Years ago, Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Nightmare Alley) was prepping to make an expensive R-rated feature adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story At The Mountains of Madness at Universal Pictures with Tom Cruise attached in a lead role. However, the studio balked at the film’s $150+ million budget, and the project eventually dissolved.
The Barren, windswept interior of the Antarctic plateau was lifeless–or so the expedition from Miskatonic University thought. Then they found the strange fossils of unheard-of creatures…and the carved stones tens of millions of years old…and, finally, the mind-blasting terror of the City of the Old Ones.
Guillermo del Toro is out promoting his upcoming thriller, Nightmare Alley, and during a chat on Fangoria’s podcast The Kingcast (via The Playlist) revealed he’s pitched the project again to Netflix. The filmmaker added that he’d likely have to scale things back and give At The Mountains of Madness script a rewrite.
“The thing with ‘Mountains’ is the screenplay I co-wrote fifteen years ago is not the screenplay I would do now, so I need to do a rewrite. Not only to scale it down somehow but because back then I was trying to bridge the scale of it with elements that would make it go through the studio machinery.”
“I can go to a far more esoteric, weirder, smaller version of it. You know, where I can go back to some of the scenes that were left out. Some of the big set pieces I designed, for example, I have no appetite for. Like, I’ve already done this or that giant set piece. I feel like going into a weirder direction.”
The streaming giant and del Toro have a long-established working relationship with an anthology horror series currently shooting and co-directed a stop-motion animated version of Pinocchio as well. It’ll be interesting to see if Netflix will pony-up the money he’ll need to execute the project despite the talk about scaling things back.
Nightmare Alley will hit theaters on December 17.
NIGHTMARE ALLEY – An ambitious carny (Bradley Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is.
SOURCE: THE KINGCAST