del Toro On The Fall Of “Mountains of Madness”

Legendary Pictures officially announced today that Guillermo del Toro is directing the company’s upcoming feature “Pacific Rim” as his next project. They’ve confirmed that shooting will kick off in September for a Summer 2013 release. del Toro, Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce.

The news comes after the sad story earlier this week that Universal wasn’t going to green light del Toro’s dream project, his $150 million R-rated film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft horror novella “At the Mountains of Madness” that was targeting a June start.

Talking with Deadline, del Toro was forthcoming about the situation and cleared up some of the talk that surrounded the collapse of ‘Mountains’.

Tom Cruise’s deal to play the lead wasn’t closed but Cruise “was without a doubt, absolutely in favor of being in the movie”. The studio was said to love the screenplay, were “blown away by the visual presentation”, and del Toro and co. hit the budget estimates that Universal had set out for them in the first place. In fact it got so far along that location scouting was underway and production offices were to be opened in Toronto next week.

The biggest contention is the R-rating which del Toro says “should be worn like a badge of merit in promoting the movie. To say, this is not a gory movie, not a movie full of profanity or violence, but it’s a really intense movie”. del Toro cites his experience with the “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” remake he just produced which scored an R rating despite having no profanity, no sex and no gore – just for the intensity alone. “The only thing I know about Mountains is, I do not want it to be bloody, I do not want it to be crass, but I want it to be as intense as possible” he adds.

Despite the setback he’s not giving up on the film just yet, rather he’s hoping the studio will “allow us to seek a home for this. It will remain a timely premise for years to come, so I don’t have to do it next month… I have great partners in Jim Cameron and Lightstorm, and Don Murphy and Susan Montford, great partners in this adventure who are not giving up and not letting me give up.”