Just as Guillermo del Toro fans had finished drying their eyes about the collapse of his At the Mountains of Madness adaptation, there came news that the imaginative Mexican auteur would be back in the director’s chair this fall with the mysterious monster movie, Pacific Rim.

Some readers expressed concern that del Toro’s latest sounded too similar to a hokey B-movie like Godzilla: Final Wars for its own good – and del Toro himself admitted that Pacific Rim had been confused in the past with the American Godzilla reboot. Based off the early story details for del Toro’s new sci-fi romp, Pacific Rim should be anything but, say, a Cloverfield knockoff.

News in Film has the scoop on Pacific Rim, which del Toro and Legendary Pictures are designing as a PG-13 project about giant creatures wreaking havoc on the hapless inhabits of Earth. That basic logline doesn’t do justice to the fact that Travis Beacham’s (The Killing on Carnival Row) Pacific Rim script reads as more of a mixture of thought-provoking pseudo-science and monster mayhem, in the vein of Jurassic Park.

Among other things, Pacific Rim will feature two different worlds, which can be described as follows:

The film is set in two separate worlds. The first is a future version of Earth where, in November 2012, a giant monster emerged from the Pacific Ocean and attacked Osaka, Japan. The other world is The Anteverse, where the monster came from. A portal to this world is located five miles under the water. But while one giant monster is bad enough, the truly horrific thing is that the portal continues to spit out all different kinds of beasts that attack coastal cities. In order to fight off and destroy these monsters, the military forms what is called the “Jaeger” program, where pilots are trained to operate giant mechanical suits made of “armor and high-tech weaponry.” At the center of the story is a character named Raleigh Antrobus, one of the aforementioned pilots and is sent to Tokyo for his mission.

Those who recall the fantastical creatures from del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth or the Troll Market in his second Hellboy movie should be all the more excited to see what kind of nightmarish “Anteverse”  the filmmaker devises for Pacific Rim.

The Troll Market from 'Hellboy II: The Golden Army'.

Here’s how News in Film describes the setup for Pacific Rim:

Since the first attack, the rim has been “spitting out” a variety of gigantic monsters at an increasing rate, which then stride out of the ocean and begin destroying sea-bordering cities, like Tokyo and Los Angeles.  In order to combat these monstrous, otherworldly menaces, the military developed the “Jaeger” program, which trains teams of two pilots to jointly operate massive, building-sized mechanized suits of armor and high-tech weaponry.

Within the first act alone, we are given enough detailed background on the god-like Jaeger systems, its shared neural piloting system (called “pons”), and the relentless beasts.

The protagonist of Pacific Rim, Jaeger pilot Raleigh Antrobus, sounds likes your archetypal hero-with-a-past, who remains emotionally distraught by the death of his co-pilot and biological brother. His situation is all the more complicated when the task force partners him with a native Japanese pilot named Mako Mori (which hopefully won’t result in too many language barrier jokes).

Meanwhile, there is a pivotal subplot concerning a journalist (and ex-fiancée to Raleigh’s deceased brother) Felicity Kincaid, who seeks to uncover the origins of the mysterious rift that connects the “Anteverse” to Earth. Needless to say, these two narrative threads will certainly overlap at some point during Pacific Rim.

Sam Worthington and Stephen Lang in 'Avatar'.

There are definite overtones of Avatar in the plot and technology of Pacific Rim, for which Beacham has even designed his own glossary of fictional scientific and military jargon. Del Toro’s project will undoubtedly look significantly different than James Cameron’s sci-fi juggernaut, and the plot mechanics/characters will hopefully be more fully-developed (and less cliché) as well.

Principal photography on Pacific Rim begins this September, with Legendary Pictures eying a Summer 2013 release date for the film. Does it sound intriguing to you?

Source: News in Film