Back in September, we reported that Guillermo del Toro had gotten tangled up in the mess of trying to finance The Hobbit and so his plans to adapt Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness had been bumped into Ron Howard’s lap. Teeth were gnashed, garments were quite rended.
Bummed that del Toro left the Hobbit? Annoyed that Avatar has made James Cameron’s bidet the sixteenth largest economy in the world? Here’s the silver lining. Cutting loose of The Hobbit allowed del Toro back in the game and James Cameron said he’d be producer if del Toro was director. There may have been a horse’s head involved.
The downside (if you’re deeply cynical, and let’s be honest, you’re reading this website) is that it’s going to be in 3D. I hardly see the point, that still leaves them at least four dimensions short of being able to render the Old Ones accurately anyway. It’s not the sort of story that would much benefit from 3D. The least interesting things in it are the things that you see, and the most terrifying are the ones left completely unseen or described, the very sight of which drive men to madness.
It’s also an odd tale to see transitioned to a film because as I recall, so much of the story is the explorers reading the story of the Old Ones from pictograms on the walls of the ruins. It works in a novella, but in the context of a film it would need to be adapted. It just doesn’t work to have the characters reading off of a wall, and neither would it work to just zoom in on the pictographs. But the only other alternative while remaining faithful seems like it would require a flashback montage of the history of the Old Ones, which sounds like a terrible idea.
In any case, an Antarctic plateau containing an ancient city of a race that predates man? I can’t think of anyone better than the guy who did Pan’s Labyrinth to give it a try. As long as he’s not mixing this with Haunted Mansion, or I will build an atomic weapon in my garage.