One of the master of cosmic horror's greatest tales is being made into a film -- with an interesting choice behind the camera.
According to EW (via Empire), H.P. Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space" is being adapted for the screen as Color Out of Space by writer/director Richard Stanley, whose last directorial effort, Dust Devil, came out all the way back in 1992. Backing the production is SpectreVision, an independent company (co-founded by The Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood) that has already released the well-received A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, as well as The Boy and the brand-new Cooties.
SpectreVision co-founder Daniel Noah said in a statement, "H.P. Lovecraft is the undisputed father of literary horror, and yet, bafflingly, there has yet to be a cinematic treatment that captures the dark beauty of the man’s oeuvre. Richard Stanley’s note perfect adaptation of 'The Colour Out of Space' represents an epiphany for me, as it no doubt will be for legions of Lovecraft devotees around the world.”
"The Colour Out of Space," first published in 1927, remains one of the most acclaimed works of Lovecraft's career. It was his personal favorite of all his stories and is considered the first of his tales to overtly blend horror and science fiction. The story deals with a meteorite that crashes on a remote farm and unleashes an alien entity in the form of colors that are unrecognizable within the visible spectrum. The colors mutate the plant and animal life on the farm while slowly driving the farmer and his family insane. The story has been adapted for the screen twice before, as Die, Monster, Die! (starring Boris Karloff) in 1965 and as the little-seen The Curse in 1987.
Stanley first arrived on the scene in 1990 with the cult sci-fi movie Hardware, moving on to the troubled Dust Devil two years later. In 1996, he began filming an adaptation of The Island of Dr. Moreau starring Marlon Brandon and Val Kilmer, but was removed from the project after just a few days. The story of that disastrous production and Stanley's involvement in it is chronicled in the recently released documentary Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau (more info on that here).
Stanley has not directed another feature since then, focusing on documentaries and short films instead, but he has been working on a script for Color Out of Space for a while, saying last year, "There needs to be a scary Lovecraft movie. I want to make a bad trip film and 'The Colour Out of Space' definitely has what it takes to be a very, very bad trip indeed ..."
It's true that while there have been a number of adaptations of Lovecraft's work, only the rare exception like Re-Animator has been both successful and good. Many adaptations have been either short films or indie features that have not gotten much exposure, while Guillermo del Toro's attempt to create an epic version of the author's At the Mountains of Madness was scrapped over budget issues with the studio, Universal Pictures.
Do you think we're due for a great Lovecraft adaptation, and can Richard Stanley get the job done? Check out the trailer below for Stanley's documentary The Otherworld -- it definitely has an eerie flavor to it that could be well suited to the work of the man from Providence.