Get ready to get your hopes up again (hopefully without the usual heartbreak this time) about one of Guillermo del Toro’s most notorious and tragic passion projects that never saw the light of day. The man has given us some of the greatest films of the century with the likes of “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Crimson Peak,” “The Devil’s Backbone” and “The Shape of Water,” but for every movie he has completed, there are dozens of projects that didn’t get made, from an adaptation of “The Witches” to “Justice League Dark” to a remake of “Fantastic Voyage.”
Of course, there is one doomed project that has eluded del Toro for years, the one everyone turns to when the topic comes up — “At The Mountains Of Madness.” The Oscar-winning Mexican director has been trying to make an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s 1936 horror story since the mid-2000s, but the project quickly became too big, and the studio killed it. Still, that hasn’t stopped del Toro from holding out hope that he’d bring out Lovecraft’s tale of cosmic terror to the big screen — he even recently shared test footage of one of the creatures. Now, del Toro has a possible new shot at fulfilling his decades’ long dream, thanks to Netflix.
del Toro has had a deal with Netflix to produce new titles since 2020, and he said earlier this year that one of the titles he’s been wanting to revisit now that he has a bit more security in getting titles greenlit is “At The Mountains Of Madness.” After all, the streamer helped get del Toro’s long-gestating passion project “Pinocchio” off the ground, to spectacular results. So spectacular is that film, and so much fun del Toro had doing stop-motion, that he is now thinking of reviving his Lovecraft adaptation as an animated movie, and he may be recruiting a legend to help him accomplish it.
This Is What Dreams Are Made Of
Speaking to IndieWire about his history with and love for stop-motion, del Toro revealed he’s been talking to none other than VFX and stop-motion legend Phil Tippett (who just released the unforgettable “Mad God“) about possibly translating del Toro’s original idea for “At The Mountains Of Madness” into stop-motion. “I said it would be ideal to do ‘Mountains of Madness’ as stop-motion,” del Toro said. “You watch the animation in a more rapturous way than live action. It’s almost a hypnotic act, and the relationship to the story becomes more intimate in that way.”
Now, this is a phenomenal idea. Not only is animation cheaper than live-action, which would solve the main reason why the project was killed in the first place (even if stop-motion is more expensive than traditional animation), but stop-motion is a medium naturally fit for horror. There’s something about lifeless, but tactile puppets coming life with movements that are almost real but not quite that gains a feeling of uneasiness and aids the horror atmosphere.
There’s no guarantees the project will finally get made, but out of all the possible ways to go about it, asking Phil Tippett to help make “At The Mountains Of Madness” in stop-motion feels like the best one.
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Source: Slash Film