Guillermo Del Toro’s dream project, an adaption of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, was famously to star Tom Cruise. That movie remains Del Toro’s white whale, unable to be made due to the staggeringly high budget required to do the story justice.
Del Toro recently spoke at a Q&A at Collider’s 10th-anniversary screening of Pacific Rim, where he revealed Tom Cruise nearly worked with him on the Kaiju vs giant robot smash ’em up instead. The Marshal Pentecost role, which ultimately went to Idris Elba, was actually earmarked for Cruise.
“The two models for Pacific Rim, the two models for the screenplay, are Hoosiers with Gene Hackman and Top Gun. So, the part that Idris Elba plays, Tom Cruise was gonna do it.
The deal couldn’t be made. He wanted to do it. We were developing stuff, and he couldn’t do it. I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s go with Idris Elba then. He’s a god.’ Obviously, I had to rewrite it for that, but I thought it was gonna be an interesting analog to do that. It would have been a lot of fun.”
At the time, Cruise was also preparing for Joseph Kosinki’s Oblivion and Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow. That’s not the only near miss Del Toro had. He was very close to making a Star Wars movie.
David Goyer let slip that he had written a Star Wars movie for Del Toro to direct. The director confirmed this on social media, saying the project from four years ago had a really “cool script” and that it was a movie set around Jabba the Hutt.
As part of the same Q&A, he gave more details:
“I believe I’m always going to happen when the Blu-ray comes out. That’s when I know it’s going to happen. There’s always, in the last moment, things go away. I’ve had it happen many, many, many times.
We had the rise and fall of Jabba the Hutt, so I was super happy. We were doing a lot of stuff, and then… you know, it’s not my property it’s not my money. It’s one of those thirty screenplays that goes away, you know.
Sometimes I’m bitter, sometimes I’m not, I always turn to my team and say ‘good practice guys, good practice’. We designed a great world, we designed great stuff, we learned. You can never be ungrateful with life. Whatever life sends you, there’s something to be learned from it.”
Given the revolving door of talent and paucity of quality now in the Star Wars universe, it seems unlikely he will return to the script to resurrect the project.
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