Guillermo del Toro has had a pretty good summer. He released Pacific Rim, which struggled a bit domestically but has done impressive business abroad, and he’s already chatting about plans for a sequel that takes the mechs-vs.-monsters series in some intriguing new directions. It all has to be a little bittersweet for the filmmaker, though, because Pacific Rim was something of a rebound movie after his plans for an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness fell apart. As much as I love Pacific Rim, if you gave me the choice between seeing that or a GdT adaptation of one of Lovecraft’s most enduring tales of terror, I choose At the Mountains of Madness 100 times out of 100.
Ultimately, the budget and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus teamed up to kill del Toro’s dream project, but the ideas live on in the filmmaker’s sketch book, where fanboys like me can see countless drawings and concept pieces highlighting what might have been.
It’s really amazing not only how detailed these journal pages look (I wish I could read Spanish), but just how meticulous GdT is in conceptualizing his vision even this early in the process. If you’ve seen the pages for some of his earlier films (you can find many of them here), you’ll realize that most of his concept sketches make it into the finished film almost exactly as conceived early on in the production.
Anyway, have a peek at the concept art below. Do you like what you see? Adapting Lovecraft is genuinely challenging, but if there’s a filmmaker up to the task, it’s arguably Guillermo del Toro.