Who owns HP Lovecraft film rights?

hardsciencefanagain

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,250
Location
netherlands
#21
Your erudition once again shines through; it never ceases to amaze me.
Heartfelt thanks for the elaborate and thoughtprovoking response.
Speaking of Machen:do you know of any site dealing sensibly(ina scholastic/Literary sense)
or W.H Hodgson?

WHOA
Just found Eldritch Dark
:p
 
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
13,869
#22
Thanks for the compliment, though I'm not sure it's deserved. It's more a matter of simply having studied Lovecraft from various angles for several decades, and picking up a lot of information along the way... sort of the way a magpie picks up shiny objects.....

As for Hodgson... you might find this link of interest, particularly as it has a number of links leading to discussions on or articles about Hodgson:

http://alangullette.com/lit/hodgson/

(EDIT: Sadly, it appears that some of these links are now no longer working. However, others are still up and running, so it might still be worth your while.)

You may also want to look up a copy of this:

http://www.hippocampuspress.com/myt...lliam-hope-hodgson-voices-from-the-borderland

They have also done some fine critical books on CAS, M. R. James, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, and others, not to mention a number on Lovecraft....
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
13,871
#23
The Neconomicon did sort of show up in the Evil Dead films. A nod to Lovecraft and of course there was also a slight nod to The Day The Earth Stood Still :D Also in the series Hercules the book showed up for pen episode. They also had evil god and Cthulhu stand in Dahawk.

Then the was the 1970 low budget horror film The Equinox That one struck me as being a bit Lovecraftain
 
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
13,869
#24
There is an annual H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival which is held in Portland, Oregon, and which also apparently has a Los Angeles branch; one year they even had an offshoot here in Austin, which darned near had a SRO audience... yet to my knowledge they never repeated it, sadly; which is odd, given how many Lovecraftians there are in this town....
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
13,871
#26
It's too bad Del Torros film At the Mountains of Madness didn't get green lighted . I would love to have seen his take on it.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
13,871
#27
Then there's the 1994 film The Mouth of Madness . There is a bit of love craft in that one. :)
 
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
13,869
#28
It's too bad Del Torros film At the Mountains of Madness didn't get green lighted . I would love to have seen his take on it.
I don't have the time to look up the thread at the moment, but somewhere on here I posted a link to his screenplay for that, which he (if memory serves) allowed to have posted.
 

MiskatonicFiles

Science fiction fantasy
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
6
Location
Chicago
#30
As previously mentioned, Guillermo Del Toro has been trying to make ATMOM for years. I think he'll get it done someday, and that excites me. But as an indie filmmaker, I've personally avoided directly adapting a Lovecraft tale, opting instead to simply write something new, based in the Mythos, rather than potentially wrestling with Arkham House. There are too may companies who re-publish works from the public domain, and then flag other people for "copyright" violations. It's ridiculous. I wrote a web series three years ago, which I later abandoned after realizing a certain Lovecraft-related website deemed itself to be the gatekeeper between creators and the audiences who might love their work (basically pay-for-play extortion). It wasn't until this year that I received an e-mail from a web channel I'd completely forgotten I'd pitched the idea to. They sent us a (very) modest budget to produce a pilot episode, which went live about a week ago. Although I wrote a new pilot specifically for this opportunity, the entire first season is around 100 pages. I submitted it as a feature screenplay to a Lovecraft film fest last year, but it wasn't accepted. Funny thing is, I heard about all sorts of film awards from the fest, but none for screenplays. I'm guessing they just took my submission fee, and perhaps never ultimately had a screenplay competition. Or, maybe my script just sucked. But I doubt it. Anyway, to reiterate what others have said, Lovecraft's work IS in the public domain. That said, there are people making money off if it, and if you don't have a significant legal budget, they will crush you.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
6
#31
These are good questions with some surprising answers. Essentially, all of Lovecraft's stories have been in the public domain for decades now, in spite of Arkham House's obstinately proprietary attitude towards ownership of his work. However, their hegemony was based upon a well-maintained illusion and very shaky legal ground. The only reason larger publishing houses such as Ballantine paid them royalties for the stories was out of deference to August Derleth for saving Lovecraft's opus from oblivion . . . . and a very sensible avoidance of his combative and litigious nature. In many cases, Derleth's (and, later, his daughter, April Jacob's) first line of defense was saber rattling and outright bullying. It was a bluff, of course. These ham-fisted tactics did have a solid economic rationale, though: sales of Lovecraft's books were their company's bread-and-butter. Losing control of his work would hurt the company's bottomline. My own early experience with them will provide an illuminating, if unpleasant, example.

In 1986 I had written a screenplay adaptation of the short story, Pickman's Model. After finishing the storyboards and some pre-production illustrations, I decided to contact April Jacobs by phone and inquire after what the rights would cost. I got Ms. Jacobs on the phone, briefly and politely introduced myself and my proposed project and asked about the availability of the rights. She bellowed back at me: "IF YOU TRY TO MAKE THAT FILM I'LL SUE YOUR ASS OFF!" and then slammed down the receiver. The film world is fraught with rejection, but even this was a bit rich for my blood. Many years later I was told by an industry colleague that at the time of my call, Jacobs was under a lot of duress and steadily losing Arkham House's legal control of Lovecraft's work as more and more film makers were having their attorneys investigate the availability of purchasing the rights, film makers like Stuart Gordon and Guillermo del Toro.

Nowadays it's fairly common knowledge that Lovecraft's works are public domain. So, what's stopping film makers from creating direct adaptations instead of derivative pastiches that merely pay lip service to the master? There are several major barriers which will forever elude Hollywood: Lovecraft's stuff is heavily reliant upon texture and atmosphere, not gunplay and huge explosions (sorry Michael Bay) and softcore porn. But here's the real stumbling block: heresy of heresies - Lovecraft's work is animated by IDEAS . . . . grim, atheistic, nihilistic ideas about man's cosmic insignificance. Not exactly the mindlessly upbeat, pre-processed pabulum that usually gets spoon-fed to audiences at your local movieplex nowadays.
heresy of heresies - Lovecraft's work is animated by IDEAS . . . . grim, atheistic, nihilistic ideas about man's cosmic insignificance. Not exactly the mindlessly upbeat, pre-processed pabulum that usually gets spoon-fed to audiences at your local movieplex nowadays.
Hey Curt! What a great way to bring attention to this question...couldn't have said it better. I think it's also the way he expresses men's weak minds when facing such unnamable horrors. He is a master at effectively baiting his hapless protagonists, deftly manipulating their innate, insatiable curiosity which, in the end, and with rare exceptions (as is the case of the Dunwich Horror) will inevitably lead them to their demise or utter madness. Just brilliant!
 

Similar threads

Top