Del Toro Will Try 'Mountains of Madness' Again


#1

http://www.firstshowing.net/2013/del-toro-to-try-mountains-of-madness-again-tom-cruise-still-attached/

Great news if you ask me :slight_smile:
At the end I could not believe that someone tough it looks to much like Prometheus.


#2

If I recall, Guillermo del Toro himself was the one who made the assessment that “It looks too much like Prometheus”.

So as director he can make that call. If he’s going back in there again, he probably has a different take on things now.

To be honest, Ridley Scott seems very particular about research and where he sources the material from. Prometheus had a very thick backstory that required the viral marketing, web sites, and a lot of shorter videos on YouTube to flesh out. Scott basically machine-gunned a lot of concepts out there and they all had a Humanistic base… So it’s not surprising that it’s possible.

I think even with some similarity, Del Toro could have pulled it off… but if his heart wasn’t into it anymore… He won’t do it properly.

This time he could.

P.S.: Note the “screw it” comment from Guillermo Del Toro from what is for certain his SECOND viewing of Prometheus at least. In my experience, the shock of “Hey! That looks like my movie!” only really occurs from the first viewing. It’s in the second or so that you start noticing some things not the same, or you realize you’ll do a couple of things differently.


#3

It’s never been a matter of it literally looking the same, they will be wildly visually different.

But Prometheus absolutely could be considered a version of Mountains of Madness.

I think the fact Prometheus crashed and burned execution wise means another stab at it, especially a good one, can do well in spite of the comparisons.


#4

The concept art from Mountains of Madness showing some HR Giger-esque buildings probably caused the biggest issue.

You can redesign it, of course, but mentally all the artists (and the director!) have to backpedal quite a bit and then go forward with a different direction.

And that would be just one of the problems.

Strange creatures, hallucinations… people going crazy. It’s the “main action” rather than a literal shot-for-shot similarity that would give a director the jitters.


#5

It’s always been the large details that are the same, the details in this case turned out to matter a lot too, but it’s broad strokes.

Substitute “another planet” for “Antarctica” and the rest lines up. Remote inhospitable location, alien city, strange monsters, slumbering gods, origin of the world…etc. etc.

However, I think with the original story intact, and Del Toro at the helm rather than Lindelof and an apparently asleep-at-the-wheel Sir Ridley, it could be lightyears ahead.

I know whatever cliches that Del Toro might engage himself in from time to time, there’s no way he’d have characters as blatantly stupid as anyone in Prometheus, even if the original HPL story has its share of them. The Old Ones are far more interesting than the Engineers, that’s for sure.


#6

I also think Tom Cruise is a factor. He’s a good actor, and he’s a good motivator and driver of ideas.

I saw once a feature that showed Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg discussing how they’d go about War of the Worlds, and Cruise was very analytical about what the “event” of the invasion was and what that meant to his character and how they’d use certain parts of that story. He’s definitely smarter than he looks. It’s not just Del Toro who will be making this thing after all.

Basically, I think, if it were me, I would have told Del Toro the first time that “There’s no way two separate teams of artists are going to make the same picture because even if YOU think like Ridley Scott on this occasion, Tom and the others do not.” But I won’t deny there are those initial worries.

It’s also different when you have to stake a bit of your livelihood in it, and your first worry is “They’ll say it looks like Ridley Scott’s Prometheus.”

In the end, Prometheus didn’t gain the kind of crazed-fanboy franchise-launching traction that I think it needed to really ensure “Mountains of Madness” would never surface. I know there’s some talk about a Prometheus continuation and 398 million USD worldwide is nothing to be sneezed at.

But my guess is, that’s it for the Alien universe for a while. That’s also going to help the confidence of Del Toro.

I stand by the concept though that they’d just retain the story, and visually change the design if that’s the real issue.


#7

Even the pictures look and colouring has a kind of Prometheus atmosphere to it.


#8

Visually maybe, though we didn’t saw much, but story is different ( and there is actually a story :smiley: ) and it is not set on distant planet which makes imho much scarier effect.


#9

I am much more intrigued by Mathew Robbins’ involvement than Cruise who I dont think is suited as an everyman kind of character and his acting range is limited.
This sounds like a story built around suspense and I dont think of suspense when Tom Cruise is around but hopefully the rest of the cast will be more interesting.


#10

Actually I personally think this role is tailor fit for Tom Cruise. Acting Intense, going crazy, and acting like he’s the only guy on a film stage who seriously believes “all this maddening stuff is really happening” is right up his limited range.

But yes… he does indeed have limited range. :stuck_out_tongue:


#11

I just re-watch War of the Worlds a few days ago on the free TV. Suddenly I notice the difference of watching it inside a cinema and on TV (a cheap tv and all the light on).

I don’t quite like it then, I really hate it now. His son disappearance and and actually survive and arrived earlier?

On the way to the ferry, his car is the only one working, now suddenly on the ferry there is a lot of working car.

If the ferry is now under military control, why let people go on it with cars? that take weight and space? even in Nam people push heli down into the sea. just let people walk aboard the ferry, that will allow more people to be rescued. I mean, the alien is hot on their tail (since those that failed to cross the river/sea is shot.

I can go on and on and on.

But now I understand the ‘movie magic’. It also helps that I saw a Nova Science about magic, featuring Pen and Teller. In a cinema, special effect can fool you (and it seems it does fool a lot of people). But once you take the cinema experience out, lack of story will be obvious.

But I really have to respect the special effect guys. When I watch it, it was monsoon season where I live (or at least constant heavy rain and lightning), with the main switch / fuse box kept falling off and all, and lightning kept striking the area.

And there is NO DIFFERENCE with the cinema. There was a point, 8.00 night or something, lightning strike very close. The fuse fall down, and it was dark everywhere. With secondary light from the lightning itself, it really like being in the cinema watching War of the Worlds.

Sadly, meh storyline.

edit:

I’ve changed from ‘lots of working ship’ to ‘lots of working cars’.


#12

I find “War of the Worlds” really exploits the whole idea that if they can make a “situation” or “disaster” big enough… then stupid things can roll in front of you and you can’t stop to question them on first viewing.

In War of the Worlds, in the cinema, your first time watching it, you are just living through the shock of the characters - and it all seems to make sense. Watch it again with your notebook… and see how many times Spielberg manipulates audiences.

Same thing with JAWS. You’d think the state government or something would have closed the resort…or a more organized manhunt for the shark would occur… but no… It’s like that little resort is its own country.

Another movie that does almost the same thing is “Angels & Demons”. The main excuse for stupid things there is “GO GO GO! THERE IS NO TIME!”.

I find War of the Worlds does make a modicum of sense, but only if you also think “GO GO GO! THERE IS NO TIME! THE ALIENS ARE COMING! OHNOES!”

:scream:


#13

I dont know about that.
It would cost money–probably a lot of jurisdictional red tape too–would the governor really declare a state of emergency because one town has a shark in its waters? Especially when the mayor is assuring him help isnt needed? The events played out in such a way that they thought they had solved the problem and then discovered they hadnt, and they proceeded to hire Quint.
Besides–how many murders and car fatalities were happening during the same weekend.

But in Amity one man can make a difference!

I watched the Lost World the other night and there’s two bits of complete stupidity right on top of each other. Roland puts his gun down to ask if Sarah is wounded.
Leaving the gun lets it be tampered with–that was obvious, but Sarah, who kept talking about the olfactory capacity of a T-rex and the importance of not leaving anything that they can smell, is covered in blood, states it to Roland-that it came from the baby t-rex, and stays dumb long enough to ensure the mother t-rex goes to the tent! And the floor is covered in food wrappers too.
But I still like it better than the first. Funnier, and more dino action.
I notice there’s a poster in the video store for a Tom Hanks movie Tsunami Sunrise and he appears to be surfing a wave–3 years before Castaway.


#14

In the Nova Science featuring Pen and Teller, there are scientist measuring how hand movement in arc pulls our view, so is magician point of view. If you (the magician) stare at your left hand, so will be audience, leaving your right hand to do other thing. Biology was trained this way.

So the more ‘special effect’ that cater to your senses (view, hearing) and having the brain process it the less it have for other issues, such as story.

I mean, try asking this: Promethius, you laugh regarding lost with having awesome GPS - but was that DURING the movie or AFTER the movie? I know some are too obvious (like that alien snake and running in straight direction). But I’m sure a lot of come to your brain AFTER the movie (like while driving home), this is when you brain no longer busy processing special effect, and have more time to the story.


#15

Correct but this isn’t really VFX… it’s done sometimes with Blocking or Motion. If a camera is pointed somewhere or a region is a different color or it is emphasized by the camera panning toward it, the same thing happens - you look where the director wants you to.

The real mastery of guys like Spielberg isn’t that they make the most consistent or ultra-realistic movies… but in their ability to use ways to just “sell” it to you at the moment. Even if you find AFTER the movie that it’s pretty stupid… That’s the magic of it… you didn’t “feel” it when you were there. :slight_smile:

It’s kinda like comparing the late Tim Hetherington (“Restrepo”) to Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”, “Zero Dark Thirty”). Tim’s war film work is 100% real… it IS real… he’s now called the “late” Tim Hetherington for a reason. Bigelow’s work is “pure cinema”.

There’s a difference… laws of reality don’t apply. :slight_smile:


#16

Probably Del Toro changed his mind after actually seeing Prometheus :smiley:


#17

I watched both versions of War of the Worlds and the one thing that annoyed me about both versions is how they end suddenly. I mean, the aliens are running amok, all defence options including nuclear have totally failed and civilisation is in the “what the **** do we do now”. Then suddenly the aliens catch flu and snuff it, film over. I just found the suddenness of how both movies ended caught me off guard when I was expecting more to happen first.


#18

Keep in mind the original WOTW story ended that way for a reason.
H.G Wells was a pacifist.
He may have been trying to make the point that war and weapons were not always the answer. He also put out the idea in his last book “Mind at the end of it’s Tether”
that the human race could be replace by another species would not be a bad thing.
Also WOTW was written in the age of colonialism.
In that light are the Martians a symbolic version of what humans were doing to other countries at the time?
Little stuff that Tom Cruise just can’t get across.


#19

What, you wanted the humans to upload some kind of computer virus written in Borland C to shutdown the tripods defensive shields while the U.S. President flies around in an F-16 and destroys them all with rockets?

I think the point of War of the Worlds… the story… was about how sometimes nature finds a way… even when we can’t… and how living in the world as we do is a gift in and of itself.

That’s a lot different than ending it with “huzzah! America save the world! Now I know! And knowing is half the battle! G.I. JOOOOE!:wink:


#20

The 1953 movie holds up really well I think. The girlfriend character is irritatingly childish which is a problem I notice with George Pal (and Cecil B DeMille) movies, but otherwise it has a lot of good moments–the sound effects for the aliens are really good.
Spielberg chose to avoid the large scale spectacle which I found disappointing --he didnt want to show New York getting pulverized since it would resemble certain news videos. But I liked how the tripods looked and that sound effect for them. There was a late 80s radio NPR version recorded at Skywalker Ranch which has the same kind of realistic sound effects–its rather cool especially when they go into New York.

The story ending is a brilliant deus ex machina.

The story involves Social Darwinian concepts as well as domination by technology and in the end its itty bitty neutral micro-organisms that save the day. Of course they throw in that “that God in His wisdom placed upon the earth” line which I think makes it hokey but the basic idea is the ultimate Twilight Zone plot in my view.

The kid going off with the military vehicles and showing up at the house was really stupid and I found it laughable when he goes in to kill Tim Robbins and his daughter is singing/muttering to herself to block out the incident.

But Cruise makes a wicked peanut butter sandwich.