Guillermo del Toro is all over the news today, and I am not complaining one bit! Already we have seen a new trailer for his latest film, Pacific Rim, but while we all watched in amazement once again at 300 foot tall monsters battling giant robots, there were other news stories going around.
Firstly, and most importantly, is that del Toro has recently spoken with The Playlist and offered fans one last glimmer of hope that he may finally get his dream project off the ground. Del Toro is desperate to make a film adaptation of H.P Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, and while the project was once again brought to a halt by Universal Pictures back in 2011, del Toro is ready to take one last stab at getting studio backing.
“I’m going to try it one more time. Once more into the dark abyss,” he laughed. “We’re gonna do a big presentation of the project again at the start of the year and see if any [studio’s] interested.” Universal were uncertain that the film would be able to make its budget back due to the fact the content of the film would give it an R-rating. Even with Tom Cruise attached to star, Universal didn’t think the film would be successful enough and decided not to go forward with it.
However, with Tom Cruise still attached and studios finally waking up to the fact del Toro is regarded as one of the best directors in the world, just maybe this final attempt to get the film studio backing could work. Pacific Rim will prove to all those studios nervous of a big budget R-rated movie that del Toro has legions of fans, and after the success of Pacific Rim, studios will be falling over themselves to grant del Toro his next movie. Just maybe that film will be At the Mountains of Madness.
Del Toro also priased Crusie for sticking by the project: “Yeah, Tom is still attached. I think it would be so fantastic to make it with him. He’s been such a great ally of the project.” He also clarified those reports from last year where he stated that Ridley Scott’s Prometheus was so similar to At the Mountains of Madness that he couldn’t make the film now anyway. When asked if he still believed there were similarities after seeing the film he said: “Not really, I saw it finally and.. yes, there are things in common, but, you know, screw it. Lovecraft was there first,”
Del Toro also said in a recent interview that he was approached to helm Star Wars: Episode VII for Disney. Already big name directors like Steven Spielberg, Brad Bird, JJ Abrams and even Quentin Tarantino have said how they have turned down offers to direct the film. While many thought del Toro had been offered the directing job, it wasn’t known for sure until now. He said:
“We got one phone call to my agent saying, ‘Is Guillermo interested?’ And basically I have so much stuff already of my own, and I’m pursuing stuff that I’m generating already…”
“It was very flattering, it was just a phone call, it didn’t go past that, it was very nice to be asked, but believe it or not, I’m busy enough.”
While Star Wars: Episode VII has found its writer in Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine, Oblivion), it has yet to find a director. Naturally all the names mentioned over the past few months to direct have had fans very excited, but I must say del Toro turning it down is a real shame. However, if he is too busy then so be it. The worrying news is just how many directors are turning it down, and Disney is fast running out of options.
Del Toro also recently gave an update on his proposed DC comics adaptation to IGN. Originally called Heaven Sent, the project will see supernatural heroes like Constantine, Dead Man, Swamp Thing and Phantom Stranger coming together in an alternative to DC’s Justice League movie due out in 2015. Now under the titled of Dark Universe, del Toro says he has found a writer and is ready to go.
“I’m working on it,” says Del Toro. “I’m writing the outline, and we’re in talks with a very, very good writer. He accepted, and people are going to be happy with who we’ve chosen. I’ve been courting him and I think he’s the perfect guy for this job.”
While the writer has not officially been announced, and the fact the film is not green-lit yet, del Toro is confident that Dark Universe can get moving soon. Stating he has found the perfect writer, the director explained a bit about the roster of characters involved in the project: “That roster, you’re talking about my childhood,” del Toro told the site. “Swamp Thing, for me, is a rock star. Demon, the Jack Kirby Demon, Etrigan, is amazing. And then you go to Constantine, who I thought was an amazing creation. I want to do the Constantine of the comics. Deadman… it’s really a lot of work but a lot of fun.”
There are more characters to be announced, but del Toro was keeping quiet about the rest. When asked about whether the success of Marvel’s The Avengers Assemble was one of the reason’s Warner Brother’s were happy to begin moving forward with Justice League and possibly Dark Universe, del Toro said that the idea to bring the DC superheroes together actually pre-dated Marvel’s plans:
“They were already galvanized to launch Justice League and they were galvanized to make their universe cohesive,” del Toro said. “What I feel now is that with Superman they feel really, really confident with what they have and they are now feeling they have two pillars – Batman and Superman – for the DC Universe. And tonally, they have a darker tone, a more urban and sophisticated tone, so now they can build on that foundation.”
(Sources: The Playlist, IGN)
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