Mr H Reviews on Guillermo del Toro’s Plans to Make Lovecraft Miniseries for Netflix

If this goes ahead, it’s going to be great news for Horror fans and especially aficionados of the great American Horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft. In this video posted on YouTube, Mr H talks about an interview on one of the film sites with director Guillermo del Toro in which he states that he is currently rewriting a script he wrote for a film version of Lovecraft’s novella ‘At the Mountains of Madness’. Del Toro is a massive fan of Lovecraft, who is a huge influence on his movies. He has been hoping to make a film of Lovecraft’s classic story for ages. He wrote a script 15 years ago for a film version which would have starred Tom Cruise and been produced by James Cameron. However, it failed to get off the ground because of the massive costs involved. After the failure of the project, del Toro turned to making other movies like Pacific Rim, which shows a certain similarity in the confrontation of humanity with raging monsters. The script, however, is available to read on the net. Mr H here mentions that he’s also a great fan of Lovecraft, and has turned several of his stories into audiobooks, which can be heard on his channel on YouTube. These were not necessarily easy to make, because of the archaic style in vogue at the time.

‘At the Mountains of Madness’ is about a group of Antarctic explorers, who uncover alien creatures from a civilisation that arose millions of years before humanity. In the novella the humans follow the aliens as they head back to the remains of their civilisation, uncovering its history before finding that it has fallen, overthrown by the shoggoths, genetically engineered servants of the aliens. Del Toro states that the film version was his attempt to make a blockbuster. He now believes he can cut it down to make it smaller and weirder. There are only four set pieces he wishes to retain from the original script, and he intends to change the ending to make it darker. He’s therefore planning to turn it into a miniseries for Netflix. Mr. H is very optimistic about this, as it should mean that del Toro will have less studio interference and an access to a distributor as well as a studio. He believes that del Toro’s reworking of the script shows real commitment to getting the project off the ground. And he makes the point that Lovecraft’s cosmic horror doesn’t need big effects. Much of it can be portrayed with a character going mad with fear at something he sees off camera. On the downside, it has to be said that many of his commenters are not optimistic about the miniseries’ quality if it comes from Netflix. It also means that it will be on a streaming service, rather than the cinema, which may make it difficult for people to watch.

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2 Responses to “Mr H Reviews on Guillermo del Toro’s Plans to Make Lovecraft Miniseries for Netflix”

  1. Brian Burden Says:

    I discovered Lovecraft as a young adolescent and was completely captivated by the aura of supernatural horror his stories generated. Alas, they no longer have the power to thrill, though I still respect the quality of some of Lovecraft’s writing. My favourites are The Colour Out Of Space, The Whisperer In Darkness and The Thing On The Doorstep. I’ve yet to see a decent film adaptation of any of Lovecraft’s opus. The Thing… would have been right up Hitchcock’s street – or Kubrick’s.

    • beastrabban Says:

      A college friend got me started reading Lovecraft, and he is a great writer. There are plenty of jokes about him being a bad writer due to using 9 adjectives where one will do, but I don’t think that’s always the case. His writing changes and I think some of it is excellently written. And it’s endured because of the power of his ideas and the haunting quality of his stories.
      I enjoyed the Brian Yuzna adaptations of Reanimator, From Beyond and Dagon, but they’re far from what Lovecraft wrote and are more an excuse for gleeful splatter. I also enjoyed the Richard Stanley version of The Colour Out of Space, which Mr H also praised as a fan of Lovecraft. I enjoyed it, but with the exception of one or two quotes from the original short story and a few other touches, it’s very definitely not a faithful adaptation. It would have been very interesting indeed to see what Hitchcock or Kubrick would have done with Lovecraft. Whatever it was like, it would have been a masterpiece.

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