What do you do when you’re a beloved cult fantasy filmmaker who pulls out of directing Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit after the project encounters numerable frustrating delays? How do you come back from abandoning one of the holy grails of fantasy cinema? If you’re Guillermo del Toro, you team up with James mother-frickin’ Cameron to direct a 3D adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness. Wow. The original Lovecraft story dealt with a scientific expedition to the South Pole in the 1930s. Horrible discoveries are made, life forms are awakened, discoveries challenge what we know about ourselves, and lots of terrifying et cetera happens. This might actually be so good that it’s a good thing del Toro dropped out of The Hobbit?
As unexpectedly awesome as this seems, the project isn’t so left-field as you might think. Del Toro wrote a script for Mountains back in 2004 when the project was at Dreamworks. In 2006, del Toro had difficulty getting Warner Brothers to finance the film due to its unhappy ending. However, it was acquired as part of the package deal that Universal negotiated in 2007.
It’s clearly going to be an incredibly ambitious film, but with Cameron producing, a generous six year gestation period, and the financial backing of Universal, who wouldn’t be confident that del Toro, one of his generation’s most visceral and visually poetic — yet fun — filmmakers will put together an incredible movie?