Hey folks, Harry here... if I were a stockholder in Comcast or Universal - and watched as that studio is marching forward with STRETCH ARMSTRONG, OUIJI and BATTLESHIP... while leaving one of the most impassioned, amazing projects ever conceived. A film directed by Guillermo Del Toro - with Don Murphy - the producer behind the TRANSFORMERS money machine and James Cameron... Starring TOM CRUISE - who will be crazy hot after Brad Bird's MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL - which I'm hearing is turning out to be something rather spectacular...
Instead - we're going to get something altogether different from Guillermo, who will begin shooting PACIFIC RIM in September. How has this come about so quickly? Well, as is the truth with all instant new projects, there's been 8 months of work going on behind the scenes quietly in Guillermo's Man Cave and other secret locales, no doubt. This is a film with mind-blowing monsters and that's all I need to know. Not much is known about the project - other than Guillermo isn't getting to do AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS due to Universal's predilection with Board Games and Stretching Toys.
Right now, UNIVERSAL is in 5th place in the Box Office for this year. In 2010 & 2009 they finished up in 6th place, if they allow AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS to go away - they deserve their mediocre status. It is very rare that this industry actually has an incredibly passionate project to have the opportunity to make.
More often than naught, the projects are assignments - and the end results feel like it. But when you have a filmmaker that is as talented as Guillermo Del Toro - with the team he has behind him - and the first major A-List star lined up with him. There's a chance to make something that not only changes the industry, rewrites what is possible in Genre Filmmaking. But you sell this as the most ambitious horror film every made. You talk about going to the ends of the Earth to shoot it. You talk about the new technology created to capture it all. And then you begin unleashing images that would enrapture a public's mind. The R-rating would've made it an event. Something to chest beat about. A bold proclamation that UNIVERSAL isn't just about toys & board games.
I don't know why I'm so surprised to see cowardice from a studio like Universal. I loved that AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS was going to happen there. They essentially invented horror with Carl Laemmle - and that hasn't done anything bold with the genre since John Carpenter's THE THING. Here they had a chance to redefine the genre forever. To make a mark in the genre that made the studio, the studio it is. I can't even imagine the MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS theme attraction they could've put together.
Oh well... I weep not for Guillermo, but Universal... They'll be coming in 6th again it seems. The good news is, Guillermo will be shooting a huge new monster epic by the beginning of the Fall. And that, my friends, is a very good thing indeed.