|Leaping atop a couch, and a Lovecraft film cast list, near you.|
Guillermo del Toro's anticipated big screen adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's iconic novella "At the Mountains of Madness" (produced by some wall flower named James Cameron, who has created the top two highest grossing films of all time) has been buzzing around the web-o-sphere for a while, frightening HPL fans from Wolverton to Adelaide, and everywhere in between. But the longer this rumor stayed above the ice, the more legs shot out from underneath.
Hit Fix getting to the bottom of the brouhaha by directly e-mailing those actually involved, namely the director and his producer, del Toro and Don Murphy (lately of the CG-heavy spectacle "Transformers").
As this story unspooled into the ether today, an earlier article birthed on i09, and then shared (with caveats and updates) on Collider, had Cruise set to star, and the production start date slated for June of 2011. But the Hit Fix piece pulled back on the reigns, and now, according to the above linked Hit Fix article:
Murphy's official statement to HitFix is as follows: "We are all trying to get Mountains up and running with Tom and Jim and everybody but no start date has been set AT ALL."
So, no firm start date, but Tom Cruise is now on board the creaking ship, heading south, ever south, looking for McMurdo Sound and the impossibly high mountains rumored to lie beyond.
My first reaction is always negative toward The Cruise, based partially on his acting, but mostly on his wacky personal life and full body embrace of a religion started by a middling sci-fi writer. You don't see me accepting the Azathoth A-Okay Achievement Award in front of a throng of glassy eyed Dagon cultists. And I read Hubbard's Battlefield Earth back in grade school, and even then thought it was a bunch of soft ball shite. I just felt cool reading a really thick book. Size is everything to a 6th grader.
|I think someone has Cthulhu Envy|
|Don't blow it, White Samurai|
Sadly, this potentially epic bit of filmmaking is under more of a threat of being creatively undone - at least in my bleary, easily dizzied eyes - by the fact that it's going to be shot and presented in 3-frickin'-D. This gimmicky bit of retro Hollywood nonsense (Tinseltown only trusts that which has a verifiable track record these days, no matter how spotty) has hung around far longer than I expected, or than is healthy for the future of the cinema. I don't want to have to risk nausea and vertigo when I see a film, especially for a 20 spot.
But I will for "At the Mountains of Madness." I'm nearly beside myself, and can't wait until photography starts in earnest. Too much pre-production has taken place. Too many Big Names are now in the mix (yes, including T. Cruise) to pull the plug now. But, it won't be real until that first image burns onto celluloid... 3D or otherwise.