Okay, perhaps someone has angered the elder beings. I don’t know how else to explain Guillermo del Toro’s horrible luck.
So, first there was the Hobbit. Del Toro was supposed to direct and have a hand in the scripting. This would have been amazing, because del Toro is a true fantasist, he’s got a singular vision, something very unique to him. With him directing and Peter Jackson producing, the Hobbit would have not only been amazing, it would have been different. It would have borne at least some of del Toro’s signature.
Then the financial problems at MGM delayed the production, and delayed it some more, and so finally del Toro had to pass on it. The uncertainty coupled with the expected length of the shoot led him to seek a film that he might be able to get going on sooner.
And soon after he left, all the problems cleared up, and now filming is scheduled with Peter Jackson directing. Sure I’ll go and see the Hobbit, but I think that was a huge missed opportunity.
Then del Toro linked up with James Cameron. Seems the two had wanted to work together for a long time, and Cameron had the rights to H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. Cameron would produce and del Toro would direct. Once again, pretty much a dream situation. Cameron sometimes seems like a total dick, but there is no way one could argue he’s not a powerful force in movies. If he could use his influence to run interference for del Toro, we might have seen something really amazing. Del Toro was saying the only way to film it was to go R-rated. What’s the point of filming Mountains of Madness if you aren’t going to film, y’know, Mountains of Madness?
But the projected cost was $150 million, and even with Cameron’s influence, Universal—who is bankrolling it—balked. Production is in trouble, there’s no indication when or if it will start filming, and so now del Toro has walked.
He has another project (an alien invasion movie called Pacific Rim), but given the way things have been going, I fear for the fate of this production. It’s too bad Jackson doesn’t just call him and say “Listen, we’re back on . . . do you want to come by and direct?”
That only happens in my special happy place.