gdt-cameron-mountains

To the many, many people who bring up H.P. Lovecraft‘s At the Mountains of Madness (the book that combines exploratory adventure, science fiction and Lovecraft’s tales of great, horrible old gods) every time Guillermo del Toro has a window of availability: this one’s for you. The director has talked about wanting to adapt Lovecraft’s story for many years, but it always seemed like a really tough sell. After all, what studio wants to finance an expensive, dark, R-rated film like this?

As it turns out, that studio appears to be Universal. Can’t hurt that James Cameron has come aboard to produce. Has the time finally come for a big-budget Lovecraft film?

We’ve known that del Toro planned to announce his next film after Comic Con; we’ve known it would be horror, shot in 3D, and a film that he’s been wanting to make for a long time. Now Deadline says that del Toro and James Cameron have partnered to make At the Mountains of Madness for Universal, which after Hellboy II wanted to work with del Toro badly enough that it picked up the rights to the story from DreamWorks.

Deadline says the film will go into pre-production within weeks, and that it will shoot next year. (GdT said at Comic Con that he’d shoot his next film in May 2011.) The site also says the film “will be a big ticket item, shot in 3D, where Cameron’s expertise can really help. Cameron has said he won’t put his name on many future movies outside of the 3D reboot of Fantastic Voyage at Fox, but I’ve heard he’s making an exception for del Toro.”

Del Toro and Matthew Robbins wrote the original script draft of Mountains, many years ago and they’re reworking it now. I can only imagine what they’ll come up with if they’ve got the strong backing of Universal and James Cameron. I’m not wild about the 3D idea, but maybe this team can make the 3D sing. The rest of the equation is fantastic.

(And what an interesting place Universal is in right now. The studio has had a couple big financial losers recently, but is still making some of the more risky-looking studio movies going right now.)

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