Summer 2013 will bring on the superhero sequels (Iron Man 3) and reboots (Man of Steel); not to mention, a sequel to a sci-fi franchise reboot with Star Trek Into Darkness. However, one of the most intriguing – and original – projects arriving that season will be Pacific Rim, director Guillermo del Toro’s take on the Japanese Kaiju and Mecha genres (which he describes as more a love letter, rather than a Tarantino-esque homage).
Both del Toro and Pacific Rim screenwriter Travis Beacham were in attendance at the film’s panel at the 2012 New York Comic-Con. The duo kicked things off by showing the teaser previously-unveiled at the San Diego Comic-Con (supposedly, against studio heads’ wishes), with the promise that a proper trailer – complete with refined effects and sound mixing – will be arriving some time this December (attached to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, no doubt).
Here are some of the highlights from the discussion that followed:
- According to del Toro, the Jaegers in the film are 25-story tall mechas where the two hemispheres of the control center are each overseen by a different pilot, who (as actor Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) revealed at SDCC) together must coordinate their actions through a neural bridge that requires them to form an intimate mental connection. Moreover, the pilots experience pain when their Jaeger is damaged, thus putting the human players at greater risk during the action sequences than in the Transformers series (thus, giving more emotional impact to the spectacle).
- The visual aesthetic of Pacific Rim is informed by imagery from WWII, in the sense that del Toro is favoring a gruff and corrosive design, as opposed to the slick hues and shiny surfaces found in other recent blockbusters (Star Trek, for example). It’s intended to feel like a romanticized adventure story told on a grand scale; something like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea comes to mind, from del Toro’s description.
- A 1,000 page Pacific Rim ‘Bible’ is informing the film and comic adaptation, with detailed information about the timeline of events, blueprints for the Jaeger structures, and more. Beacham called it a “supernatural guide to the world of Pacific Rim.”
- Lastly, del Toro again touched on the post-conversion 3D issue, reiterating that he’s okay with the idea since the process is not going to be rushed, and says he’s pleased with the results so far.
Pacific Rim opens in U.S. theaters on July 11th, 2013.