Exclusive: James Cameron Talks H.P. Lovecraft, Guillermo Del Toro and 'At the Mountains of Madness'


This morning I had the opportunity to view some footage from the upcoming Australian survival thriller Sanctum, produced by James Cameron and due out in theaters next month in 3D (I'll post my reaction to this footage soon). Cameron of course is a fellow who knows a thing or two about the format, as well as all kinds of genre filmmaking. So today, after Cameron, along with Sanctum's director Alister Grierson, spoke with me and a group of other journalists about the film, I made sure to chat with him about his plans for another epic, one that's especially near and dear to our hearts – At the Mountains of Madness, the long-awaited adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's classic horror novella. Cameron will produce Mountains, while Guillermo Del Toro, for whom the film is a dream long in the making, handles the directing chores. After the jump, find out what Cameron had to say about the status of what should be the most faithful, fully satisfying Lovecraft film ever made.

What is it about At the Mountains of Madness that you find so fascinating? That's made you want to champion the film adaptation?

One word, one man – Guillermo. We've been friends for twenty years. We've been trying to work together, really, for that entire time. And it has never quite congealed. We're both Lovecraft fans. Me from my college days, when I discovered Lovecraft. I think I read everything he wrote in about a month. I powered through it. And if anybody can bring Lovecraft to the screen it's gonna be Del Toro.

He's got a real vision for the film. It's very, very well-developed in his mind. You know, I'm just there to facilitate his vision. I don't have any strong sense of authorship; zero sense of authorship. I'm just there to try to get it made and help him do the movie that's in his head.

So it's still going to happen, but it's just a question of when?

Oh we're very, very actively pre-producing the film right now with Universal. The design work is phenomenal, both the three-dimensional and two-dimensional design work, the physical maquettes, the CG test scenes; the artwork is phenomenal. The fans certainly won't want for a visual feast with this film. But there's [still] a bunch of number-crunching and "How you gonna do it?" and "How you gonna make it?"; "Where you gonna do it?" All that stuff.

It sounds like a dream pairing. We're looking forward to it. Thank you very much.

A pleasure.