James Cameron is negotiating to produce the film for Universal Pictures, and his involvement is believed to have been the clincher for the deal.
The long-gestating adaptation will also be produced by Don Murphy, Susan Montford and del Toro, who first set up the project at DreamWorks in 2004.
Universal acquired the package in 2007 when del Toro signed a big overall deal with the studio, which subsequently greenlit del Toro's "Hellboy 2."
Del Toro and Matthew Robbins wrote the screenplay, which they are now working to retool.
The story centers around a gruesome discovery made during a scientific expedition to the South Pole in the 1930s, which suggests that the true origin of mankind is elder gods from another planet. Those life forms are awakened and scares ensue.
The project will reportedly begin pre-production in the next few weeks, with an eye towards a shoot next summer.
Del Toro had planned to direct "The Hobbit" from a script he co-wrote, but he dropped out of that project earlier this summer due to an uncertain start date as a result of MGM's financial paralysis, as the troubled studio controls the rights to JRR Tolkien's novel along with Warner Bros.
Cameron is also producing 20th Century Fox's 3D remake of "Fantastic Voyage."
Del Toro is represented by WME and manager Gary Ungar.