Guillermo del Toro's Lovecraft adaptation cancelled

Why? Because Universal wanted something PG-13.

You can’t make this shit up.

:confused: You would have exercise some creativity to make At the Mountains of Madness anything but PG-13. Or anything else in HPL’s ouevre. Lovecraft never mentions sex; never puts offensive language even into the mouths of characters he is trying to portray as utterly degenerate hicks or mongrels; and violence usually happens off-camera, as it were. Lovecraft was into Cosmic Horror, not splatterpunk grossout horror!

I don’t recall – wasn’t Pan’s Labyrinth rated PG-13 in its U.S. release?

They wanted it PG-13 because that’s where the money is. You can’t recoup a $150 million budget without the under-18 demographic.

There is nothing PG-13 about Cosmic Horror. It’s the most mature concept of horror there is.

This isn’t R.L. Stine we’re talking about.

Can you really get an R rating through “mature concepts” with no boobs or blood? Was Mindwalk rated R?

Beats me. But Jacob’s Ladder was rated R, and I don’t recall nudity or gore in that.

Here’s a very good, insightful post, on the movie blog Hitfix by a former Aint It Cool News contributor.

I didn’t find it insightful in the least! I found it whiny and condescending to audiences, and he completely missed the point of being a studiohead. Blaming us for liking, and seeing, “bad” PG movies and avoiding "goody/“artsy” PG-13/R-rated movies. He doesn’t seem to get that movie studios are BUSINESSES, and while it’d be nice if movies were GOOD, all that really matters is if they are PROFITABLE.

Probably got the R for the Body Horror. And for the drug use, if you can call it that.

Hm. Actually, it was rated R. Wonder if that was for the realistic adult violence or the fantasy-monster violence?

It was PG.

He was saying there needs to be a better balance between being a successful business and providing good entertainment, but the balance has swung towards the easy money for so long it’s now endemic, and worse than that it’s failing.

Of course, the other problem, that he doesn’t address, is that budgets are way too high. A $150 million dollar movie shouldn’t really cost that much, it’s just the premium rate Hollywood charges.

Lad, I absolutely agree budgets are out of control, and lowering budgets would obviously lead to more profitability.

Oh, yes, about that. Cautionary note to all directors who would adapt Lovecraft: Do it that way. No “romantic edge.” A Lovecraft character can be “driven, intense, possibly crazy,” but no “romantic edge.” None. Lovecraft never, to my knowledge, wrote a love scene. They do not belong in this kind of story. Even if you adapt “The Thing on the Doorstep,” leave intense displays of affection between Edward Derby and Asenath Waite off-camera.

From the link in the OP…

As much as I’d love to see a Del Toro “At the Mountains of Madness” I’m almost glad it got cancelled if it was going to have Tom Cruise in it.

Like a situation from the “Moments that Ruin Suspension of Disbelief” thread, every time I see Tom Cruise appear in a film I am completely taken out of the story.

The only “star” of this particular movie should be the Cosmic Horror, not the Tom Cruise persona.

If he had, it would have been by far the most horrifying thing he ever wrote. His style didn’t work that way and it’s fine with me.

I’ve never been a Cruise fan and I was not excited to hear he might be involved, but there are two points to consider on that: one was that he was supposedly only ‘loosely’ attached, and the other is that if you’re adapting a story that not very many people are familiar with into a very big budget movie, you may need someone like Cruise who has a track record of being in movies that make a bunch of money. That’s life, I guess. I hadn’t heard about this movie until I read the recent New Yorker piece on del Toro and I thought it sounded great. I hope it does see the light of day (or the Lovecraftian equivalent) at some point.

I don’t know that there could ever be a reasonable film adaptation of Lovecraft. His work is primarily short stories, and the plot alone won’t fill a 90-minute film, so there needs to be padding (like romantic interest, etc.) Plus, most of the horror is in the imagination; I suspect that any visualization is bound to be ultimately cheesy. Sure, the CGI could be scary or gorey or disgusting, but still cheesy at base (or at second viewing.) Certainly that’s true of most illustrations of Lovecraft’s critters or demons.

At the Mountains of Madness isn’t a short story like some of Lovecraft’s other work, though. I think it’s his longest piece and I vaguely remember the version I read being around 80 pages. That requires some changes but it’s not like expanding a five- or ten-page story into a movie. I don’t know what Del Toro planned to do, but I did read he was intended to bring Cthulhu into the story. That would be a major change (although if someone’s finally going to do a Lovecraft movie it’s true that it would be a waste to leave out Cthulhu, who is by far his most famous creation).

You don’t? There was the whole Vietnam combat scene at the beginning, Tim Robbins got a very graphic bayonet to the belly, that may have included intestines hanging out, and Elizabeth Pena showed breasts at least once, possibly twice. That, plus the language, meant a definite R -especially in 1990.

Will it also have Mintberry Crunch?