Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is clearly pushing his own campaign to make an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. We already knew that he got to the test footage stage of an adaptation a decade ago, with Universal ultimately canning the project. Del Toro also tried to make the film once more in 2017 after the success of The Shape of Water but got nowhere.
The director still hasn’t given up, however, and after the critical success of his stop-animation feature, Pinocchio, he’s pushing to make a Mountains of Madness adaptation once more, this time (maybe?) in stop animation as well.
In an interview with IndieWire, del Toro shared that he recently talked with VFX artist Phil Tippett about converting his Mountains of Madness pitch into a stop-motion animation project. “I said it would be ideal to do Mountains of Madness as stop-motion,” del Toro recounted. “You watch the animation in a more rapturous way than live action. It’s almost a hypnotic act, and the relationship to the story becomes more intimate in that way.”
Del Toro’s turn toward animation might seem relatively new for the director, but it turns out that del Toro’s first project was a stop-animation called Omnivore. It fell apart when the studio where he was working was robbed, but the filmmaker has found his way back with Netflix’s Pinocchio, and he doesn’t plan to leave the medium anytime soon. “I want to focus on animation a lot more,” he said. “It is much more my speed.”
With Pinocchio (and maybe with Mountains of Madness as well?), del Toro also hopes to have Hollywood view animation in a different light. “When [animated features] started to make a lot of money with repeat audiences that included kids in America, it became geared toward a more pasteurized, homogenized idea,” he said. “That deprives not only the makers but audiences and studios from exploring its possibilities as spectacle, drama, as a profoundly human experience.”
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is now in limited theatrical release and is available on Netflix beginning Friday, December 9. No news yet on if/when we’ll see his take on Mountains of Madness, though fingers crossed we’ll get confirmation of a project sooner rather than later.