del Toro On “Mountains,” Frankenstein Design

In an extended interview with The New Yorker, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has gone into the creature designs for two of his upcoming Gothic horror literature adaptations he’s attached to direct – H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”.

The design for the Shoggoth creatures in ‘Mountains’ is still evolving. “They are pristine. They are functional. They are not asymmetric. Symmetry is efficiency. And these guys need to be efficient.” He’s uncertain of the color – “pearlescent” or “circulatory” – and while they can mutate into any shape, they will feature a “protoplasmic bowl” described as “an abdomen-like area from which new forms could sprout”. The reporter saw a maquette that “looked like a giant octopus head with tentacles jutting from the top and the bottom.”

As for Frankenstein, del Toro says he’s sticking close to the original description in the novel: “the head appeared to have been stolen from a cadaver: there was exposed sinew around the jaw, and the cheekbones looked ready to poke through the scrim of flesh. Most appallingly, the Creature lacked a nose; a single bridge bone protruded over an oval breathing hole. Torres had been etching deep furrows into the Creature’s forehead, and shaved bits of clay were scattered on his desk, like clippings on a barbershop floor.”

For the full piece, including del Toro talking about his designs for Smaug in “The Hobbit” and how they will differ from Peter Jackson’s, click here.