‘Pacific Rim’ Production Update From Guillermo del Toro

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

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…

pacific rim guillermo del toro Pacific Rim Production Update From Guillermo del Toro

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.

Source: Del Toro Films (via CBM)

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  1. Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies and I always enjoy his movies even if it’s simply the look and design. He’s one of a handful of directors that know how to use special effects, when to use practical, and how to blend them with CGI. He can really stretch a budget and make it look more expensive than it was. There’s always a lot of personal expression behind his movies.

    • Well said….
      The only difference between what you said and what I would say is Pan’s Labyrinth is my favorite movie of all time, not just one of.

      • I’ve called it my favorite before. It may well be, but I like to leave that spot open because other movies have knocked me off my @$$ too and they can be in totally different categories.

        But wow, PL to me covers so many categories. It’s an historical drama, a heroic magical fairy tale (for adults), or a gut-wrenching tale of a precocious young girl desperately trying to cope with a horrifying situation, which involves madness and heroism at the same time. That little girl was so perfect I remember thinking that I never wanted to see her in another movie again. For example seeing her play a teenage drug-addict (for instance) would compromise my image of her. I’d heard the part was written for a younger girl but she had everyone in tears during her audition.

        I recently decided that there is no other way to phrase it: occasionally I “fall in love” with a movie. It’s great because it can be as deep and obsessive as it is, without any messy break-up. PL is a masterpiece. I doubt GDT will ever surpass it, but I’m glad Hellboy II was just plain really good. I was disappointed he didn’t make the Hobbit. Time will tell, but I think I would have preferred a simpler one-movie take on the Hobbit that actually had a different look and feel than the LOTR. And I was looking forward to Smaug.

        • I understand what you mean. Every once in a while I’ll see another film that just blows me away and it will stay with me for weeks on end.
          But the only time I remember leaving a theater completely floored and gut punched was Pan’s. And with each viewing since the feeling doesn’t go away.
          I’m not closed minded to think it won’t happen again or that there’s a film out there that I haven’t seen yet that can equally blow me away or even surpass it. I just haven’t seen it yet.

          • I agree. Same for me. There’s a lot of movies that don’t floor me, but I like nonetheless, and I continue to like.

            Have you seen “Michael Clayton?” If not, you should check it out. I started to explain how I think it is similar to PL, but stopped. You might enjoy it.

      • I agree. PL is one of the greatest films of all time. A completely moving film.

  2. In Del Toro we shall trust!!! ;)

    And I’m sure he will excel at the mecha designs and set a new standard for how mechas should be done! Though I’m pretty sure he’ll put some anime design in them, all mecha design should pay homage to the real mecha creators. :D

    • I don’t think it’s possible to have mecha designs that do not pay homage to the original animé/manga designs.

      • You’d be surprised. Even though the genesis of most mechs stem from anime, a lot of artists in the West tend to twist that mold into something more industrial and mundane (‘Matrix Revolutions’, ‘Battletech’, ‘Mechwarrior’, ‘Avatar’ etc, etc.)–if ever there were a movie SCREAMING for the Eastern/Japanese designs, it’s this one. I don’t care about practicality or function when it comes to a movie like this–I want something that looks flashy in form, while retaining SOME sensibility of realism.

        But anyway, I like how this article cites the post from Del Toro where he was addressing my concerns. However, the person that wrote this article is a bit uninformed–the original treatment from Beacham is fantastic, and it certainly offers a reasonable amount of “substance”, particularly great pseudo-science sprinkled in throughout the whole script. I would have been more than satisfied had there been no rewrites at all–in fact, some of the rewrites detract some of the homages to Japanese culture in this film, which is a shame.

        • I was actually referring to Beacham’s previous screenwriting work (ie. Clash of the Titans) and not his early script draft for Pacific Rim.

          From what I’ve read about Beacham’s earliest draft for Pacific Rim, it did sound promising, though, I agree.

          • ‘Clash of the Titans’ was heavily rewritten and condensed thanks to those big time studio suits that you mention in this article (‘Mimic’)–Beacham’s original treatment, according to CHUD, was far more informative on an exposition level, as well as being broader in scope and character development. Apparently, it was both the director and Warner Bros. that wanted to cut it done and make it your standard blockbuster fare. If I were you, I’d take the time to check out ‘Killing on Carnival Row’–Beacham is a FANTASTIC writer.

            • Ha, yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised by that at all (re: Beacham’s CotT script being revamped).

              Thanks for the info, all the same. :-)

        • And I for one will never understand why go through all the trouble of making a mech and still use the full extent of your arms and legs to control them… if you are going through all the hassle why not make yourself a nice simple control that involves only the use of your hands! The tech must be there since you can already build a mech! :P

          • I don’t want to spoil anything from ‘Pacific Rim’, but since this has been reported by most sites already, the mechs in ‘Pacific Rim’ go back to my citation of the great pseudo-science that Beacham applied to this film. The mechs are driven by neurological links between both the pilots that “drive” these machines. And even though Del Toro has stated that he doesn’t want the mechs to just be a “riff” off of anime mechs, the original treatment lead me to believe that these mechs were VERY anime inspired.

  3. I cannot wait to see this! Good luck GDT!

  4. I don’t like del Torro. Not one bit. Pan’s Labyrinth is a pro-communist propaganda hit piece. Did you notice that in his movies all the “good guys” have horns?

    • So what? The good guy in Hellboy and Hellboy 2 was the son of the devil, and yet, I’ve never heard anyone complain about that.

    • And all the bad-guys are narrow minded and want to force others to conform to their ridgid systems through intimidation and violence. But at least they look normal.

      As for the horn comment. The faun in PL is pretty ambiguously “good.” And GDT didn’t create Hellboy, but so what if he has horns? Often the most heroic and interesting characters in fiction are the ones who have conflicting drives and motivations, or a uneven potential for goodness and destruction. Obviously “Hellboy” has religious overtones, but the faun is more tradtionally a symbol of nature. It’s man who has ascribed a value to horns. What else is evil? Spiders? Bugs? Snakes? I love how nature does all kinds of useful things for us (i.e. everything). Man contributes nothing of value to the whole of nature, but we are so confident that we are the apex of creation, with the wisdom to judge everything else.

      • Hellboy cuts down his horns! And even when they grew back he snapped them off again.

      • “Man contributes nothing of value to the whole of nature, but we are so confident that we are the apex of creation, with the wisdom to judge everything else.”

        That’s a pretty tall soapbox there.

        • Soapbox? Well, what else is an internet forum for? But, I think it’s the reality, and if anything it’s humbling. We’re taught that man is some kind of great end-all-be all, the final destination. It’s not only taught in religion, but even our modern myths like comics and movies, where when animals are evolved they become more human-like (which is a downgrade for anything except humans). But think about it, what does man contribute to nature that nature needs? Sure we have art, music, science, technology. That serves us. What does nature get? Nothing. Most species and life would be far better off without us. On the other hand, where would we be without nature? nowhere. We’d be dead. What do we derive from nature. Everything we have. So I think it’s pretty hubris-tic of mankind to construct this myth that we are the center of creation, and that things are ugly, beautiful, good, or evil based on our viewpoint.

          I don’t mean to preach that man is a disease and must be scoured from the earth. Me love me some works of man. But it’s just, for me, rather a cold bracing truth. It doesn’t make me feel powerful. On the contrary it makes me feel incredibly vulnerable and dependent on nature, and yes, my fellow man. Now, if you are wondering, I do not believe there is a God, and I may recall a comment from you Ink, that indicates a belief and practice. I’m not knocking anyone’s belief. I’m merely expressing my own. I just didn’t like jiji’s comment for several reason’s, and I gloomed onto the one about horns. He was equating horns with evil and I was trying to point out and get him, and others to consider that equating things like horns and snakes with evil is purely a construct of man. There is no such thing as people with horns, and animals with horns aren’t evil. Neither are snakes. Are you still reading this? Although now that I think about it, GDT is probably using peoples ingrained association of horns and evil to juxtapose it with the goodness of the characters. As Motoko was saying, Hellboy shaves his horns down. The explanation is that he wants to look normal, but symbolically it’s him keeping his own evil in check. I enjoy the symbolism. I’m just saying that it is purely that. Horns could just as easily be associated with beauty and majesty.

          • I totally agree with you, very well written. We give nothing, but taking it all. When there is something evil and realy stupid in this world, then humans are. Mankind is like a virus killing his host (planet earth).
            Nothing else, not even a virus or a bacterium is stupid enough to kill his host, when there is no other host within reach.
            So, who dares to say that we are the culmination of evolution.
            We have one of the biggest brains proportional to the body mass, but we don’t know how to use it properly without harming ourselves and everything around us.

            PS: I love animals with horns, too. I like ibexes, that is my zodiac sign. BTW, why horns are associated with evil and the devil anyway, when there are three zodiac signs with horns (the ibex, the bull and the ram). Ah, I have forgotten, zodiac signs are pagan.

            • Thanks “R”Us,

              Nature and the Earth will do just fine. We’re the ones screwing ourselves.

              Anyway, I have to concede that the artist, GDT, is using the symbolism of horns, probably to create ambiguity between good and evil. A profound scene in Hellboy II is when he has to choose whether to kill that giant plant creature, that is the last of it’s kind, just as Hellboy is also the last of his kind. It’s pretty powerful and sad. I would also love to know how they filmed the scene, what was practical and what is CGI. It looks amazing and the movie’s budget was reletively small.

              There is a Kurt Vonegut book that is (stick with me here) narrated by a ghost from the far distant future. The ghost tells a story that takes place in the present day, but he comments on the future man. At this point man has evolved into otter-like creatures who swim, eat fish, and like to lay on the beach and dry off in the sun. They are still human-shaped only with an oily fur like otters. They have minimal intelligence, but they “still laugh when someone farts,” as he says. I’ll have to locate that again (it may be Deadeye Dick, but his stories can run together). It’s always stuck with me. But Vonnegut is very clear that man hasn’t “devolved.” They’ve merely evolved in way we wouldn’t assume (i.e. not with larger brains). Honestly it took me years to understand that.

              • Um, wow. I’m sorry but to me, mankind trumps Earth.



                • Earth doesn’t think. Doesn’t have sentience. Man does. Thus I tend to agree. Well said sir. Short and sweet!

                  • And all this from a thread about giant robots fighting monster!

                    • I hope nobody is mistaking this for an important discussion.

                  • Your brain is fooling you. It’s a mass delusion to keep us all from going insane at the utter worthlessness and meaninglessness of our existence. It’s simply an adaptation for our further survival and propagation, just as any other animal’s instincts. There is nothing special we do with our brains that other animals haven’t demonstrated. They fashion tools, demonstrate sacrifice and compassion, plan ahead, etc. Yes our brains are more sophisticated. And that’s lucky for us because physically we can’t do anything very effectively. It’s an evolutionary trade-off. That’s a completely objective view-point that I think about very occasionally.

                    It’s really depressing. I recommend everyone Google Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vetruvian Man and think hard about your brain as some glorious pinnacle of creation that makes the Universe sing (look at Hubble pictures while you think about the Universe singing :). That’ll get tiresome after a while so you may want to read the sports page and do a crossword puzzle. It’s only Wednesday, so we’re only half-way to the weekend. Friday is payday too. Yes!!!!

                  • I’m glad we all have some healthy narcissism.

                    This is purely a philosophical discussion, but what does our “sentience” contribute? Does it tickle butterfly wings when you contemplate art and math? It doesn’t do anything for anything else, animal, mineral, or vegetable, except for us.

                    It does have an effect when we decide something is “evil” because it is less human looking. So it’s okay to kill sharks because they don’t think and they are dangerous to MAN? 100 years ago people considered whales as mindless monsters, and it was perfectly okay (MANley even) to pull them out of the ocean, hack ‘em up and burn their blubber. Are you okay with people hunting and eating gorillas? I tend to doubt it.

                    And I’m not saying you shouldn’t call the exterminator when termites move in to your house, or that you should go to jail for eating a hamburger.

                    • Nostelg-O,

                      You don’t have a wife and kids, do you? (I’m betting you don’t). If a shark, ape or even a dog were threatening your wife or daughter, would you pause and have a philosophical moment debating what to do? I sure as heck wouldn’t – my family comes first. The fact that someone puts the life of a wild animal at the same level or worth of a human being is something I just can’t wrap my head around.

                      And don’t take this the wrong way (this is a rhetorical/hypothetical question and not a “flame”), but if we’re the equivalent of “termites” or a “disease” on the Earth, and life is so utterly meaningless and pointless, then why don’t you and others who share your point of view just “help out” the planet by eating a bullet?

                      Again, I am not doing the internet thing and saying “go kill yourself” – I’m asking a philosophical question.



                    • I pray for your sake Nostelg-0 that you are right and that existence is meaningless and we all just grind down into dust after we die. But my faith tells me that you are dead wrong.

                • What do you mean with that? Ok, mankind walks on earth, so is above earth the most time, except he lives or works in caves ;).
                  Kidding aside, I wonder in which regard mankind trumps earth?
                  You mean we trump every living thing on earth, or how can a little being like us trump a whole planet?

            • It’s funny how people confuse being Pagan with evil and Devil worship. They fail to see that most Cristian holidays were pagan times of celebration of nature that Christians molded to their own means. This was to help spread their “new” religion so they wouldn’t alienate existing communities from their established customs.

              • “Chrsitian” Stoopid fingerz!

              • Vic,

                I never said that man was a disease. AliensRUs said, “Mankind is like a virus killing his host (planet earth).” I didn’t even agree with that. I said, “Nature and the Earth will do just fine. We’re the ones screwing ourselves.” And I was saying that if termites invade your home, CALL the exterminator. I was saying that to signal that I’m not such an extremist nature lover. I didn’t say or imply that humans are the “equivalent of ‘termites.’” I also didn’t say that people didn’t have the right to defend themselves from sharks and gorillas if they or their families are attacked by one. I was pointing out sharks because humans do things like catch them, cut off their fins, and roll them back in the water to die, not to protect people, but to make soup. And people hunt and eat monkeys and gorillas, and more because of superstitious belief than hunger. That, to me, is sad. But I guess I’m coming from the lofty position of not living in an area infested with bloodthirsty sharks and gorillas.

                No I’m not married and I don’t have children. I do have a large family and lots of nieces and nephews. A few years ago a nephew and I were walking in the woods as it got dark. We only had a small flashlight. It was dark and I heard all kinds of things moving around, and imagined even more. I was thinking about what I would do if a bear attacked, or inbred hillbillies, or even a protective father who might have mistaken us for a gorilla and a shark (it was dark) attacked us. I knew that I would get in the way, put up enough of a fight to give my nephew a chance to live. I would lay down my life for any of my nieces or nephews without hesitation.

                Now another thing AliensRus said is, “When there is something evil and realy stupid in this world, then humans are.” And I see his point. Most other families (not yours obviously) are in more danger from people than gorillas or sharks, or even a gorilla-shark. How many people are killed by cars every day? Cars are driven by people. Not Gorillas. And a shark couldn’t drive a car. That is a ridiculous notion. People also kill other people with guns. I would put myself, without hesitation, between a gun and any child, even if I didn’t know who they were. An adult? I might hesitate, yes. When I drive down a neighborhood street I’m cautious and keep an eye out for children or a ball rolling into the street, simply because years ago I was driving and noticed some kids running around playing (on the sidewalk), and imagined how easy it would be to hit a child who darted out into the street. Selfish, but I imagined how difficult it would be to live if I injured anyone with a car, child or adult. Now, for you to say you’d protect your family from a threat. Well, so would a mother Bear, or Lion, or Gorilla. But of course that is instinct, nothing to do with what motivates people (who have the same (though modified) bones, organs, brains, etc.).

                But I don’t even buy your argument. There are all kinds of people who intentionally kill, send people off to senseless wars, or simply screw people over economically. Many of them have families, and profess love and kindness. While I was being extreme, I was quoting Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote lots of gleefully dark novels about the pointlessness of existence. He also had difficult family situations where he had to work several jobs to support a large family. He did so. He also told people who asked him why he smoked and he answered that he was committing slow suicide. He was serious, but I guess he still managed to avoid “eating bullets” as you might suggest.

                And I don’t feel like life is utterly worthless and meaningless, I’m really just considering the real possibility that it is. As I said, I don’t believe in a God or afterlife. I simply don’t. I have in the past, and it sometimes gave me an intense feeling of hope and meaning. But now that I don’t I still have hope and meaning. In fact, since I believe that when I die, the lights simply go out, shows over, no eternal party, or even lingering spirit, I actually feel that the life I have is even more rare and precious. If nothing else, living is the only thing I’ve got, why should I “eat a bullet.” I won’t be around much longer in the grand scheme of of things.

                I know that if people all died, no matter what condition we left the Earth in, it would recover. It’s done it before when meteors have caused mass extinctions. And some form of life would evolve to fill all the niches that there would be, just as has always happened. There are many times over more extinct species than those currently living. Mammals have evolved into all kinds of things from some shrew-like thing that scurried around avoiding dinosaurs tens of millions of years ago. Dinosaurs covered every ecological niche, big and small. Once they were gone, something else had a chance to fill in those niches.

                That said, I would rather that people learn to live without making it so hard for other species to survive. I think we would lose out. So, we are screwing ourselves. I think about things like Urban Sprawl and overpopulation. Does that mean I’m a species-traitor putting wild animals on the same level as human beings? Not really. But I do think that humans are currently “winning the fight.” It’s not like an animals can learn computer programming and adapt to life in the big city. They can only evolve, which takes hundreds of thousands of generations. Most likely they’ll dwindle and die. Extinction is more the rule than exception.

                Another thing, wouldn’t you agree that Science fiction is a popular medium that deals with philosophical questions of existence? Star Trek? “Carbon sacks of mostly water?” What sorts of movies are the primary topic on this site?

                Finally, I think you were disrespectful to me. You basically constructed a “straw man” and put words in my mouth. And, no matter how you sugar-coat it, suggesting suicide and saying “eat a bullet” is pretty violent and aggressive. I think it’s a legitimate question to ask, “If you believe that there is no God and that man is only an animal, then how do you find meaning?” If anyone else had written that, I would simply not reply and probably avoid that person. However, you are the moderator, and I think you have a larger voice than other commentators.

                • Nostelg-O, I’am totally with you.
                  I also think that earth will recover, but we would destroy it if we could.
                  Who knows what weapons we will invent in the future, who could do that. There are even plans for weapons who can theoretical destroy suns (we just don’t have the technology yet), how perverted and evil is this?
                  And I believe there is some sort of afterlive and a soul in us all, all animals included. For me there are many evidences and documented cases of near death experiences, but this is another topic.

                  To Vic:
                  Why do animals attack people, what do you think? This is very rare and the most time a mistake (sharks sometimes think we are seals, but let lose when they realise their mistake). Because Man is spreading everywhere and the animals are cornered.
                  What are we doing in the sea, for example. We are terrestrial mammals, we are invading their livingroom.
                  What would you do when somebody comes in your house and says, “hey we are living here now, get lost”, you would tell them something, right? In USA you can even shoot them, so why animals are not allowed to kill you, when you are invading their space?
                  Please think a moment, or two about it.

                  • To Vic:
                    Do you have so many sharks and apes in you’re neighborhood?
                    And when dogs are attacking you’re family, it isn’t the fault of the dogs, but the fault of the people who have trained them.

                    The most dangerous enemy to mankind and all living creatures, is the arrogance and ignorance of the people.

                  • I appreciate the support, but I’m not trying to argue or fight with anyone. I never was. Whatever Vic’s views on any matter, he works and succeeds to manage a nice forum here where people can argue all kinds of sensitive topics like, for example, the cut of Captain America’s cowl, without allowing it to descend too deeply into chaos and war. That is not easy to find on the WWW. He has to help maintain civility for everyone here and he does a good job of it. Obviously people’s worldviews are bound to come up, simply because they’re at the core of each of us, and art and movies are going to often at least scratch the topic for that reason. That can be great because we hold our philosophies and world-views near and dear to our hearts.

                    Now you, me, and others may hold a more “materialistic” point-of-view. But let’s recognize that the main counter-argument is spiritual and religious, so when we bring it up we’re also touching that topic, which has been referred to as “the ‘third rail’ of politics.” Yes you read that correctly. I said “politics.” Let’s face it, we all looove religion and politics. But I’d argue that aside from cites that are specifically on those topics, it’s simply not suited for the internet. It’s a marvelous (or DC-ous, depending on your affiliation) topic when, and only when, most every consenting adult can agree to disagree. That’s simply not possible here, and very quickly someone will “bring a gun to a knife fight,” intentionally or unintentionally. Vic’s got a “dog in the race” like everyone else, but he’s also got the job of making this a place everyone can enjoy, so maybe sometimes he’s gagged and both arms are tied behind his back. Let’s try not to turn him, or anyone else, into a “punching bag.”

                    I’m glad you and I can see eye-to-eye on things. That’s always cool. But I also want to respect other people’s opinions no matter if I agree or disagree. Like I said this is a nice forum, that is able to handle the other topic that a lot of people, rationally or irrationally, are passionate about. Of course now I’m referring to the adaptation of comics into film.

                    Again, other topics are bound to cross over and that’s to be expected and welcomed in a lively discussion. But there is a refreshing lack of bashing and name calling here, so let’s not sour a good thing.

                    • Nostelg-O,

                      As I tried to emphasize, no disrespect was intended, and I appreciate your thoughtful reply.

                      “Aliens R Us” on the other hand – get a clue. I was just using the examples put forth previously. My point was I assign FAR greater value to a human life than to other forms of life. Period.


          • Great approach on the subject.

  5. may I remind everyone of a mech movie released recently entitled “Ironman”…haha
    i’m sure these will be much larger in size and use more realistic weapons (i.e. War Machine on crack).

    any details on what the monsters will look like? inter-dimensional?

    • The monsters will be done in the same vein as the kaijus you generally see from the Japanese monster flicks. Del Toro has already confirmed that this film is a “love poem to giant monster movies”, with the Japanese influence being prevalent. I’m just hoping this same sentiment applies to the mechs.

      • I’d really love some full on Gundam style. Evangelion is a bit more complicated as they aren’t technically “Mechas”, but “Cybernetic”.

        • I’m hoping for something like a mobile suit from gundam, but one of the mass produced models, like a zaku. Not a big shiny red, blue and yellow samurai/robot that can’t be killed.

        • Well, if we get REAL technical about it, the mechs in PAC RIM will be nothing like the mechs from Evangelion, as the EVA units are biological–they’re living mechanisms that just have armor attached to them. It’s still traditional mecha in the sense that they have a pilot operating them, but EVA units aren’t entirely cybernetic.

          Again, I’ve read the original script by Beacham for PAC RIM, and for the most part, these are more Gundam-like in terms of their proportion (although, about 100 meters taller than your average Gundam).

          • Biological with a “Cybernetic” interface. You can’t plug technology and a pilot into a living organism without making it a cyborg!

            • Kiryu, Evangelions – all Bio-Mechas

  6. Love del Toro’s work. And I love big monsters. This one could go Jet Jaguar way or even Moguera.

  7. This is the first article I read that mentions “Evangelion”!
    I can’t believe that no one points out that the premise from “Pacific Rim” most conveniently resembles the exact same principle behind “Evangelion” which is, giant robots (driven by humans) fighting against giant aliens.
    How far can big-budget productions go without simply referencing that it’s based on other material or just simply saying “it’s my take on the concept behind the manga series Evagelion”.
    I say this only because, who knows if in the near future, someone would like to make a live-action feature of Evangelion? Then people will be like, “that’s exactly the same thing as Pacific Rim!”…WRONG…the Japanese came up with it first (obviously) and if del Toro end’s up doing a crappy job then it will ruin all giant scale monster movies forever!!
    I am seriously worried about this movie…

    • I don’t mean to condescend, but the mecha/kaiju battles have existed in Japanese fiction (live action films, manga, and anime) LONG before ‘Evangelion’. The sole reason why so many people compare PAC RIM to ‘Evangelion’ is due to the popularity and acclaim that the series and brand has been able to establish in the West. However, anyone with just moderate knowledge of Japanese fiction knows that this concept has existed long before Hideaki Anno offered his take on the genre.

      Also, here’s a piece of news that was just revealed about an hour ago: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/sns-rt-us-pacificrim-toystre81c1kn-20120213,0,2024697.story

      • As Chris said… mechas vs monsters has been around anime/manga way way before Evangelion came out! The one thing that could be taken literally from Evangelion would be the neurological link between the mechas from the pilots. Which I’m not sure it has been confirmed by anyone at the production.

        Either way, it was surely stated before that Del Toro is doing homage to all anime/manga mecha vs monsters done before. And I’m pretty sure this includes Evangelion. If you read news about this production it was initially set on Japan just to honor them, it was changed because of the tsunami, which I still hate! Since I’m pretty sure everyone who is excited by this would have loved to see this set on Japan!

        I also think this is a smart move by Del Toro: to come up with an original story taking as inspiration all mecha stories. This way he has all the creative liberties he needs. Of course I would have loved an Evangelion adaptation! But then all the haters would point out every little change made to the story instead of just enjoying the movie!

        And who knows maybe this will be a success that drives Hollywood into adapting Evangelion! :D

        • I believe the first major Japanese Mecha was “Tetsujin 28″. There are plenty of others with a similar premise; eg; Raxephon, Macross (Robotech), Gundam, Godzilla (Mecha Godzilla, Beast King GoLion (Voltron), Gaiking, Heroman (Stan Lee anime) etc….

          All things Giant, Mecha and alien are the foundation that holds japan together. Without giant Robots trampling over their town they’d never get anything done. ^-^

        • I apologize, I simply referenced Evangelion because it’s the only one I know. I’m one of those people who do not have moderate knowledge in Japanese fiction :)
          But Evangelion was something that I grew with and the story just blew my mind!! But I can see the difficulties of that story being adapted for the screen…nonetheless, my subliminal message is that I’m not a fan of del Toro and I would have chosen another director.

          • Yeah, I love Evangelion – but I still don’t understand the plot of it half the time. I’m just pleased someone is making a giant mecha movie. Japan find it difficult to produce live action version of their anime. They cost too much and don’t appeal to the majority of the western world.

            I love Del Toro and I’m glad he’s making this kind of film. I’d rather western directors and studios would make original movies that are inspired by anime than making westernized versions of established Japanese manga/anime classics. (Dragonball evolution, Akira etc..)

            • Evangelion is great, I just got on to the show this part semester and I love it. I really hope that the live action Evangelion film will get made.

              But I doubt that the robots/mechas in Pacific Rim will be anything like Evangelion which is a bio-mech. Also the story is not aliens like in Evangelion but from a alternate dimension or something like that.

              I can see Pacific Rim’s mechs be like Gundams or something like Mogera or Mecha Godzilla, something that is either humaniod looking or looks like the monsters from the alternate dimension. For all we know they could look like anything. But I doubt that Evangelion will have a huge affect on the design or will be affected badly in the long term if they plan on making a film.

        • Ftio,

          Japan is still very essential to PAC RIM. The only MAJOR rewrite was a location change (Raleigh, the main character, will now meet his co-pilot, a Japanese girl by the name of Mako, in Hong Kong instead of Tokyo). However, Tokyo is a HUGE part of the film, as it pertains to Mako’s flashbacks and involves significant set pieces throughout the film. The entire Pacific coast basically plays an important role; Japan, China, California, Coastal Russia, Australia, etc, etc.

          • I’m just glad it’s an original idea and something fresh.

            I’m glad it’s gonna have a part Asian cast. Where I live there is a big Asian community and I always find it weird big studio films hardly ever represent Asians in a multicultural society.

            Or at least go out of their way not to *cough Akira cough*…..*cough Dragonball evolution cough*.

            • Dragonball Evolution had a part Asian cast. If your referring to Goku, Goku isnt Asian. Heck none of the characters looked Asain except for Yaroji or however you say his name.

              • I know Goku is a saiyan, but I think it’s safe to asume he was supposed to resemble an Asian. Goku is based on the Chinese story of the “Monkey King”, “Journey To The West”.

                Goku has tail, a staff that extends to any size and he flew on a cloud. All this was taken from “Journey To The West”.

                The Asian casting in “Dragonball evolution” felt like an afterthought. So much of “Dragonball” and “Dragonball Z” is rooted in a world with an Asian sensibility and culture. This was completely erased from the movie. But maybe this film was a bad example, but the planned “Akira” movie was a better one. Why the “Capsules” bike gang could not have been Asian American was beyond me. But that films not happening now so, it doesn’t really matter.

                • Yes it is based on the Chinese story of the Monkey King but its just based, its not a literal copy. Plus he isnt drawn to be Asian. Wou Fei in Gundam Wing, Yarobi in this were drawn as Asian; Goku was not.

                  And I dont understand how you can say it was an afterthought when only two of the characters that werent in makeup were White, the rest was Asian. And the movie was based on the Dragonball story line; also its not just solely based on Asian culture it was based on many cultures. just because it came from Japan doesnt mean its solely Asian when the characters and story arent fully based as Asian.

                  • It was an homage to “Journey To The West” by Wu Ch’eng-en. But it quickly evolved int something else, mainly after the 16th volume of the manga when Goku had finally reached adulthood before it turned into “Dragonball Z”. It was only then that the Saiyans even appeared. Akira Toriyama has stated that Goku was based on the character. Eg:



                    As for the movie, it was more about the culture Goku was living in. The school and town he was surrounded by looked very westernized. I know it was not based in Asia or earth as we know it. Besides not having talking pigs, dogs and bears walking around that world it didn’t have any of the Asian feel and culture that the world should have had. It felt like I was watching Hanna Montana.

                    But as I said, that was a bad example, but an even worse film. One I’d rather forget (What were they thinking!?).

                    • Yes I know that the characters and the story are based on the Chinese tale but just because it is doesnt mean the characters or parts of the culture has to be Asian.

                      They (Goku, Master Roshi, etc) dont look like the few Asian looking characters (Chi-Chi?, Yamcha? – those two to an extent tho they are Asian in the Evolution film, and Yarobi). And in the anime the world was a mix of Asian and Western cultures.

                      Yes it was a bad film, since Fox didnt put enough into it as they should. Hopefully they will do a remake and base it off Dragon Ball Z.

          • Hey Chris, thanks for clearing that up! I’m glad to read that they managed to keep Japan as a mayor player for the movie. It would have been a total miss without it! :D

            Also glad to hear we get all this countries involved and this is not just a US based, we are the only ones that can save the world, kind of movie! After all Del Toro is mexican so I would be really pissed if he’d let the big studios mess his movie up like that!

            • Yeha, not to worry, all different types of ethnicity will appear in this film, but the PRIMARY main character is American. However, his co-pilot, who gets just as much screentime as the main male character, is 100% Japanese (played by the beautiful and talented Rinko Kikuchi). Plus, Del Toro choose to retain to other very important supporting characters, they’re both Korean themselves, so you get a whole different range of people in this film. It’s definitely NOT an “America saves the world” movie–not at all.

  8. I would like to see these mecha be grounded somewhat in reality and not be portrayed as too powerful/advanced. A good anime example would be the old Armored Trooper Votoms mecha. A really great inspiration would be american author John Ringo’s invasion novels. He actually gives a realistic description of how we could make a powerer armor/mecha in the near future.

    • I think the “Macross” mechas would be a perfect basis for a realistic design. A vehicle capable of space travel and travel in atmosphere as well as ground and low level combat modes.

      • …Sorry. I mean the “Macross Valkyrie”!

    • The problem here is that Western fiction ONLY produces the types of mechs you’re referencing to. Keep in mind, the Votoms mechs are only 3 meters tall in height–both the mechs and kaijus in PAC RIM will individually be about 115 meters tall. Not to worry, these mechs won’t be capable of flying or doing anything too out-of-the-ordinary, but they’re certainly going to be far more imaginative than your standard Westernized mech.

      • True dat!! ….Hopefully ^-^

        • I don’t want a westernized mecha design so much as a westernized explanation of how we built one in the first place. The reason I enjoy Ringo’s fiction so much is that he always has some well explained science behind his mecha designs. A movie with that kind of technical detail is what I’ve been praying for for a long time. I don’t know how they’re going to do that with towering, 115ft tall mecha, but I hope Del Toro Comes through. More than anything, I’d like to see more conventional armaments. Lasers and energy cannons are cool, but I’d like to something more creative/realistic. What do you guys think?

          Oh and Motoko! Lets save Valkerie’s for a full blown Macross movie!! (I can dream can’t I?)

          • Personally, I’m hoping we get the ultra-modern technology. I feel most blockbuster films aim too hard at being “realistic” nowadays. Not that Beacham’s script was unrealistic or anything, but he did provide a nice sense of fantastical elements to compliment the hard science. These mechs and monsters will be over 300 feet tall–so I’m sort of hoping more for the Gundam-type mechs than I am the Votoms-type. If I want the latter, I’d just go watch ‘Matrix Revolutions’ or I’d go play ‘MechWarrior’ or something. It’s a “to each their own” type of thing, but in this case, I want the anime-type mechs. I just think they fit the mood of this film better rather than something that solely aims for 100% realism.

            To give you a better idea, I’d love the Gundam-structure and proportion type of mech, with the articulated fingers, hands and all, but with a simpler color scheme than the bright colors.

            • As a hard military sci-fi guy, I like gritty realism. However, I would settle for a gundam style mecha if it isn’t too cartoonish, which I think you agree on. It would certainly make for and entertaining two hours in the movies.

              I guess I’ll just have to wait for Ridly Scott to finally start working on the Forever war to get a real military sci-fi story.

            • And I guess I’d also say that I have nothing against gundam. It was my favorite show between the ages of 12-16. I still have half a dozen models put together in my room. But again, I always that that a Zaku II was much more interesting than the RX-78 gundam etc. I like a little of the practical mixed with the fanciful. Makes for more compelling action if the guy piloting the suit has to worry about taking too many hits. The fact that the gundam pretty much couldn’t loose always bothered me.

              • I really like the re-design of the RX-78-2 in the ‘Gundam: the Origin’ manga. It still has the same classic look, but more of an industrial-refined look around the joints and what not. Looks great, you should check it out.

                I liked the Zakus a lot as well, especially Char’s custom one.

                • Yes sir! Loved origin. The 0079 manga had some great technical type concept art as well. I would love a gm, or zaku type mecha in this film. Something with a lot of wow factor, but nothing in the Super Robot subgenre. I much prefer the Real Robots of the original gundam universe. Of course that’s just me. I wouldn’t mind if the main character had a custom model, along the lines of one of char’s upgraded units. Maybe with a few tricked out weapons etc.

          • I agree with you there. Although I think we’ll more likely get an Americanized “Robotech” movie. At least I heard it was in development.

            • I can still live with that. All of my less geeky friends are getting pretty tired of my rants about how they should have taken the production budget from the transformers films and used it to film a robotech trilogy. They’d have the same robot action, but an actual story to go with it! What a concept right?

            • Oh and I thought you might think this is cool if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s a short sci-fi/action film shot by some VFX studio. And while the robot is more of a combat andriod than a true mech, I like it’s simple but effective design. The whole video kind of reminds me of District 9 though…not sure if it would be good for Pacific Rim or not.

  9. Glad we are getting word on this, hopefully when this gets made and its successful he will get to make At The Mountains of Madness with Cameron and Cruise

  10. This is the guy who didn’t understand the Hellboy comics and ruined the Hellboy films. Easy pass.

    • I think he understood them just fine. He just had to adapt them somewhat for the movies. Many of the “Hellboy” stories are short stories and folktales. He did well to get “Hellboy” made in the fist place.

  11. Robots fighting extra dimensional monsters….Anime meets Lovecraft I hope

  12. 25-foot-tall robots?? try 25 STORY tall robots.