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Del Toro’s Mountains Of Madness Is Officially Done At Universal

Guillermo del Toro deserves better than this. It’s official, folks: At the Mountains of Madness is on ice. Forward movement on the Hellboy director’s long in development H.P. Lovecraft adaptation was thrown into question yesterday when the news broke that he was considering another project because of Universal Pictures’ hesitation to go ahead with a $150 million R-rated horror movie.

Del Toro wasn’t willing to sacrifice his vision for the sake of a more mass audience-friendly rating, and Universal didn’t think the cerebral horror flick would draw a large enough crowd to justify the budget. As awful as this news is, neither party is necessarily wrong. It’s just a bummer.

The news comes from del Toro himself, via an e-mail sent to The New Yorker as a follow-up to a recent profile of his life and work. The e-mail is brief, but it tells you everything you need to know: “Madness has gone dark. The ‘R’ did us in.”

Nuts to that.

This is something that del Toro has been trying to make happen for a long time now. It is one of the projects he left The Hobbit to pursue, and while those two movies will certainly be safe in replacement director Peter Jackson’s hands, we will now forever be left to wonder what might have happened if del Toro had simply stuck it out. To be clear, Madness is not completely dead, it’s just not happening at Universal. The potential still remains for it to be shopped around to other studios, though the $150 million budget/R-rating combo is going to be a tough sell for anyone.

I’ll let James Earl Jones take it from here…


  • demoncat_4

    given how long Del torro has been trying to do this project. and universal just proved it did not learn from its mistake when it did the same thing with the lord of the rings films . hope Del torro manages to get another studio to have the guts to start a new genre of film. with mountains of madness even if its fox.

  • Matt D

    Honestly, this is a little bit of a relief because I think Cruise was just going to use this to somehow manage to merge the Old Ones with Scientology and conquer the world.

  •!/ David R. Schmitt

    Didn’t want to invest in cerebral horror? Because Pan’s Labyrinth was such a stinker. :rolls eyes:

  • Grant

    Pan’s Labryinth wasn’t 150 million dollars and only made 83 million world wide. So I can understand the studios hesitation.

  • Jacob

    Actually, if I’m not mistaken, it wasn’t released worldwide theatrically. Certainly didn’t receive a lot of press here in the States. Also, it made 83 million on and 18 million budget. It was, by all rights, a commercial success. (also, critics loved it)

  • xxgazillaxx

    A brilliant director who has a history of successful films across the board – and a studio is hesitating? It’s a shame. What the people below need to be reminded of was that Pan’s Labyrinth was also considered a ‘foreign’ film – hence why it didn’t have as big of a budget.

  • Joemac307

    Wait a minute… Del Toro still makes movies? I thought he retired. When was his last film? 1972?


    The recent article on Del Toro in the New Yorker was pretty cool, and I was really looking forward to Mountains of Madness. Oh well.