The LA Times reports that del Toro is one step closer to a real green light for At The Mountains of Madness. He and Cameron (Avatar) have had a summit meeting with the suits at Universal, showing them concepts, monster models, and a revised script…
“He [Cameron] pointed out one thing that was big. I’ve been thinking about this for 35 years, and he pointed out something I’d never seen [in the script].”
Toro also said he was “rewriting and rewriting” and was considering “unexpected” casting choices if the big-name stars backed out or proved too expensive for the Universal suits. If the movie and its huge budget is green-lighted — presumably after Christmas, then Toro could start shooting as early as June 2011.
And a special tie-in graphic novel featuring Tintin! (Er, no… actually it’s a spoof by UK artist Murray Groat).
MythosCon is coming up fast: Jan 6th – 9th 2011. Can I urge the making of audio podcasts of the panel discussions, for distribution after the event to those who can’t get to the USA?
Ichabod Wiswall. Apparently the first man known to have given a funeral service in North America, at Massachusetts in 1697 (that was five years after the Witch Trials of 1692). Why did a Christian minister have his gravestone flanked by two Cthulhu-like sea creatures?
The gravestone is one of three known made by a carver who signed himself “J.N.” (and of whom nothing more is known — see the 1966 book: Graven images: New England stonecarving and its symbols, 1650-1815, by Allan I. Ludwig, p. 296). Nine other gravestones done in the same manner and style are known locally. J.N.’s workmanship was far in advance of the local carvers. Ludwig writes of…
“the enigmatic Dagons or Tritons which ornament his most representative stones. The use of Dagons on Puritan gravestones is puzzling in the light of the fact that they were associated with paganism and the evil doings of Thomas Morton and his merrymen. … Yet pagan Dagons remained to grace the stones of many a proper Boston family in the late 17th century. … It is not clear what pagan water deities were doing on Puritan gravestones.” — Graven images, Ludwig.
The roots of Dagon in New England have, of course, been investigated already by Lovecraftian scholars. See Will Murray’s “Dagon in Puritan Massachusetts,” Lovecraft Studies, No. 11 (Fall 1985), pages 66-70.
Harriette Merrifield Forbes’ The Gravestones of early New England and the men who made them: 1653-1800 (1927) tells us that Wiswall was also an astrologer…
“In Duxbury we discover another stone [i.e.: the one seen above], quite different from the other two and signed ‘JN’ in script below the left-hand border. It is that of the Reverend Ichabod Wiswall, a man ‘famous as an astrologer.'”
“famous as an astrologer” — interesting. No-one else with net-accessible information on him mentions that fact. Forbes’ source appears to be the 1854 book A history of the early settlement of Newton, county of Middlesex by Francis Jackson, which adds that he predicted the death of his child…
[ Hat-tip: io9 ]