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Guillermo del Toro discusses what happened At the Mountains of Madness

Even though he's directed modern-day classics like Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone, that doesn't mean Guillermo del Toro can just make any movie he wants. If you're a fan of the horror genre, then you probably know that del Toro has tried for years to adapt H.P. Lovecraft's novella At the Mountains of Madness, but the folks at Universal just weren't interested. So what are del Toro's thoughts on the whole fiasco? Well, the director recently sat down with Collider to discuss what went wrong with his epic horror movie, a film that's joined the ranks of the greatest movies never made.

According to del Toro, At the Mountains of Madness would've been amazing. He'd designed more than 300 pieces of concept art, and all the storyboards were ready to go. Both James Cameron and Tom Cruise were going to produce, and the people at Industrial Light & Magic were eager to get started on the special effects. But sadly, the studio executives were just too worried about the rating.

"The R [rating] was what made [the difference]," del Toro explained. "If Mountains had been PG-13, or I had said PG-13... I'm just too much of a Boy Scout. I should have lied, but I didn't." As a result, the film was devoured by the elder gods at Universal, causing del Toro to say, "It's very difficult for a studio to take the step of doing an R-rated tent-pole movie with a tough ending and no love story, set in period, from a writer... who has a readership as big as any bestseller but cannot be quantified because his works are in the public domain."

Really, the fact that we'll never see At the Mountains of Madness is one of the great tragedies in cinematic history. And it just goes to show that no matter how successful, filmmakers like del Toro still have trouble getting their projects made. "A lot of people think of directors like Caesar sitting on a chaise lounge like somebody feeding them grapes," del Toro bemoaned. But in reality, the director explained it's not like that at all. Instead, you're just "a blue collar guy working your way" through a system that's more worried about taking risks than facing otherworldly octopus monsters.

Anyway, while you wait dreaming for someone to someday put At the Mountains of Madness on the big screen, be sure to check out some of the best scripts in Hollywood that never became movies