Director Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth) has been providing quite a few updates lately on upcoming projects he’s involved with including a DC comics team-up movie currently titled Dark Universe, a Hulk TV show for ABC and his passion project, At the Mountains of Madness. While none of these are greenlit, it sounds like there is hope for Dark Universe and At the Mountains of Madness. The Hulk TV show seems to have been stalled for now, most likely due to ABC moving forward with Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m all for a del Toro produced Hulk show but I’d give that up that in a heartbeat if it meant del Toro could do the aforementioned films.
This project seemed to come out of nowhere considering that Warner Bros seems to have a lot of trouble getting superheroes films made. With Man of Steel readying to be released and a Justice League movie in the works, it seems the DC comics brand is primed to kick into high gear and start expanding its roster of characters a la the Marvel films. Besides the big name characters of Justice League, it looks like Warners is interested in expanding the universe with some lesser known characters to be featured in Dark Universe that includes Swamp Thing, John Constantine, Zatanna, Zatara, the Demon and Deadman. I’m not familiar with about half of these characters but I really like the idea of seeing Swamp Thing and John Constantine up on the big screen again. I think Dark Universe could have a nice mix between the superhero and horror genres and could be something really awesome, especially if del Toro directs it. It also sounds like that they’ve hired a writer that will make things even more enticing, as del Toro mentioned in an interview where he spoke about his involvement in the project.
“I’m working on it,” del Toro says. “I’m writing the outline and we’re already in talks with a writer. A very, very good writer. People are probably going to be happy with who we have chosen. He accepted. I’ve been courting this writer, who I think is the perfect guy for this job. We’re doing it. Hopefully it will happen.”
Guillermo also commented on Warner Bros building the DC cinematic universe, “The movement for this happened before [The Avengers]. They were already galvanized to launch ‘Justice League’ and they were galvanized to make their universe cohesive… They are really, really, with ‘Superman’, very, very confident with what they have. They are now feeling they have two pillars. Batman and Superman… There’s a foundation that now they can build on.”
There’s been talk for quite some time about a Hulk TV show in development over at ABC with Guillermo executive producing. However, it doesn’t seem to have gained any traction as of late according to del Toro himself.
“I met with Jeph Loeb after ‘Avengers,’ but after that meeting, there’s been complete radio silence on the show. It’s very frustrating for me and for the fans that we don’t know. I haven’t heard anything in months about the show, but obviously ‘Avengers’ is a game-changer for Marvel. It’s their property, and if I don’t make it, at least I’ll watch it.”
At the Mountains of Madness
Guillermo has been hard at work for about fifteen plus years trying to get H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness made into a film. Last year it looked like there was some encouraging rumblings that it was going to happen with Tom Cruise starring. Then Universal got cold feet when faced with a big budget R-rated horror sci-fi film. Between having the rug cut out from underneath him and the release of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, a film with some similarities, it was looking like del Toro’s enthusiasm to keep fighting for the project had diminished. However, as he mentioned in an interview recently, that is not the case and he still has hope for his Lovecraft adaptation.
“I saw [Prometheus] finally,” he updates. “..yes, there are things in common, but, you know, screw it. Lovecraft was there first,” del Toro said. “I’m going to try it one more time. Once more into the dark abyss. We’re gonna do a big presentation of the project again at the start of the year and see if any [studio’s] interested … Tom is still attached. I think it would be so fantastic to make it with him. He’s been such a great ally of the project.”
I sincerely hope del Toro gets to make At the Mountains of Madness. Considering the immense talent the man has as a filmmaker, I want to see del Toro make a film that he’s been yearning to make. I think that will result in something extraordinary.
by Ben McBride