Its was only yesterday we gladly reported that Guillermo Del Toro’s dream of directing HP Lovecraft’s In The Mountain Of Madness that a few hours later it seems he’s not now. But now It seems PACIFIC RIM will be his next movie and that has been confirmed and to try answer questions on some the great confusion over the debacle the Spanish filmmaker has sat down with Deadline and had a chat about Pacific Rim and what’s went wrong with At The Mountain Of Maddness.
The director himself is as confused as us all and it looks like the stumbling block was the movies rating which himself & James Cameron wanted R (18) Rating but Universal Pictures werent happy due to the intesity of the movie not the gore level and it was a similar problem he had with with Dont Be Affraid of The Dark which is R rated.
Since the day of the decision, I haven’t had a face to face with [Universal execs Donna Langley and Adam Fogelson]. We’ve exchanged a few phone calls. I my mind, we were given the parameters of a budget and screenplay, and I was given the chance by the studio to create a visual presentation. They were blown away by the visual presentation, they openly admitted to loving the screenplay, saying it was dead on. And we hit the target on the budget they gave us, not a figure I arrived at. This came after months and months of story boarding, haggling with VFX companies, and bringing down the budget number. The week before the decision, I was scouting in the border of Canada and Alaska. We were a week away from opening offices in Toronto. We were crewed up, and frankly, I am as puzzled as most people are. One of the biggest, biggest points for me with this movie was the scope and the R, going hand in hand.
Ultimately, I think the MPAA could rule the movie PG-13 because the movie and the book are not gory. If that is the outcome, fine. But I don’t want to put the PG-13 on paper, for one reason. We created Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, thinking we would be safe looking for PG-13 because we had no profanity, no sex, no gore, but we made a very intense movie in a very classical mold. And the MPAA gave it an R. They said the movie was too intense for a PG-13. The only think 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. And those discussions were had in the open. Everyone knew this was my position, that I knew I was asking the chance for the movie to be what it needs to be. I don’t think it’s a good idea to relinquish that on paper.
It seems a brand of a movie is interfering with the creative side of filmmaking, studios are scared to loosing money and try to not alienate the audience when they dont realise they are actually alienating the sctual target audience . You can see this in recent sequels, prequel adaptions of movies gone by that were 18 or 15 rating and now they are a 12A or PG rating Terminator Salvation is a perfect example.
Even if you go back to the golden days of monster movies at Universal, some of the best ones were sequels. To me, Bride of Frankenstein is in many ways superior to Frankenstein. I don’t think that in principle, a sequel or a spinoff or a movie that comes something, or a remake, should be shunned. What is really dramatic to me is that most decisions are now being taken by comps, and charts, and target quadrants. All these marketing things we inherited from a completely different system, in the 80s, it has taken hold of the entire industry. Marketers and accountants seem to be running things and less and less of the decisions are in the hands of filmmakers. There are still some filmmakers that can push through. I will say though, I count my blessings. In my time, I’ve been able to make impossible things like a big superhero movie starring Ron Perlman. Frankly, I think we’ve come so close with Mountains that to me it’s an indicator of the great possibility we will get to make it, as soon as possible. As long as the idea stays fresh and no one beats me to it, in terms of the origins of the monsters, the scope and the aspect of Antarctica where these creatures are discovered, I will continue to press forward.
We would have needed first to get the formal terms of turnaround from Universal before we could formally get an answer from another studio. We were gauging interest and there was interest, very serious interest, but nothing that could happen before Universal names the terms in which they would allow us to try and set it up somewhere else. That is my hope right now that they just 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 know it’s not an easy proposition. It is, if you have faith. I think a studio needs to fully believe in that. Certainly, in the last year, you can find movies of that scope or bigger that have been green lit on a wing and a prayer. We are part of show business, and it seems the business side takes more and more command of things, and the show part of the business seems to be dwindling. It’s a sign of the times, in a way.
It’s so clear Del Toro isnt given up the ghost on the ‘Madness been made maybe hoping a new studio may take over just needs Universal to reason a little more and with the passion he has for this project This could happen but not overnight. So guys what do you think of all this mess?