The REAL Reason AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS Was Shut Down!

Discussion in 'General' started by Shawn Francis, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Shawn Francis

    Shawn Francis New Member

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    SyFy: In an unusually candid interview, director Guillermo del Toro has revealed why his dream adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness fell apart, and what he's doing instead.

    Speaking with Deadline, del Toro believes that it was his insistence on making an R-rated film out of H.P. Lovecraft's classic horror novella that ultimately made the project too risky for its studio, Universal Pictures, to bet $150 million on. "It was the subject of multiple conversations all the way through December," explained del Toro about the studio's attempt to get him to change the movie to PG-13. "The definitive answer was known in December after a big meeting, when we were given the new parameters of budget and rewrites. We proceeded over the next few months to hit those parameters."

    Del Toro insisted that all the other requirements for the film, including sticking to the $150 million budget, delivering an impressive visual presentation to the studio and getting Tom Cruise to star, were in place or nearly so. "Closing Tom's deal was in their hands," said del Toro. "He was without a doubt, absolutely in favor of being in the movie. We met extensively, both in Canada and the U.S., dozens of times. Final polishes of the screenplay met with his approval. Closing the deal is not something that was in my hands. They needed to close it corporately."

    The problem for Universal, it seems, was that even with Cruise locked in and James Cameron on board as a producer for the 3D production, the bean counters determined that the movie would need to make at least $500 million to earn back its money—something possibly out of reach if teenagers could not get into the theater. "As far as the movie grossing that much, obviously I'm not impartial, but I have to believe that with 3D, Tom Cruise, Jim Cameron, the scope of Lovecraft's novel that is one his best regarded and most widely known works, I would venture that it could absolutely have been done," said del Toro. "I think the R should be worn like a badge of merit in promoting the movie. To say, this is not a gory movie, not a movie full of profanity or violence, but it's a really intense movie."

    Del Toro hopes that Universal will let him and Cameron take the project to another studio, but in the meantime he is confirmed to direct Pacific Rim, a sci-fi epic set in a future where the nations of Earth must battle a malevolent invasion. Filming for that will tentatively begin in September. As for the chances of getting At the Mountains of Madness or any potentially risky film off the ground in the future, del Toro said this about the movie industry: "What is really dramatic to me is that most decisions are now being taken by comps, and charts, and target quadrants. All these marketing things we inherited from a completely different system, in the 80s, it has taken hold of the entire industry. Marketers and accountants seem to be running things and less and less of the decisions are in the hands of filmmakers."
     
  2. Harry Warden

    Harry Warden Well-Known Member

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    I hope Del Toro will get an opportunity to take this to another studio..and give it a proper R release, instead of another PG-13 shitfest.
     
  3. zombiecraig

    zombiecraig New Member

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    They can shove the fucking 3D up their asses, too.
     
  4. Mikey Horror

    Mikey Horror Active Member

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    Let's face it, making movies is a business investment. The goal is to spend the least to make the most, that's the nature of the beast. The majority of the movie going public these days are teenagers, that's just the way it is. I hate the fact that R rated movies are becoming fewer and further between as time goes on but to be honest, I was done with movie theaters a long, long time ago. Yes, I know that makes me part of the problem not going out to the theater to support the very kinds of movies that I complain about them not making anymore, but I'll be damned if I'm going to spend close to $30 to TRY to watch a movie with assholes talking and not realizing that their cell phones have a vibrate feature and theater management not doing a damn thing to dissuade this type of behavior not to mention the speed at which said movies are hitting the store shelves these days, it just makes more sense for me to wait so I can enjoy it fully at home. I'll keep that $30 a little longer and support the movies I want to see by purchasing the movie when it's released. I would go so far as to say that I really don't think movie theaters will be around in 10-15 years. With the evolution of home theater technology, I wouldn't be suprised to see your television become to movies what your iPod is to your music.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  5. Ptflea2

    Ptflea2 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's real easy for a director to tell a group of board members and producers his movie will make 500+ million when it's not your money. Oh, and the last movie that combined James Cameron and 3D -that cave movie- just died at the box office.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  6. KamuiX

    KamuiX The Eighth Samurai

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    Here's an idea: how about shoot it, oh, I don't know, in 2D? Maybe that might cut the costs a bit? Not really worried about whether it looks like Cthulhu's tentacles are coming towards me or not...
     
  7. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    3D and PG-13, all fucking evil, stupid and way too popular. The 3D fad has to be dying, right?
     
  8. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    When I was a young teen I RESENTED PG-13 movies,I always felt like they were trying to keep me from getting to the ''good stuff ". If there was an "R'' movie out that I wasn't able to buy a ticket for I'd find a way to see it somehow.Either get someone older to buy me a ticket,go to a theater where I knew they were too uninvolved to check my age for an "R'' ticket or buy a ticket for something else and just go to the popcorn counter,buy a bag and walk into the movie I wanted,right past the ushers.I don't recall EVER getting caught.Is it really that much harder to get a pre 18yr. old into an "R'' rated movie now ? I'm truly curious,how many of you younger guys on the board have ever been stopped by the management from seeing an "R'' rated movie ?

    I respect del Toro for holding out for the "R'' and not compromising his vision.You CAN make a good PG-13 horror flick IF the material is fitting of that rating but watering down an "R'' rated concept in order to snag a PG-13 frequently leads to a pretty thin movie.There's too much wishy washy horror coming out lately.
     
  9. Marshall Crist

    Marshall Crist New Member

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    Jesus Christ, Tom Cruise was attached to this? How about $20 million, unrated, and an all-stripper cast?
     
  10. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    It's probably easier today than when I was a teen in the late 80's. Back then, people cared about their job, so you had to be slick and avoid being seen at all, any person working there would be a threat to our schemes. Then you had to keep low and act cool in the theater when the ushers came by. I haven't seen an usher in like 15 years now!

    Plus today, no one young cares about shit but themselves, and really don't give a fuck about their jobs. So instead of having to avoid everyone, just avoid managers or owners. As for it being easy to buy a ticket for show a and go to b or c, too easy. 90% of the time me and the lady go to the movies, we pay for one then walk into a second on the way out, which is comparable to sneaking in the wrong one. I still look shady too, not like I'm some clean cut suit and tie guy you wouldn't raise any suspision.

    The multi-plex makes it so simple. I wish we had that shit when I was a kid, could've seen many more classics on the big screen. Much harder to do when the theater has 4 screens instead of 20!

    Of course none of this helps the filmmakers of the R movie as the PG-13 will get the box office. Unless they put sensors in the seats and counted who was watching what, the movie you buy the ticket for gets the box office credit. I know I helped more a few stupid PG films become blockbusters when I was younger, and probably still haven't seen some of them!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  11. Kolpitz

    Kolpitz Purely and Simply Evil

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    Del Toro has actually said that he thinks that the film would get a PG-13, as there is no blood, gore, profanity or nudity. He just thinks that it'll be too intense for a PG-13. He sites the remake of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark that he produced, where everyone involved was sure they would get a PG-13 but the MPAA slapped it with an R, saying it was too intense. This is exactly what happened to Peter Jackson with The Frighteners. They shot the film as a PG-13 but the MPAA said the subject matter was an R. Del Toro doesn't want to commit to a PG-13 and then have the MPAA give the film an R, forcing him, contractually, to edit the film to receive a PG-13.
     
  12. cjg

    cjg Active Member

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    Fuck Tom Cruise And Fuck 3D
     
  13. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    The MPAA never makes sense anyway.
    Frighteners gets an R with not a single cuss word, drop of blood or hint of sex.

    W. gets PG-13, but says Fuck twice (I thought 1 was all you got).
    I was watching somethign else PG-13 the other day and someone told someone else "to fuck themselves", also an instan R from teh last thing I had read.

    So they definitly play favorites and the rules change from film to film. I can't belive so many still put stock in them, esp. after all their bullshit hypocrisy and shit has been made public. Last check, not one memebr had a child under 15! These are old fucking stiff suits pushing their outdated views on everyone, comparable to the crusades and Hitler! Fuck em all, burn it!
     
  14. hellraiser40

    hellraiser40 Well-Known Member

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    i don't see why such a movie should cost 150 million dollars? if they cut the 3D and keep the 'monsters' to a required minimum (as in 'using it for maximal shock effect' instead of making it a 'monster movie') they should be able to do it for less

    i don't mind Tom Cruise, but why not a real character actor in the main part?

    i think that eventually this will resurface, it will only take a little more time
     
  15. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    You can say Fuck twice for PG-13, the third time it's R. Pretty sure this is also confirmed in the excellent doc "This Film is Not Yet Rated".
     
  16. Jeremy

    Jeremy Closet SCREAM fan

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    To understand that, you have to understand the mindset that these studio executives have. These guys are very risk-averse (I'll tell you a story that helps explain that at the end of this post), and they look at the presence of big stars in the movies they greenlight as a sort of insurance policy in case the movie fails.

    Big studios operate under a formula that basically boils down to a belief that star power = box office success. That's not really an accurate belief, as they've done empirical studies of the film business that have found that a variety of factors and circumstances, star power being one factor but certainly not the only factor, goes into deciding whether or not a given movie is successful at the box office. Studio execs almost always insist that a big star be attached to any large budgeted film, especially one that is seen as being risky. They like this to portray this as a hardheaded business decision, but it really has a lot more to do with the internal politics of the studio.

    Take AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. In the case of this film, I don't believe that having Tom Cruise in it would have appreciably added to its box office appeal, and might have even taken away some of the profitability because of his high salary and the big percentage of the revenues that his contract would surely have given him. But let's just imagine that AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS had been greenlighted, and let's just suppose it was a huge bomb, taking in way, way less than the $500 million needed. The exec who gave that project the go-ahead would have had real reason to fear for his job after a fiasco like that, in which case, having had Tom Cruise in the movie, he could at least defend himself by saying, "How could I have known that movie was going to fail? I got you Tom Cruise! Don't fire me because we're having a bad quarter, fire Fred down the hall" or something to that effect. It's all about covering their asses.

    In late 2008 I was working at a producer's representative firm here in Los Angeles, and one day the boss instructed us to send Christmas cards to the various people at various film distributors that we had done business with in the previous year. So we printed off address labels from our computers and bought a box of generic Christmas cards and sent them off in the mail. And I kid you not, a week later a dozen of those cards were returned to us by the post office, and from there an average of 2-3 cards were returned to us each day for the next month (we sent out well over 300 in total). And we followed up to find out why they were returned, and more often than not the answer was that the company itself had either gone out of business, or the company was still in business but the person we had addressed the card to was "no longer with us", which usually seemed like a euphemism to explain that the person in question had been laid off. The recession was murderous on a lot of distributors, and we got a fair number of returned cards even from places like Warner Bros. and Lionsgate, so you kind of see why a lot of the people that remain at these companies are even more cautious and paranoid about their jobs now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  17. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    I misremembered and had it in my head that it was 1 fuck, "not in a sexual context". I definitly saw that doc.
     
  18. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    Wow, the REAL reason?!?! HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    That was my assessment as well. Tom Cruise has not been a box office draw for quite some time, so if anything I'd say his salary should have been the first to go when cutting back the budget.

    3D is a keeper, you can charge more for the tickets. But when I think back on the story itself, I'm not sure why it couldn't be PG-13. It's almost entirely action-adventure. I'd almost say Del Toro is being too stubborn on that, Lovecraft wasn't partial to the gorey stuff (he lamented having to stuff it into Re-animator at the magazine's request) and everything else on the R-rated list like "fucks" or boobies wasn't in his story either.

    With Cameron's help I'm sure they could have gotten what's jokingly called R-13's; for christ's sake Cameron had a topless scene in Titanic and got a PG-13. He knows how to work the system.

    Shoot it how you want, cut it back to PG-13 and release the unrated version on Blu-ray 6 months later. Greenlight.
     
  20. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    With the thought of Tom Cruise in the lead, I consider this a mercy killing.
     

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