cameron involved and Universal giving the thumbs up, the movie might start filming as early as next summer.

Written way back in 1931, Lovecraft’s serialized novella dealt with his famed “Cthulhu Mythos,” as a geologist leading an Antarctic expedition finds a huge chain of mountains, and on the other side, they find the remains of ancient uncharted life forms.

Having heard through the grapevine–oh, and rumored on Entertainment Weekly last week–that the H.P. Lovecraft adaptation may finally move forward, decided to ask del Toro about it when we interviewed him at San Diego Comic-Con last week, and he gave us a few exclusive comments essentially on why it’s been so difficult getting the movie made:

“What ‘Mountains of Madness’ is is a throwback to something nobody does anymore, it’s tentpole horror,” he told us. “Everybody now understands horror as minimum investment, maximum return, and most of the time, they go at it, as production entities, with great cynicism, like ‘Let’s make it really gory or extreme’ and for a very low budget, and recuperate our investment, make money, all that. If you make a horror movie for half a million and it makes 4, they’re very happy. The studio sees horror movies as something they will not invest more than $30-40 million. ‘Mountains of Madness’ needs to be tentpole in the way that the tentpole movies of the past were, about $130 million.”

“I remember when I saw ‘Alien’ and I was absolutely blown away by it,” he continued. “I saw John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing,’ I saw Kubrick’s ‘The Shining.’ These were massive movies in a genre that normally doesn’t get massive movies. (With) ‘Mountains of Madness,’ there are two things that I’ve been battling all these years: period and R-rated, and a very very tough ending, so the studio is very scared of period obviously, he’s very scared of the budget and an R-rating, and the first conversation I always have is, ‘Does it have to be R?’ and I go, ‘Yes.’ ‘Does it have to be period? Does it have to be Antarctica?’ ‘Yes.'”

“‘Mountains’ is my dream and we’ve been pursuing it for thirteen years and I hope it happens,” he told us as we wrapped up the conversation.

Well, Guillermo, it looks like your dream is going to come true, and reportedly, they’re starting pre-production in the next few months to gear up for shooting the film next summer.

Addendum: One source at Universal has told us that the above is not a done deal just yet, though clearly, del Toro and Cameron are ready to roll forward.

You can watch our full video interview with del Toro over on