At The Mountains of Madness Finally being green lighted!!!

  1. Wolf873

    Wolf873 Well-Known Member

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    Jul 29, 2010
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  2. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    Weeellll... given the enormous number of things which get a green light, go into pre-production, and even production or primary shooting... and never get made... I ain't gonna hold my breath.

    However... it is encouraging that it has at least got the studios going in that direction, and evidently has someone with the clout of Cameron to help with that. (As others know, I have strong reservations when it comes to Cameron, but there is no denying the man's cachet with the money-men at the studios these days. At least we can hope that it helps in this case.) And, should it actually make it to the screen, I will be more than happy to eat my share of crow.

    I do know, however, that there are major alterations Del Toro is making to the tale (including, reportedly, the appearance of the Old Ones), some of which give me pause; but if he does an adaptation which captures even a reasonable amount of the Lovecraftian feel and intelligence, I will not only be satisfied but darn near turning handsprings....

    (Glad he's keeping it period, though. And how in the bloody blue blazes could it be set anywhere but Antarctica?????:confused:)
     
    Jul 29, 2010
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  3. Wolf873

    Wolf873 Well-Known Member

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    Well for the moment I am unable to control my excitement over this news, but your right of course we shouldn't hold our breath, especially since it is a risky project even with Cameron involved. However, I am bit of a optimist in this case.

    Cameron won't be that involved with the movie as far as I know, perhaps only lending a helping hand with the 3D aspect of the movie. Even so, the man has a great track record for making some terrific films.

    Of course, I expect Del Toro to make some additions or alterations to the novella if it is to be a 2 hour movie, but as you said: as long as it captures the essence of the book, then it's all good.
     
    Jul 29, 2010
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  4. w h pugmire esq

    w h pugmire esq Well-Known Member

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    This news has caused shock waves through the Lovecraft community, and most of the reaction seems to be negative because many feel that Cameron will force del Toro's hand to bring in a love interest (maybe making Danforth female?) or other such nameless horrors. Cameron's involvement, to me, is a good sign that they are serious and that the production will happen -- and I hope it does. I want Lovecraft to take over the world. I want this film and the publicity it will entail to enhance sales of Lovecraft books. I want them to hire S. T. to edit a movie tie-in collection of Lovecraft's tales; hell, I want S. T. to have a cameo in the film as the bloke whom the Great Old Ones dissect. (As he has so psychologically dissected HPL.) S. T. mention'd some time ago that del Toro has contacted him to act as some kind of (I think) Literary consultant on the film, so that is a good omen, shewing that del Toro wants to get things "right." I'm having dinner with S. T. this week-end, so I will try to pump him for info that I can spill here (he always tells me stuff and then says, "Of course this is for your ears alone" -- so frustrating!).
     
    Jul 29, 2010
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  5. nigourath

    nigourath Well-Known Member

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    Well,such an exciting news!!Yet ,i dont trust Del"toro to pull this off,since i remember ,how badly he damaged "The white people" of Arthur Machen,in his film ,"Pan"s labyrinth",so my expectations are not too high...I would trust Cameron a lot more steadily ,as strange as it sounds...Only positive sign, in my opinion, is the possible consultation -although ,i fear it is only the beginning of a dissorganised series of "unfortunate entaglements" ,as it always happens with demanding movies....-with s.t.Joshi.So, i hope they take him under serious account(highly unlikely...).
    One other name of a director,that, could -possibly -more responsibly and authentically, accomplish this filming feat ,compared to Del-Toro,is that of M.Night Syamalan,the director of the -milestone- atmospheric thriller "Sixth Sense" and ...a fellow countryman of S.t.Joshi's,since he is also of an indian origin......Anyone who has seen any of his movies,knows what i am talking about...
     
    Jul 30, 2010
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  6. w h pugmire esq

    w h pugmire esq Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone think a major commercial film, perhaps one that wins an Oscar for Effects or Screenplay or whatever and is insanely popular, would change the face of Lovecraft fandom? This was hinted at in one of the Lovecraft blog sites, kind of, "Enjoy the Lovecraft scene as it now exists, because this film will change everything forever." As a Lovecraft junkie, I have a (perhaps lunatic) desire to see more Lovecraft, different editions of his tales, more books of scholarly analysis and so on. I want Lovecraft to take over the world as long as the focus is on HPL as a writer and his works. I'd love to see Hippocamnpus sales of the letters being published to become so popular that Derrick can keep them in print in hardcover, and I would love to see more popular commercial anthologies of Lovecraftian horror. A new phase of Lovecraft fanaticism would please me utterly. I think. There could be a downside to such an increase in popularity, perhaps. I want Lovecraft to become so popular, just so that I can stick my tongue out to idiots like Ursula Le Guin, who so condemned HPL not only as a writer but as a man.
     
    Jul 30, 2010
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  7. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    I would hardly call Ursula Le Guin an idiot, Wilum. Though I think she was completely off-beam when it came to HPL, this was not uncommon at the period she made her comments. Ted White was even worse, and it was something one saw a lot of with the sf community. On the whole, though, Ursula is herself a fine writer and acute critic. HPL just proved to be one of her blind spots.

    nigourath: On the connection between El laberinto del fauno and "The White People"... though I would agree there are similarities, I don't recall seeing any mention of it being based on Machen's story (though the tale may have had an influence on it). That one is a much more personal film, alongside his Cronos and El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone), addressing, through the lens of fantasy, various concerns of the writer/director himself, rather than it being an adaptation of another's work to film.

    At any rate, my comment about Cameron wasn't so much about his possible influence on the film itself, as on his ability to use his clout to light a fire under the system's butt to get the money rolling for this. I doubt he would have much (if any) actual creative connection to the project, though.
     
    Jul 30, 2010
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  8. Wolf873

    Wolf873 Well-Known Member

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    Smart thing to do is never to have any expectations with these things, this way you won't be disappointed and you would form less biased opinion of the product. I certainly will not go in expecting a masterpiece, assuming the movie comes out. Cameron has a lot respect for what he does, I don't think he'll give in to studio pressure, and thus I don't think he would include a love interest as many are theorizing that it might happen. Although, I personally think that it may add to the grim reality of their (characters) situation, love being their only solace in the dark hour, sort of giving themselves false hope. Still, I'd prefer they keep it out.

    M Night Shyamalan would be a good choice too, however, I think his work has been going downhill since sixth sense. But I'd rather have some Lovecraft fanatic tackle the project than some guy who'll only do it for the money, though I do not know what Shyamalan thinks about Lovecraft's work. And having the same background as Joshi doesn't necessarily guarantees us a worthwhile Lovecraft movie now does it?;)

    Either way, I think we are bit over protective of Lovecraft's work and expect too much. Remember a book and a TV are two different mediums, and thus affect us differently. You can not successfully translate a book into a movie without trial and errors. Much of what's in the book is left to viewer's own imagination, same effect is harder to replicate onto the screen.
     
    Jul 30, 2010
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  9. w h pugmire esq

    w h pugmire esq Well-Known Member

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    Part of my dislike for Ursula is the uptight reaction she has had toward me when we encountered each other at house parties, &c, and she was freaked by my punk drag. She may be a fine writer (I refuse to read her), but her personal reaction to Lovecraft is, to me, idiotic to the max, although it has been decades since I actually read her comments, which were, if I remember correctly, in response to de Camp's biography of HPL.
     
    Jul 30, 2010
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  10. nigourath

    nigourath Well-Known Member

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    Yes ,the "pan's labyrinth" by Del-Toro ,contains personal elements and "vigorously" put political criticism ,regarding the spanish civil war,but remember ,J.d ,this movie has definitily prevailing supernatural imagery ,thematically based to non other than "The White People",Arthur Machen's horror masterpiece,also highly regarded as such from HPL.This is ,in my opinion,Del"Toros most critical effort to date to enter the "Lovecraftian-associated" realm,even though it is not HPL's work-yet certainly influential upon him.He succeeds partly to create the atmosphere of the uncanny parallel world of the little girl heroin,and he even uses the same thematic structure ,as Arthur Machen in his book-the maid that tutors the girl to the hidden magical world , but he also adds the figure of PAN ,from ANOTHER machen story "The great god pan".So in truth here ,we have the adaptated elements of not one, but ..two works of Arthur Machen.

    So,using all these elements ,from one author,finally doesn"t prove effective, as he tries to put also his personal elements,and he both damages both ,the supernatural part of the movie, with the very naive ending and misuse of the Pan entity and also the moral statement or political, if you want ...of the movie.Certainly ,a failed effort in depicting a dark fantasy parallel world and how it counteracts with reality,which Arthur Machen achieves a lot more effectively ,even without the power of the screen...Del-Toro returns to the theme of parallel worlds ,in his Hellboy efforts ,in which he also fails to depict them vividly,creating a more action-oriented artistic effort ,than an atmospheric one, as a Lovecraftian ambitious director,ought to do........
     
    Jul 30, 2010
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  11. nigourath

    nigourath Well-Known Member

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    oh and forgot to say,something ,about m.night syamalan-even though his latest efforts ,are not as critically acclaimed or commercially successfull,doesn"t change the fact ,that he is a fan of 'atmosphere building" and not of high paced action ,like Cameron and even Del"Toro turns out frequently to be.Do you know many like that in the filming scene today?Well,i dont remember many myself-and you should ask St.Joshi himself,if he would prefer to work with someone ,that he could speak the same language,both literally and artistically(in the form of specialized artistic expressiveness)....
     
    Jul 30, 2010
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  12. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    Yes, he uses such elements, but these are hardly exclusive to Machen; they are in fact quite common to a lot of fantasy and horror writers of the past two centuries. And Pan, of course, has long been a symbol for the mystical side of nature, and of paganism and rejection of the Christian creed. So, while I agree there are parallels, I really don't think Del Toro had Machen in mind here. I could be wrong, but the thematic structure of the whole is simply too common to jump to such a conclusion without some specific evidence.

    As for his inserting his own agenda... that, in fact, isn't an insertion, but the heart of the whole thing. The other is exploring the same theme through the lens of fantasy and the supernatural, specifically the views of a highly imaginative little girl. I can't agree that the ending is at all naive... quite the opposite. He deliberately leaves it ambiguous whether she finds her way into her rightful kingdom, or whether this is a fantasy she has as she dies. In the latter case of course, it becomes an extremely grim ending; but in the former, it opens up wider realms.

    As I say, I see similarities, similar elements at least, but there is far too much of exactly this sort of thing in the literature (as well as film) to draw the connection this strongly without some supporting evidence. If it were an adaptation of Machen's story, then I would tend to agree with you that it doesn't work as such. But as a story which is very much Del Toro's own, which would appear to be the case given his statements I've seen (and he isn't given to hiding influences; rather, he tends to proclaim them quite openly), I would say the film works admirably.

    Oh, also, one should make a distinction between such things as the Hellboy films, which are part of what he calls his "comic book films" (in other words, action-adventure films intended for popular consumption) and those which he considers his more serious work, based on his own experiences with the fallout from the sociopolitical situations he knew either first or second-hand from those who had lived through them. The two branches of his work are (intentionally) quite different.

    Wilum: Sorry to hear that she had that reaction. Rather unusual, given her background. But then, people change, and not always for the better; and that could be the case here....
     
    Jul 30, 2010
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  13. Wolf873

    Wolf873 Well-Known Member

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    Sure, same language between two individuals makes them feel more comfortable and often results in a more precise and clear communication but as I said, that doesn't guarantees us a worthwhile movie adaption (I'm not saying he can't do it, I believe he can because he likes building up atmosphere in his movies as you put it, which is a must with Lovecraft), I'm just making a point. But I also believe that if a director who him or herself is too familiar with the book and works in consultation with the expert will undoubtedly produce a slightly more polished movie. But anything can happen, after all not everything turns out as expected. As to Action vs. Atmosphere, well it's just as Worthington said, they are two different genres. Hellboy is mainly an action oriented title.
     
    Jul 31, 2010
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  14. Tinsel

    Tinsel Science fiction fantasy

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    Do you mean Cameron, the producer of Avatar and Titanic? This person is giving us low esteem for this film? and we want these other guys? and the reason is?

    I'll give you one. Both of those movies were nuts. They made a lot of money however....

    The best Lovecraft that I know of is the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company's audio recordings of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", "The Dunwich Horror", etc. I have some confidence in them. They are on iTunes. Now I'd be willing to see a feature film of "At the Mountains of Madness". I'll pay to see it, but it better be good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
    Aug 1, 2010
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  15. J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    You can imagine the Hollywood executives looking at this, can't you?

    'Snowy wastes, killer penguins, Showw-goths..? Well, he was right about the blue hippies, so...'
     
    Aug 1, 2010
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  16. w h pugmire esq

    w h pugmire esq Well-Known Member

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    S. T. had no news about the film at dinner tonight, but he isn't thrilled at the idea of Cameron as producer. S. T. has edited a collection of Arthur Machen tales for Penguin Classics, for which he got del Toro to write a preface or Introduction, and this led to del Toro saying he wants to hire S. T. as some kind of consultant on the film. Whether or not this comes about will be interesting.

    S. T. did have one shocking revelation to-night: he is writing hardboiled detective novels under a secret pen-name, J. K. Maxwell! The first has been published by Borgo Press and is called The Removal Company--An Historical Mystery Novel! The first chapter and other portions may be read at Amazon.com. And now S. T. is seriously thinking of writing a biographical novel concerning the life of HPL! He is truly amazing.
     
    Aug 1, 2010
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  17. Tinsel

    Tinsel Science fiction fantasy

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    Well now let's not condemn James Cameron just yet, he might be able to bring some money into the film and some 3d as someone else said.

    Where is the enlightenment, who else is involved here. Is this the best choice of H.P. Lovecraft's stories? Well it probably does not matter that much, but for sure if one of these producers does this than that means that nobody else is allowed to, ever.
     
    Aug 2, 2010
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  18. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    ¿Qué? Sorry, Tinsel, but... where on earth do you get that idea?:confused:

    Personally, I have grave doubts about a film adaptation of this particular story, given its nature. A truly literal adaptation is out of the question -- it would bore the audience to tears (at least, with the bulk of the audience). It would be the cinematic equivalent of watching paint dry. So Del Toro is going to have to do something to translate the story which, in the novel, is told by the murals the explorers see, into a form more suited to drama on the screen rather than read on a page. I have no problem with that, as long as he remains faithful to the spirit of the thing, and the gist of the incidents; but either way it's a chancy undertaking which will either be brilliant or stink at absolute zero.

    I have more faith in Del Toro being able to pull off a Lovecraftian adaptation than just about any of the other directors who could get Hollywood backing, but this particular story is an enormous challenge. It is quite possibly the greatest of Lovecraft's works, and its concentrated cosmicism cannot be beat in my mind even by "The Shadow Out of Time". But how well it can be adapted to the screen is quite another matter....

    However, I will certainly go to see this one should it make it all the way through to release (which I hope it does); and I am prepared to be open and enjoy it if he doesn't make a true mess of a film....
     
    Aug 2, 2010
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  19. J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    I've got a feeling that Madness will serve as a sort of big white canvas for this project with paints from several other mythos stories (Call of and Haunter I suspect) splashed on it. As JD says, a literal interpretation would be impractical.

    But that's not to say that's a bad thing. As long as its faithful to the Lovecraftian spirit, I'm as happy as Larry.

    Also, we're in different times now than earlier adaptations. Thanks to the ubiquity of the net, there's heaps of people who know of Cthulu and have never read HPL, in the same way people know about Frankenstein and have never looked at Mary S. Film makers don't have to warp Lovecraft's vision to meet the expectations of the audience quite as much as they had to. I think we may be surprised in that regard.

    And Cameron, despite his faults,is canny enough to know that if something works after eighty years you shouldn't mess with it to the point of being unrecognizable. He's always being accused (rightly to some extent, though that's a whole different argument) of ripping off genre classics so producing ATMOM should be the equivalent of being let off the leash for him.
     
    Aug 2, 2010
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  20. Tinsel

    Tinsel Science fiction fantasy

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    I guess that if Cameron is the producer rather than the director, than he will make decisions such as the actors/actresses, but he won't manage the camera view(s).

    Here is my vote for director: Alfonso Cuarón. This is the director that worked on "The Prisoner of Azkaban". The third Harry Potter movie.

    If what I gather that you said is true about "...Mountains of Madness", from what I sensed was that it was static, than that director is able to depict....
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
    Aug 3, 2010
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