Rumor: ‘Big Fish’ Screenwriter John August to Rewrite ‘The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft’ Adaptation
Posted on Monday, February 21st, 2011 by Angie Han
Way back in 2009, we reported that a big-screen adaptation of Mac Carter‘s four-part comic series The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft was in development. Carter’s book is a fantastical origin story for Cthulhu creator H.P. Lovecraft, in which a meek young Lovecraft falls under a curse that turns him into a kind of supernatural god. Ron Howard was attached to direct, from a script written by Carter himself.
We haven’t heard much news on the movie since then, but a new rumor that’s been floating around gives us hope that the project isn’t totally dead. According to The Tracking Board, screenwriter John August has been brought on to rewrite Carter’s screenplay. Hit the jump for more details, including an official synopsis of the comic book.
The Strange Adventures film won’t be Carter’s first time dealing with film. Carter is a graduate of the USC Film School, and has directed various shorts and commercials (see some of his ads here). It will, however, be his first time working on a full-fledged feature, so it’s not totally surprising that his script might be in need of some polishing. And August is no stranger to helping out screenwriting newbies — he regularly dispenses tips and advice for aspiring writers through his website. As a writer, he’s best known for his collaborations with Tim Burton (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, the upcoming Frankenweenie). His most recent work is most recent work is 2007’s The Nines (not to be confused with Nine or 9), which he also directed.
As the source for the story is a Hollywood tracking board, rather than a confirmed report, August’s alleged involvement is nothing more than a rumor at this point. If indeed it is true, I can certainly see August’s participation making sense. Fan reaction to Howard’s involvement was less than enthusiastic at the time, since there was little in the A Beautiful Mind director’s filmography to suggest he’d “get” the gritty horror of Carter’s series. (This despite the fact that Carter himself aptly defended Howard in a 2009 interview: “Ron Howard is a storyteller. He’s versatile, working effortlessly and fluently across genres, from balls-to-the-wall action-thriller to historical sit-down drama, always instilling the work with creativity, passion and humanity. Why would his horror film be any different?”) A frequent Burton associate seems like a good fit in terms of sensibility, and could help bridge the gap between Howard’s style and Carter’s book.
Whether or not the August rumor is true, we’ll keep you updated on this project as it develops. In the meantime, fans of Lovecraft and/or clever horror can look forward to Guillermo del Toro’s At the Mountains of Madness, which is quite a bit farther along than Howard’s film — it’s scheduled to begin shooting this summer.
Synopsis for the comic book The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft, from its official website:
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Toiling away as a timid and eccentric writer of pulp horror stories, H.P. Lovecraft, is powerless in the world… in love with a girl who doesn’t love him back, mired in a profession that inspires no respect and frozen in the grip of a terrible writer’s block. Until one day when everything changes. Lovecraft comes in contact with an ancient book that passes onto him an insidious curse: whenever he sleeps, his darkest nightmares come true and are loosed on the world. Suddenly, this shy and bumbling writer becomes both an unwitting god of destruction and the only man who can ?ght the wickedness he unleashes. It’s a fantastical revision of the life and work of H.P. Lovecraft, a story in the mold of the classic Universal horror movies. A weird tale indeed.