Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Farewell Tolkien, Hello Lovecraft?

Guillermo del Toro has just announced that he is bowing out of his directing gig on The Hobbit. According to the filmmaker, the persistent postponement of the start date has compelled him to pursue other projects. "In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming The Hobbit, I am faced with the hardest decision of my life," del Toro said in a statement on OneRing.net. "After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien's Middle-earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures."

Del Toro maintains that he will continue to co-write the screenplays with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, but will not be directing. He added:
"I wish the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director."

So does this mean that he will finally throw himself into getting his beloved and long-touted adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s cosmic-terror tale At the Mountains of Madness off the ground? According to an interview on Sci-fi.com a while back, del Toro stated: “Part of the arrangement with Universal… was they would finance research and development for Mountains of Madness. And we are doing it. There are many technical tools in creating the monsters that don't exist, and we need to develop them. The creatures, Lovecraft's creatures, the tools that exist for CG and the materials that exist for makeup effects, you need to push them to get there and we're going to push them.”

This has long been a dream project for the filmmaker and he commented in an interview with Torn in 2008: “At The Mountains of Madness’… that movie I have kept alive for many, many years and I want to keep it alive to do as soon as I can.”

If anyone can do justice to a Lovecraft adaptation, it’s Guillermo del Toro. Anyone needing any proof of what he could do with Lovecraft’s mythology and how great it could look should just check out those positively Lovecraftian shots from Hellboy, particularly those of the descending Ogdru Jahad at the climax.






A few other distinctly Lovecraftian images from Hellboy...




A few other rather Lovecraftian creatures and mysterious beasts from the director's work...






Tentacles crossed his next project will be Lovecraft orientated...

9 comments:

Sarah from Scare Sarah said...

You might be right there.

The Film Connoisseur said...

Im right there with you! The Mountains of Madness has to be Del Toro's next film! Only he can make it, he is one of the few directors to fully comprehend what Lovecraft is all about. Too bad he spent so much time on something that is dead in the water...

Will Errickson said...

This was my first thought on hearing the news too. Del Toro would be perfect for any HPL tale, but the majesty and horror of Mountains are just right for him to tackle.

Matt-suzaka said...

Everything would be right about Del Toro doing At the Mountains of Madness. I grew up a huge Lovecraft fan and if anyone can do the mans writings justice AND get the budget to do so, it's him.

Liam said...

It's a genuine shame Del Toro has had to leave, but I read Jackson is attempting to relieve himself of some contracts so he can take over directing duties. If he manages that, then hope is not lost for the halflings.

Meanwhile, it will always be interesting seeing what Del Toro will do next. He's a one of a kind.

Joe Monster said...

Del Toro is indeed a filmmaker like no other in today's cinematic world. His dark genius has already created some great films and his adaptation of a work by Lovecraft would be the most delicious cherry on top of a fantastic, bloody sundae.

Carl (ILHM) said...

Terrible but reassuring news, I hate to hear that Del Toro is off of THE HOBBIT, but if he were to leave for any reason, this has to be the best one!

Aylmer said...

I'm a long-time staunch supporter of GDT's Madness adaptation too, but I fear that without the success of the Hobbit films behind him, he'll struggle to get the funding required for such a massive undertaking.

This is a great post though James, these grabs are indeed the proof that he's the man for the job. While I'm at it, your blog rules - adding it to my links now.

If you're interested, my own thoughts on GDT's Madness:

http://unflinchingeye.blogspot.com/2010/02/three-great-movies-that-dont-exist-part.html

James said...

Thanks for the linkage and kind words Aylmer! Just heading over to your neck of the blog-woods for a wee stroll. :o)