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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

‘The Strange Adventures Of H.P. Lovecraft’ Creators On Why Ron Howard Is Right For Horror Adaptation

I recently posted a story about Ron Howard being attached to direct the comic book adaption of The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft, created by Mac Carter and Jeff Blitz.

Now MTV had an interview with writer/creator Mac Carter (who’s also writing the screenplay for the film) and cover artist/producer Adam Byrne about the comic, the film, Ron Howard and who they would like to play Lovecraft. Here are some of the highlights. Be sure to check out the rest of the interview along with an exclusive 5-page preview of “The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft”

MTV: What’s the appeal of the author as a story character? What aspects of H.P. Lovecraft — the man and his work — will we see in the series and film?

MC: Well, in my mind, it’s no coincidence that the book landed with Universal. When we set out to create the comic we talked a lot about their classic monsters. We felt there was a model at work in their pantheon that we could follow — that of the tragic, misunderstood monster: Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, even the Gill Man. Some of the details of Lovecraft’s sad and complex biography started to suggest a similar character. All we needed was the horror. Well, Lovecraft’s writings provide that in spades.

But let me just say, we have one more hope — that with “The Strange Adventures of HP Lovecraft” we create a curiosity for the man’s idiosyncratic writings, and that a notoriously un-filmable author, not unlike Philip K. Dick with “Blade Runner,” suddenly becomes viable. Because, after all, who doesn’t want to see more of this guy’s mind-blowing stories on the big screen?

AB: Well, the reaction on the internet has been pretty interesting, even though the book hasn’t been released yet. The most important thing to keep in mind is, H.P. Lovecraft is very much the awkward, reclusive writer he’s commonly portrayed as in his biographies and by no means a Hollywood hunk. This is not a gunslinging book for gunslinging sake. It’s the story of a man placed in a very burdensome, nearly tragic set of circumstances who resorts to any means to resolve them.

MTV: Ron Howard isn’t typically viewed as a horror director — why is he right for this project?

MC: Not typically viewed as a horror director, you say? There’s a lot of talkback on blogs about this. Thanks for the opportunity to address it.

Not that the guy needs my endorsement, but perhaps there’s a more generous way of framing Mr. Howard’s talent with respect to horror: to my mind, he is our generation’s Howard Hawks. What about “Rio Bravo” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” assured anyone that Hawks would create a classic in “The Thing from Another World?” And yet, there it is — a horror masterpiece.

Put simply, Ron Howard is a storyteller. He’s versatile, working effortlessly and fluently across genres, from balls-to-the-wall action-thriller to historical sit-down drama, always instilling the work with creativity, passion and humanity. Why would his horror film be any different?

AB: First of all, Ron Howard is a great dramatic director. He cares about making the audience connect with the characters. “Frost/Nixon,” “Cinderella Man,” etc, are great indications that Ron can nail a time and a place and ground you in a character’s universe. That’s key for introducing Lovecraft’s biography. If you don’t care about him as a person, you’re not likely to care about the horror unfolding around him.

MTV: In an ideal scenario, who’s your pick to play H.P. Lovecraft in the film?

AB: In creating the character’s look for the comic, Tony Salmons and I talked a lot about a cross between the photographs that exist of the real man and the actor Adrien Brody. When Mac and I watched his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards, the one where he dips Halle Berry, we looked at each other like, that is our H.P. Lovecraft. Obviously, that’s not our call now that it’s getting adapted for film, but it was fun to imagine Adrien while we were making the book.
It all sounds very interesting and I think Brody is an excellent choice to play Lovecraft. Now if only they can get him.

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