There is a lot of information to share with you here on all things Guillermo del Toro, and you can thanks Collider for speaking to the creative director and getting these massive, and very exciting plans.
Any del Toro fan knows that he has been trying to make an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness for years, but studios have been scared off by both the budget, and the extremely dark content. However, with del Toro conquering the world with Pacific Rim, he has proved himself to the film studios, and it now sounds like there are at least two willing to give At the Mountains of Madness a shot.
However, del Toro has come to understand why the studios were so afraid to go so dark, and he may have a compromise for them: release two versions of At the Mountains of Madness, a PG-13 rated version, and an uncut R-rated version. Personally, I think this is a master plan by del Toro, because he is passionate about this story, and clearly does not want to create a lesser rating version the please the masses, without making a full on version for the hardcore fans.
When asked to explain about releasing two different cuts at the same time, del Toro said:
“That’s actually exactly what I’m thinking. 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.”
Del Toro knows how much his fans want this film to get made, and he wants to get it made, so the question is: will he shoot Mountains straight after Pacific Rim 2?
“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.”
I don’t know about you, but this all sounds extremely positive, but Pacific Rim 2 is not due in cinemas for another three years, so we have a long wait ahead.
Speaking of Pacific Rim 2, del Toro goes into production on the film in August, and has been writing the sequel with Zak Penn. Early next year del Toro will take a break from Pacific Rim 2 to make a small black and white film which is said to be very bizarre, and will feature one monster. Then he goes back to working on Pacific Rim 2, and somewhere amongst all that, he will be working on a Pacific Rim animated series!
We knew this was coming, but what wasn’t clear was that the animated series will bridge the gap between the first movie and the sequel:
“We are right now in the middle of talking and negotiating with a few Japanese companies for the animation” del Toro explained. “We are talking to a couple of showrunners that have a strong animation background, [we’re] casting the writers room. What’s great is it’s a great set-up and a link between the first movie and the second movie. It really enhances the mythology of the characters; we have cameos of characters from the first movie, but mostly it’s a new set of characters. New jaegers, except for one or two, [and] new kaijus. It’s really fun.”
He then went on to explain in a bit more detail how the show will be presented, and I like it. Instead of the weekly episode where everything comes together nonsense, the Pacific Rim animated TV series will be created like all the best TV series, as one long story arc:
“We’re going for a long arc, so the idea is to show a group of characters—we have pilots, functional jaegers, but we have all these younger characters. I really want to explore things that are complimentary to the things that I want to explore in the second movie: drift, what drifting does to you, what is needed to drift, a lot of stuff that I think is important, but also the jaeger technology, the kaijus being evolved, ideas about the precursors—the guys that control the kaijus. We have a lot of leeway in 13 episodes and I wanna make it sort of in the same spirit of Pacific Rim, which is the ideal audience for Pacific Rim was young—very young, 11-year-olds and so forth—but with really beautiful design and stories that make these characters interesting in a way that I found them interesting in, for example, Year Zero, the graphic novel that we did. And I think that’s the basic thrust of the thing.”
He continued “If it connects we’ll go on [to more seasons], but the thing is I don’t want it to be weekly adventures. I don’t want it to be like Chapter One is a little action thing and it gets resolved in 40 minutes or an hour and then the next episode, [it’s like] nothing happened. My favorite anime series always have a long arc.”
While there are no dates confirmed for when it might start, del Toro did offer up his own thoughts on how to market the series:
“Legendary is talking to a few outlets so I’d rather not disclose myself. The way we set up The Strain was to talk to everyone, literally, on the map, and then find who’s response we sort of jibe with the most. I think in this series, it would be great to find a place that can give it a proper presentation and can advertise the creation of the series. So we’re open to being pleasantly surprised everywhere.”
Del Toro is a busy man, but with also The Strain TV series just around the corner, and the haunted house horror Crimson Peak in post-production, he continues to make stuff that I absolutely love, so I am very very excited about Pacific Rim 2, the animated series and especially At the Mountains of Madness!