Del Toro's At the Mountains of Madness starts filming in June [UPDATED]

Guillermo del Toro's journey into the heart of H.P. Lovecraft's eldritch horror is really happening, a producer tells io9. At the Mountains of Madness begins filming in June? Could this be the Lovecraftian film that actually destroys your mind?

We spoke with producer Don Murphy (Transformers) who's producing Mountains of Madness along with James Cameron, and he confirmed the movie's start date as well as the star. And he told us what to expect.

Top image: Forgotton Shoggoth by *henning at Deviant Art.

Murphy told us that the movie is "supposed to shoot in June" and Tom Cruise is set to star in it, as recently rumored. And he added that the script is very close to the H.P. Lovecraft source material.

In an email to us, Murphy wrote:

Mountains is very close to the Lovecraft
supposed to shoot in June yes with TC

Update: Another inside source tells us that neither the start date, nor Cruise starring in the film, are really set in stone just yet. There's no official start date at the moment, and Cruise still isn't confirmed as the film's star.

Update #2: Murphy has retracted his statements to us. He tells Hitfix that the start date is not set at all, and the project is still just in development.

Update #3: It sounds like del Toro may be making a different film instead. See this post for details.

Here's the synopsis for Lovecraft's iconic book:

A complete short novel, AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS is a tale of terror unilke any other. The Barren, windswept interior of the Antarctic plateau was lifeless—or so the expedition from Miskatonic University thought. Then they found the strange fossils of unheard-of creatures...and the carved stones tens of millions of years old...and, finally, the mind-blasting terror of the City of the Old Ones.

You can just see how that would make for a brilliant film, in the hands of Guillermo del Toro. Could this be the greatest H.P. Lovecraft adaptation of them all, surpassing the works of Stuart Gordon and many others?

We'll find out, probably in 2013.

Ron Perlman told us that he's in the movie, playing a newly invented character, a "dog-sled guy" who's more no-nonsense than the academics and intellectuals on the mission.

Cameron raised our hopes a while back, when he called Mountains of Madness an "epically scaled horror film" and added that "we haven't seen anything like this... since Aliens." He added in a separate interview, "The design work is phenomenal, both the three-dimensional and two-dimensional design work, the physical maquettes, the CG test scenes; the artwork is phenomenal. The fans certainly won't want for a visual feast with this film."

Fingers crossed that filming goes ahead as planned, and we get to see del Toro's vision of the City of the Old Ones.