In Defense Of Universal
The nice thing about having really talented friends is that sometimes they save you the effort of doing the work yourself. Earlier today Harry Knowles flipped out on Universal after word came down that they all but canceled Guillermo del Toro’s $150 million, R-rated adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness. He called the studio ‘chickenshit’ for not backing GdT’s vision and for not taking the project all the way to the finish line.
While I share Harry’s immense disappointment at the way this project has turned out, I can’t share his anger. Mountains is a damned risky project, needing to outgross pretty almost all of Guillermo’s previous films combined to be truly profitable. And Universal, bless their souls, have been very risky with genre films the last couple of years. The problem is that those risks have, in almost every case, not panned out. From Drag Me To Hell to MacGruber to Scott Pilgrim vs The World and with a dozen others in between, Universal has really given unique voices the chance to do their own thing, and the only movies that seem to have made them any money are the Fast and Furious films, the Fockers movies and Couples Retreat.
Yeah, it sucks of Universal to not go ahead with what would surely be a fucking AMAZING film, but it also kind of sucks that audiences have spent the last few years telling Universal that they’re not interested in cutting edge, interesting or even plain old good movies.
But I direct you to Drew McWeeny’s long and well-written retort to Harry. Drew’s eloquence allows me to cut this short and get back to doing other stuff. Like transcribing a zillion interviews for Battle: Los Angeles.
Click here to read Drew take on the state of the movie business. And by the way: I think it’s just gonna get worse. We’re in for some rough, rough years.