If you love horror, especially things that exist on the fringe of sanity, then you should be well versed in At the Mountains of Madness. If not, you need to be. The work of H.P. Lovecraft has a wild, singular work. There is a vividity to the nightmare visions of that strange little Providence man that has stood the test of time and yet to be matched. His tales (the first hand accounts of normal men driven to madness by encounters with terrible, unimaginable things from other worlds) are so intense and personal that there were times I feared he might be telling the truth. This is why I'm scared of the ocean, I don't know what's in there so anything is possible!
Madness follows an arctic expedition that uncovers dark, disturbing secrets that may hold answers to the origins of man. Also, giant penguins and monsters. Guillermo Del Toro has been planning a big screen adaptation of this story for a long time now, he had a full drafted script which has circulated the web for some time, and it's a corker; a mix of adventure, horror and fantasy. It's a big, ambitious, epic horror movie that could be as thrilling as it is terrifying.
Del Toro's distinct style and heavy focus on strong art design would have created something special. Alas, after repeated delays, most recently with Universal dropping the project due to budget concerns, Del Toro moved on to his giant monster movie, Pacific Rim, and the fate of Madness seemed in question.
Today, posting on the Del Toro Film message boards the director reports that Ridley Scott's Prometheus may have put an end to his dream project.
"I have been interviewed about this lately and wanted to post my two cents about this:
Prometheus started filming a while ago - right at the time we were in preproduction on PACIFIC RIM. The title itself gave me pause - knowing that ALIEN was heavily influenced by Lovecraft and his novella.
This time, decades later with the budget and place Ridley Scott occupied, I assumed the greek metaphor alluded at the creation aspects of the HPL book. I believe I am right and if so, as a fan, I am delighted to see a new RS science fiction film, but this will probably mark a long pause - if not the demise - of ATMOM.
The sad part is - I have been pursuing ATMOM for over a decade now - and, well, after Hellboy II two projects I dearly loved were not brought to fruition for me.
The good part is: One project did... And I am loving it and grateful for the blessings I have received."
When further pressed on WHY the two could not co-exist, Del Toro added, "Same premise. Scenes that would be almost identical" and "both movies seem to share identical set pieces and the exact same BIG REVELATION (twist) at the end. I won't spoil it."
I suspect Del Toro is indulging in a bit of speculation here, so maybe when he finally sees Prometheus he will change his mind. Or, Cthuhlu forbid, if Prometheus turns out to be a bit crap.
Note to Lovecraft nerds: Yes, I know Cthuhlu doesn't strictly appear in At the Mountains of Madness but he did feature in Del Toro's original screenplay draft.
Source: Shock Til You Drop