Guillermo Del Toro [Pan's Labyrinth] has been working on this project for some time now, as far back as 2004 when it was set up at Dreamworks by del Toro and producers Susan Montford and Don Murphy. Del Toro co-wrote the script with Matthew Robbins (Mimic) back then. At the Mountains of Madness gained attention in 2007 when del Toro made a huge overall deal with Universal, round about the same time the studio gave the go-ahead on Hellboy II.
The Mountains of Madness plot has been summarized as:
"A gruesome discovery made during a scientific expedition to the South Pole in the 1930s hints at the true origin of mankind having come from elder gods from another planet. Bad things happen when those life forms are awakened".
The book has been adopted many times in the past, including two radio dramas and a musical but this is its first big screen adaption and its going to be delivered in 3D. James Cameron will first be acting as a producer for the 3-D adaptation Cameron has stated in the past that he is not passionate about producing. “Well, yeah, then Guillermo came along,” he says. “In this particular case, I’m working with Guillermo because I enjoy his company, and a creative collaboration is something that we’ve talked about doing for a long time.” The news is beyond exciting for Lovecraft, del Toro and Cameron enthusiasts. What’s even more interesting is hearing Cameron talk about their collaborative vision. “It’s going to be an epically scaled horror film and we haven’t seen anything like that in a really long time — I guess since Aliens.” Like the novella on which it’s based, the film will take place in the Antarctic, where humans encounter a race called the Ancient Ones. “The thing about Lovecraft is that he left a lot to the imagination,” Cameron says. “He never told you what they looked like. He managed to create a sense of creeping horror without specifics.”
Cameron believes that’s what makes del Toro the perfect man for the job. “Guillermo brings an eye for design that is so original and so quirky and so steeped in the lore of movie design and horror design, but always fresh and unexpected. Frankly, I just want to see what he comes up with and I want to enable the nuts and bolts of the production so he doesn’t have to worry about that. I want to help him how to work in 3-D.”