With Legendary’s Thomas Tull on hand, fanboy fave Guillermo del Toro didn’t waste his SRO Saturday audience in Hall H. After premiering electric and ambitious first-look footage from his gothic romance Crimson Peak, del Toro unabashedly polled the enthusiastic Comic-Con crowd asking if they’d like to see another sequel to his Hellboy films. “Hellboy 3? They’re listening! At The Mountains of Madness?” Both passion pics are in hot demand with the filmmaker’s fans, who unleashed deafening screams of support.
Related: Comic-Con: Fox Brings The Biz For Del Toro’s ‘Book Of Life’
Are Tull and Legendary also onboard? ”When you’re done with PacRim 2, we’ll talk,” Tull answered onstage minutes later.
Hellboy 3 would be a Comic-Con no-brainer, but you could make a movie about del Toro’s aggressive pursuit of converting the H.P. Lovecraft novella At The Mountains Of Madness into a feature film. The saga stalled when — with Universal getting very close to production with del Toro directing and Tom Cruise ready to star — it called a halt because del Toro would not budge on the possibility that the film might come in with an R rating. That was in spring 2011, and he moved on at the time to helm Pacific Rim.
The question is, will an R rating still be a sticking point if Tull decides to jump in after that “talk” to fund what at the time was a $150M-budgeted 3D pic with an R rating. It would be nice to see such a creative filmmaker get to make his passion project.
Related: ‘Pacific Rim’ Toon Series Revealed As Uni Dates Sequel For April 2017
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When I spoke to director Guillermo del Toro recently, he noted the similar circumstances between Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and At The Mountains Of Madness, the film del Toro was set to direct with Tom Cruise until Universal pulled the plug because the director would not back off his insistence of being able to deliver an R-rated film. Universal execs deemed that too risky for a $150 million film, despite it being 3D and based on storied HP Lovecraft subject matter.
Prometheus is even more like At The Mountains Of Madness than del Toro thought. Fox has confirmed that it will release Scott’s science fiction film with an R rating, rather than water the film down to get a PG-13. It is a big risk for Fox, whose executives basically are in the position that Universal execs wanted to avoid when they said no to At The Mountains Of Madness. Part of me wonders if del Toro should have gone ahead and made his movie, and dug his heels in on a rating after it was finished, but I know that del Toro is too forthright for that. The MPAA rationale behind the Prometheus rating cited “sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language,” exactly the same things that might have hamstrung Mountains. I’m told that del Toro is … Read More »
STUNNER! Legendary Pictures Postpones January Start Of ‘Paradise Lost’
EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Pictures’ Paradise Lost isn’t the only film being readied on the Warner Bros lot to face a budget crisis. Arthur & Lancelot, the David Dobkin script that Warner Bros paid $2 million to acquire last summer, won’t get made unless the budget drops dramatically. I’m told that even though Warner Bros dated the film for a March 15, 2013 release and cast Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington to play Arthur and The Killing‘s Joel Kinnaman to play Lancelot, the back and forth on budget has gotten to the point that the studio has invited Dobkin to set the picture up elsewhere if he can. I’ve heard that what started as a $90 million (other sources said Warners would make it for $110 million) contemporary style re-imagining of the Sword And The Stone tale has a budget the studio fears could reach $130 million. The studio feels that is just too much for a movie with two unproven leads. After the year’s wild box office swings and last weekend’s paltry performance, who can blame Warner Bros for being cautious?
It is obviously a Warner Bros goal to tell the story of Arthur, Lancelot and the Knights of the Roundtable, because the Dobkin spec supplanted two others that the studio had in development. The studio is keen to see through Dobkin’s version of the film (the spec deal allowed Dobkin … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: As Deadline first revealed Monday, Guillermo del Toro’s plans to next direct Tom Cruise in the R-rated At the Mountains of Madness imploded, and he will instead direct Pacific Rim, a Travis Beacham-scripted monster movie that is fast coming together at Legendary Pictures with a PG-13 rating. The town and media have been buzzing since about the business implication of a rising star filmmaker being denied the chance to swing for the fences on his dream project at his home studio, even when it is god-fathered by 3D guru James Cameron. Here, Del Toro confirms he will next direct Pacific Rim for Legendary Pictures’ Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, and what prevented At The Mountains Of Madness from becoming reality for a June start at Universal.
DEADLINE: When I first wrote Monday about Universal suddenly balking at Mountains, studio insiders said they weren’t sure Tom Cruise was definitively in, and they couldn’t stomach a $150 million R rated film because few of those have grossed the $500 million or so needed for Universal to make money. What do you think of that?
DEL TORO: Definitely, closing Tom’s deal was in their hands. He was without a doubt, absolutely in favor of being in the movie. We met extensively, both in Canada and the U.S., dozens of times. Final polishes of the screenplay met with his approval. Closing the deal is not something that was in my hands. They … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The green light process on At the Mountains of Madness with Universal Pictures has gone on for so long that there is now a very serious rival for director Guillermo del Toro’s next film. I’m hearing that Legendary Pictures is moving fast on a project del Toro likes called Pacific Rim, a Travis Beacham-scripted PG-13 tent pole-sized project with big monsters and the creation of a new world. It could very well be the next film del Toro directs. That picture was developed independent of Warner Bros, and relatively under the radar by Legendary chief executives Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni. Del Toro has been in the loop through this process. He and Beacham almost worked together in the past when the director flirted with The Killing on Carnival Row at New Line. The Legendary-del Toro relationship dates back through the 8 months they put into Pacific Rim.
Universal has been balking over the $150 million budget and R rating on At the Mountain of Madness, the adaptation of the HP Lovecraft tale that revolves around the discovery of thawing alien beings in Antarctica. This despite the fact that del Toro had Tom Cruise ready to star in the film, with James Cameron producing with Don Murphy and Susan Montford, and Cameron god-fathering the 3D process. Del Toro and his team have delivered a stunning visual presentation that met the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE FROM TORONTO: As co-writer of The Hobbit and director of a 3D adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, Guillermo del Toro plays often in Hollywood’s big budget sandbox. But his heart still beats for foreign film indies. He has two at Toronto: the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed Biutiful, and Julia’s Eyes. The latter is an old style fright film by newcomer Guillem Morales that’s looking for distribution and stars Belen Rueda as a woman losing her sight to a degenerative disease. As the world disappears, she’s sure there is someone in the shadows, stalking her every step. Who better than del Toro to dissect the state of foreign and specialty cinema, and the need for studios to take risks again? And watch how deft del Toro is when I ask him to confirm what my sources tell me: that he could have resurrected Superman but instead chose HP Lovecraft’s South Pole terror tale he’ll make with James Cameron.
Deadline New York: What draws you to godfather these films, or Splice, The Orphanage or the others you produce?
Del Toro: I’m the freaky version of that superhero who says, wherever there is injustice, I shall be there. Whenever there is a difficult project, I’d like to be there. Movies that look safe are less interesting. First or second time filmmakers, Alejandro making his first solo movie [without Guillermo Arriaga], or Alfonso Cuaron’s brother Carlos’ first movie. Producing is gambling on a race … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Since he left The Hobbit, Guillermo del Toro’s next film has been a hot topic of conversation. I’m hearing he will next direct At The Mountains Of Madness, an adaptation of the HP Lovecraft tale that will be shot as a 3D film for Universal Pictures. The big surprise is that Avatar director James Cameron will come aboard as a producer. Del Toro was non-committal when I asked him about the prospect of Mountains days ago as we discussed the Comic-Con reaction to Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. But when del Toro announced at Comic-Con he’d cowrite and produce Haunted Mansion, he told the crowd he’d set his next film shortly, and that it would be scary. At the Mountains of Madness fits that bill, even for del Toro and Universal. The film will be a big ticket item, shot in 3D Read More »
Studios brought stars and film clips to Comic-Con, seeking geek love for all of its superhero and fantasy projects. While they’re paying attention, how about some of the more ambitious films these die-hards have waited years to see? After numerous conversations with agents, writers and studio execs who orbit the geek periphery, I’ve culled the 15 that came up most often. Some of these will happen soon, others might never emerge from development hell, a few might be just too tough to crack in a two-hour time frame. Given the glut of Comic-Con superhero projects, there’s a refreshing lack of capes. Here they are, in no particular order.
Warcraft. Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros have been working on the project since last summer with Sam Raimi. When Spider-Man imploded, it looked like his next movie. Until Disney tempted him with a big paycheck as it tries for another Alice in Wonderland bonanza with its Great and Powerful Oz prequel. Raimi’s next slot is now a race between the two projects to get scripts right and lock in stars (Disney wants Robert Downey Jr., but he doesn’t like the scripts he’s seen so far). The Blizzard Entertainment Warcraft vidgame revolves around an epic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The game’s global following makes it the kind of branded property that compels studios to take big-budget risks. There is also
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