Aside from finishing up on Hellboy II: The Golden Army, which hits theaters July 11, 2008, del Toro will also direct the two Peter Jackson-produced Hobbit films as well as direct his screenplay for the big-screen adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story At the Mountains of Madness.
Lovecraft’s 1931 classic tale documents an Antarctic scientific expedition which uncovers an ancient buried city of unspeakable horror and contains all of the now-familiar Lovecraftian trappings like the Necronomicon, Cthulhu, The Elder Things, the Shoggoths, and Miskatonic University.
The director told MTV that he wants his Mountains of Madness to be a summer tentpole big-event horror film the likes of The Exorcist, Alien, Jaws, and The Shining.
It has the scope of a Shackleton epic exploration movie but it’s full of tentacled things.
Ernest Shackleton was famous for his Antarctic explorations and is referenced in Lovecraft’s tale by the fictional first-person account of geologist and expedition leader William Dyer.
Del Toro explained that while his version will be faithful to the original tale, it won’t be a line-for-line adaptation, which would come across as “a National Geographic special on a crew that disappeared in an exploration mission.”
“It’s not hard to be faithful to Lovecraft because what is great about the novel is that it’s a compilation of really dry scientific annotations that happen to be annotating something really scary. There is no character or dramatic thread,” he insisted. “You take those documents and you then create a story.”
Lastly, del Toro said that he is happy with his script for the film:
… “I know some people would like a happier ending but I’m happy with the ending there is.”
It’s a year old now, but for a sneak peek inside del Toro’s script, check out the script review from Latino Review.