A Lovecraftian tragedy? ‘Prometheus’ may have finally killed del Toro’s ‘At the Mountains of Madness’

The sad news is currently sweeping through the fantasy/SF/horror community and the movie-oriented corridors of the Interwebs: Guillermo del Toro has publicly announced that his long-anticipated adaptation of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness is really and truly dead. What’s more, the (unintentional) culprit is Ridley Scott’s forthcoming Prometheus.

Say what? I wrote a recent column for SF Signal about the thematic links between Prometheus and HPL’s ATMOM, but I never expected to hear that del Toro would take the new film as a cue to abandon ship with his own project. So now I’ve written another column to process this information:

A couple of weeks ago, I used this space to speculate about the possibility that director Ridley Scott’s forthcoming Prometheus may prove to be a kind of heady hybridizing of 2001: A Space Odyssey with Lovecraftian horror. Now comes the news that the Lovecraftian elements of Prometheus may be so close to certain key aspects of Guillermo del Toro’s long-planned and long-anticipated adaptation of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness that they may have killed the project. And this comes straight from the mouth, or rather the keyboard, of the man himself.

…So now we are, I suppose, left with the hope that Prometheus will deliver these cosmic horrific philosophical-emotional goods…But this doesn’t soften the blow of losing del Toro’s take on Lovecraft’s novel, especially since, as The New Yorker‘s Zelewski reported, “Del Toro had hoped that a greenlight for ‘Madness’ would mark a new golden age for horror films” and had been planning to use the project as a cinematic channel for an authentically Lovecraftian sense of cosmic dread: “Del Toro loves the story in part because Lovecraft combines terror — the panicked effort to escape the creatures — with metaphysical horror: ‘The book essentially says how scary it is to realize that we are a cosmic joke.’”

Here’s the full piece: Guillermo del Toro Says ‘Prometheus’ Has Effectively Killed ‘At the Mountains of Madness’

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD and GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES.

Posted on May 8, 2012, in Arts & Entertainment and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. well hell fire. Mountains of Madness is my favorite.
    now when I watch Prometheus I’ll be pissed off.
    I’ve always wanted to see someone with some sense do Lovecraft justice.
    drat.

    maybe he’ll change his mind. (fingers crossed)

  2. Marc Bridgham

    Being one of the seeming few who liked the last Prometheseus and also thinks Del Toro is a perfect fit for, in my opinion, perhaps the best Lovecraftian tone in film ever (finally) I would so like to see both these projects unfold. As film technology has finally evolved to the point that comic books can be effectively rendered on screen, it seems to me that both the technology and the sensitivity of someone like Del Toro can finally create Lovecraft on screen with both visual richness and the sense of dread.

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