Ron Howard Talks Lovecraft

Strange adventures planned

Ron Howard Talks Lovecraft

by Owen Williams |
Published on

The LA Times has been talking to Ron Howard about his future plans. And while he has several films in various stages of development, his proposed adaptation of Image Comics' **The Strange Adventures of HP Lovecraft **seems to have got him the most excited.

"It's challenging,", says Howard, "but if we get it right, it could be really original and psychologically interesting and scary in a great way. And it's a graphic novel, which is new territory for me."

Lovecraft was the pioneering writer of existential horror who dominated magazines like Weird Tales in the 1920s and 30s: part of a peer group that included Robert E Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and CL Moore (sort of like the Bloomsbury Group crossed with The Addams Family).

The main thrust of his work is that the human race is a precarious speck on the edge of sanity, in an entirely hostile and incomprehensible universe populated with colosssal and terrifying Old Gods like the octo-seamonster-bat Cthulhu: "we live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far." His stories contain more uses of the word "cyclopean" than you will ever see anywhere else. He described himself as an "aged antiquarian" when he was 34, and died, long before his influence was felt, at the age of 46.

The comics put Lovecraft as a reluctant hero in his own scenarios: rather like Steven Soderbergh's Franz Kafka film. Part biography but mostly dark fantasy, they present quite an attractive (if somewhat disrespectful) opportunity to position him as a sort of cosmic-horror Arthur Dent. Imagine Hellboy, set in the 1930s, with a timid, paranoid, malnourished writer instead of a giant scarlet devil, and you'll kind of get the idea.

There's no completed screenplay yet, and Howard will probably be concentrating on The Parsifal Mosaic in the meantime. "You never know," he says. "development is a minefield or a high-wire act or whatever you want to call it, but hopefully it'll move along and I will be directing that one."

Lovecraft himself probably wouldn't be amused, but then he wasn't really amused by much at all.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us