Many of Guillermo del Toro’s fans are still coming to terms with the recent collapse of the acclaimed auteur’s planned adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. Although Universal wasn’t quite ready to pull the trigger on an R-rated monster movie with a $100 million price tag, del Toro quickly rebounded with another creature feature he’d been in talks for – Legendary Pictures’ Pacific Rim.
He certainly had no shortage of projects to choose from, since del Toro’s name gets attached to almost everything these days, but the confirmation that Pacific Rim would be his next film seemed to be a small consolation to fans who’d been primed to see the director’s dream project finally come to fruition. On the surface, Pacific Rim might appear to be considerably less dense than At the Mountains of Madness, but it’s PG-13 rating and action-centric plot probably make for a far less risky proposition.
However – according to Bloody Disgusting, development on the film has hit a snag due to the recent earthquake and ensuing tsunami that ravaged Japan. In light of the horrific devastation that the nation and its people have endured, Legendary Pictures has decided it would be inappropriate to push forward with Pacific Rim in its current incarnation.
A quick look at the film’s plot synopsis makes the potential problem all too evident:
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.
The studio has asked del Toro to rewrite the script so that none of the monster attacks take place in Japan. BD mentions that other outlets are currently attempting to debunk this story, but they stand behind their report and insist that their sources are definitely in a position to know the facts.
Interestingly, they also claim that Legendary Pictures is still trying to persuade del Toro to turn Pacific Rim into the next Godzilla movie instead of an original property. Rumors originated earlier this year that the two projects might be one and the same, but del Toro quickly dismissed those reports and maintained that he had never been involved with Godzilla.
That also calls into question Gareth Edwards’ involvement with the Godzilla reboot. Edwards was still talking up the film as recently as last month, so it seems strange that the studio is still trying to court del Toro for it. Perhaps they recognize that the Godzilla brand is an easier sell – but would they really give Edwards the boot and toss out all the work he’s done if del Toro agreed to the switch?
Evidently, it doesn’t even matter – del Toro is not interested in making a Godzilla movie and has refused the offer.
Unlike the recent changes that the producers of the Red Dawn remake have decided to make, I don’t think anyone can disagree with Legendary Pictures’ desire to take a more sensitive approach to Pacific Rim.
BD is also using their report to help make readers aware of how they can contribute to disaster relief efforts in Japan.
Source: Bloody Disgusting