Legendary Pictures held their first ever Comic-Con panel last year where they briefly detailed four of their early-in-development high concept fantasy and sci-fi films. One of those was Pacific Rim from Comic-Con regular Guillermo del Toro and he’s back this year as Legendary and Warner Bros. team to showcase the film.

Del Toro shared the stage in Hall H at Comic-Con 2012 with Pacific Rim stars Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, and Ron Perlman, among others. After the presentation, Con attendees were treated to an early look at another upcoming Legendary project involving giant monsters: the Godzilla reboot.

Legendary head Thomas Tull kicked off the Pacific Rim panel, just before Guillermo del Toro made his appearance onstage (to rapturous applause). Meanwhile, on the three surrounding screens, the audience was treated to various pieces of behind-the-scenes footage and clips from the giant monsters vs. robots film. Co-star Idris Elba (not in attendance, sadly) featured prominently in both the on-set material and the actual Pacific Rim teaser footage.

The Pacific Rim Comic-Con trailer was quick to establish the massive scale of the plot proceedings, as the opening portion saw two scientists uncover an older model of sky-scraping manned robot (called a Jaeger) long thought to have been lost. Destruction and warfare reigned thereon out, with rapid-fire imagery of giant alien beasts (known as Kaiju) tearing steel-cable bridges to shreds, and a brief glimpse at a battle between a Jaeger and Kaiju out at sea, causing tsunami-sized waves in its wake. The ‘human” element amidst all the chaos were snippets from a scene where Elba’s character delivers a motivational speech to his fellow pilots.

Here are highlights from the fan Q&A session that followed:

  • Del Toro confirmed that some 40 different Kaiju (giant monsters) were designed for the film, with the best half dozen or so making it into the movie. Similarly, there are some 9 different models of Jaegers that make an appearance at some point.
  • Most of del Toro’s film feature CGI and digital effects, but are treated the same “as any other element in the film.” Often times, del Toro adds touches to the cinematography – scratching the camera lens, splashing oil on the camera – to make things seem more real and convincing. Also, he insisted on “no f***ing motion-capture” was used, as del Toro didn’t want the robots to move like humans (he called it a “f*** that s**t situation”).
  • One fan asked what’d happen if only one pilot controlled the Jaeger. Del Toro announced that will indeed be an issue explored in the movie.
  • Pacific Rim will have flying monsters, sea monsters, and monsters “up the wazoo,” but all the creatures were designed specifically for the film (so no classic types, a la the Leviathan).
  • Del Toro was keen to emphasize that just about anything you can possibly imagine in a movie about giant robots and monsters will be there in Pacific Rim, along with certain set pieces that’ve never been put onscreen before.

As a bonus: check out some the Jaeger pilot suits that will be worn by Raleigh Antrobus (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), which appeared on the Comic-Con Convention floor:

Godzilla Comic-Con Preview

The folk in Hall H were also treated to a teaser for the Godzilla reboot, following the conclusion of the Pacific Rim panel. Director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) joined Tull onstage, after the test footage was shown.

Legendary’s Godzilla appears to be a very serious take on the Japanese monster, judging by the teaser. It was ominous, even apocalyptic in tone, with imagery of devastated metropolitan settings, a train torn asunder (encircled by dead human bodies sprawled out over the landscape) – and, the money shot of the steaming corpse of a multi-limbed, building-sized monster. Thereafter, it culminated with the brief reveal of the big lizard guy himself, and his ear-shattering roar (dwarfed only by the shrieks of the Hall H crowd in response).

Audience members were at first restrained in their applause, when Edwards was introduced (despite having just watched the footage). However, the up and coming filmmaker’s earnest presentation and spoken passion to do justice by the Godzilla franchise helped to win the crowd over in a short period of time. The footage was shown once again – and this time, as Edwards left the stage, he brought the house down with him.

Pacific Rim hits theaters July 12, 2013.

Check out the Screen Rant Comic-Con 2012 page for all convention news.