Director Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness has ceased production. It’s a huge disappointment since it was del Toro’s dream project, Tom Cruise was interested in a role — and not to mention James Cameron’s involvement as well. Apparently Universal couldn’t invest in a $150 million R rated movie. The risk was too great.

Guillermo del Toro hopes Universal will allow his production to move to another studio, but for the time being, At the Mountains of Madness is in a stalemate. del Toro went on to say that it was simply a business decision by Universal.

“What is really dramatic to me is that most decisions are now being taken by comps, and charts, and target quadrants. All these marketing things we inherited from a completely different system, in the 80s, it has taken hold of the entire industry. Marketers and accountants seem to be running things and less and less of the decisions are in the hands of filmmakers. There are still some filmmakers that can push through. I will say though, I count my blessings. In my time, I’ve been able to make impossible things like a big superhero movie starring Ron Perlman. Frankly, I think we’ve come so close with Mountains that to me it’s an indicator of the great possibility we will get to make it, as soon as possible.”

— Guillermo del Toro to Deadline

Deadline went on to ask del Toro why he’s adamant against gunning for a PG-13 rating for At the Mountains of Madness:

“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 think 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.”

del Toro is clearly passionate about his dream project. Tom Cruise still shows interest in making the film, and James Cameron still wants to move the movie forward with del Toro. The talent is there — the stars just need to be properly aligned.

You can read more of Deadline’s interview with del Toro HERE.