Just because fan-favorite filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is in the midst of shooting his most expensive blockbuster to date – the 25-foot-tall robots vs. monsters sci-fi epic, Pacific Rim – doesn’t mean he’s slacking off, as far as keeping in touch with fans about the current status of the project.
Principal photography commenced on Pacific Rim back in November 2011, with a rising-star-studded cast that includes actors such as Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Idris Elba (Prometheus), and Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). It marks the first project featuring del Toro in the director’s seat since Hellboy II: The Golden Army hit theaters back in 2008.
One of the more noteworthy tidbits that del Toro dropped recently (via his official fansite) is that he’s penned several revised drafts of the Pacific Rim shooting script – which was originally written by Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans) – with screenwriters ranging from Neil Cross (Luther) to Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3) and even Saw franchise duo Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton having also devoted a few days-to-weeks’ worth of input.
Hence, while the central narrative concept (ie. humans pilot giant robots to battle monsters from another dimension) for Pacific Rim remains the same, many important plot and character elements have been altered and refined from Beacham’s earlier draft. So, that’s encouraging, considering that Beacham’s prior film writing work left many worried that his Pacific Rim script would suffer from a lack of substance to go with all the flash and bang.
Similarly, the diverse range of talent that del Toro has “consulted” about Pacific Rim – and who, the filmmaker says, have all ultimately “chipped in with ideas that I love!” – should help ensure the final movie turns out better than his previous big-budget sci-fi monster flick, Mimic. Not having to deal with loads of studio interference should also help, as del Toro has long claimed was the case with that 1997 title. But, we digress…
On the topic of the human-controlled mechanical suits (or, rather “robots”) that will be present in Pacific Rim, del Toro had the following to say, with regards to their design:
I never “bend” a property to fit me. I just fall in love with the stories and give it my everything, so – don’t worry about [Mechas like The Golden Army in 'Hellboy 2']. These are proper robots but they obey our own sensibilities in design. I am not making them gear or steampunky at all but I also don’t want them to be just a “riff” on preexisting designs from Anime or games.
It would definitely be easy for del Toro to partially rip off the design of “piloted Mechas,” from films like Avatar and The Matrix Revolutions – or animated series such as Neon Genesis Evangelion – but, if anyone can devise a clever new variation on that trope, it’s the guy responsible for imagining the fantastical creatures of Pan’s Labyrinth. Then again, did anyone really expect any less from del Toro?
One last thing to note – del Toro also mentioned that “a top-tier composer” will be providing the score for Pacific Rim, but that it won’t be someone he’s worked with previously. That sadly discounts Oscar-nominee Javier Navarrete (The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth) as an option, but hopefully a fitting alternative will be selected.
Pacific Rim remains set to hit U.S. theaters on May 10th, 2013.