Director Guillermo del Toro has a new movie coming out this month, Nightmare Alley, and it looks freaking awesome. Del Toro has been a favorite of film nerds for a long time, but when The Shape of Water won Best Picture, and del Toro won Best Director, people who weren't as familiar with his work began to learn about him. Del Toro has had a couple of passion projects that have never really gotten off of the ground, but one of those projects is a movie adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. Del Toro first wrote the script in 2006, and the closest it ever came to getting off of the ground was in 2010 with Tom Cruise set to star, James Cameron set to produce, and it would be in 3D. However, the project eventually fell apart, and we haven't heard anything about it since. People thought once del Toro won those Oscars that people would finally let him make the movie, but it still hasn't happened. Del Toro was recently on The Kingcast (via ScreenRant) and talked about how he would have to do a re-write of his 2006 script and, to this writer's delight, go in an even weirder director.
"The thing with Mountains is, the screenplay I co-wrote fifteen years ago is not the screenplay I would do now, so I need to do a rewrite. Not only to scale it down somehow, but because back then I was trying to bridge the scale of it with elements that would make it go through the studio machinery. I don't think I need to reconcile that anymore. I can go to a far more esoteric, weirder, smaller version of it. You know, where I can go back to some of the scenes that were left out.
Some of the big set pieces I designed, for example, I have no appetite for. Like, I've already done this or that giant set piece. I feel like going into a weirder direction. I know a few things will stay. I know the ending we have is one the most intriguing, weird, unsettling endings, for me. There's about four horror set pieces that I love in the original script. So, you know, it would be my hope. I certainly get a phone call every six months from Don Murphy going 'Are we doing this or what? Are you doing this next or what?' and I say 'I have to take the time to rewrite it.'"
So it's interesting to hear that the person who might be getting in the way of del Toro making At the Mountains of Madness right now might be del Toro himself. It makes sense that he would want to do a re-write after fifteen years, we all change a lot in that amount of time, and del Toro hasn't exactly had a lot of downtime in the last couple of years either. We'll have to see how Nightmare Alley does both commercially and critically. Maybe if he wins a second Oscar for another movie that doesn't look like traditional Oscar bait, someone will realize that perhaps they should give del Toro all the time and money he wants to do a movie like At the Mountains of Madness. Nightmare Alley will be released in theaters on December 17th.