Yesterday brought the horribly sad news that Guillermo del Toro and Universal Pictures parted ways on the H.P. Lovecraft adaptation At the Mountains of Madness, which the filmmaker blamed on a disagreement over his desire that the movie have an R-rating in a terse e-mail to The New Yorker.
Ever aware of his fans, del Toro sat down with Deadline to elaborate further on why he wouldn’t budge on Universal’s need for a more mass audience-friendly rating.
“Ultimately, I think the MPAA could rule the movie PG-13 because the movie and the book are not gory. If that is the outcome, fine. But I don’t want to put the PG-13 on paper, for one reason. We created Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, thinking we would be safe looking for PG-13 because we had no profanity, no sex, no gore, but we made a very intense movie in a very classical mold. And the MPAA gave it an R. They said the movie was too intense for a PG-13. The only thing I know about Mountains is, I do not want it to be bloody, I do not want it to be crass, but I want it to be as intense as possible. And those discussions were had in the open. Everyone knew this was my position, that I knew I was asking the chance for the movie to be what it needs to be. I don’t think it’s a good idea to relinquish that on paper.”
As I wrote yesterday, I don’t think either party is really in the wrong here. Del Toro is right to stick to his guns, and Universal’s hesitation is completely justified. A gamble was taken with Scott Pilgrim that, very very sadly, did not pay off. If you want to blame anything, blame the culture we live in.
In more positive news, del Toro has every intention of getting back behind the camera by this September. It’s been far too long. There’s quite a bit more to this Deadline interview, so make sure you check it out.