‘Pacific Rim’ Screenwriter Reveals Jaeger Technology & Kaiju Biology Details

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pacific rim movie trailer Pacific Rim Screenwriter Reveals Jaeger Technology & Kaiju Biology Details

Guillermo Del Toro’s robots vs. monsters action sci-fi Pacific Rim plans to drop its audience directly into the middle of a war – one that humanity is losing. The film takes place in the not-too-distant future, after an army of monstrous creatures known only as the Kaiju have risen from a dimensional rift deep in the Pacific ocean, with the apparent intent of taking over Earth and destroying everything in their path. Not a species to go down without a fight, humans create giant robots called Jaegers, capable of battling – and occasionally even beating – the Kaiju in claw-to-mechanical-hand combat.

The film begins a decade or so into this war, with almost all of the Jaegers wiped out, and humanity determined to make one last push back against their invaders. Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi play two pilots charged with controlling the same Jaeger and using it to win victory for humanity. For moviegoers who want to know more about the history of the war, however, screenwriter Travis Beacham has penned a graphic novel called Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero, which covers the story of how the Kaiju first came to Earth.

Pacific Rim kaiju blood Pacific Rim Screenwriter Reveals Jaeger Technology & Kaiju Biology Details

In an interview with IGN, Beacham has gone into fascinating detail about the design of the giant monsters and robots, even dropping hints about where the Kaiju came from and the reasons behind them coming to Earth. One of the reasons, apparently, for the Kaiju’s success in taking out Jaegers is that each one has its own distinguishable trick up its sleeve:

“They each have different abilities. One of them that has a kind of electrical ability, they emit certain toxic fluids, they have surprise appendages that you don’t necessarily know about. Each Kaiju comes with its own set of grizzly abilities and surprises.”

Teaser images for Pacific Rim have raised a number of questions about the blue blood that runs through Kaiju veins. Images of clean-up crews in bunny suits trawling through bloodstained beaches have suggested that the Kaiju are so dangerous that even to cut them open is to take a risk, similar to the acidic blood of the xenomorphs in Alien. Beacham explains that emphasizing the unsafe nature of the Kaiju blood is an attempt to show the part of monster movies’ stories that is usually cut short by the arrival of the credits sequence – what happens to the giant dead monster in the middle of the street?

“The blood is phosphorescent, and it’s also extraordinarily toxic. It has kind of a glowing black light effect when it’s freshly bleeding. It’s a condition that’s called in the movie, Kaiju blue, and at the same time that it’s very sort of pretty looking, it’s also extremely dangerous. When we were first thinking about it, something that these kinds of stories usually just gloss over is you know, the monster comes in, you fight the monster, the monster’s dead – problem solved. Well really that’s kind of the beginning of the problem because now you have however many tons equivalent of rotting flesh in the middle of the city. I mean it’s an enormous public health hazard.”

Godzilla 1998 Pacific Rim Screenwriter Reveals Jaeger Technology & Kaiju Biology Details

‘Godzilla’ (1998) – A tough day for New York street sweepers

Beacham says that there are certain aspects of the Kaiju’s origins – including the true reasons for them coming to Earth – that may end up remaining a mystery by the end of Pacific Rim (perhaps to leave a few more stones left unturned for the sequel). But he does drop one major plot hint regarding the dimensional rift that the Kaiju come from, and where it might lead to:

“You will see something that is not Earth in the film, I’ll say that…  The Kaiju aren’t necessarily the responsible party. There’s a lot going on in the other universe, some of which you’ll get a glimpse of from the movie, but it is every bit as complex and crazy over there as it is on our side of the breach.”

It’s not yet clear what level of sentience the Kaiju have – whether they’re simply mindless animals, whether they have human-level intelligence, or whether their intelligence actually goes beyond our own. The suggestion that they aren’t invading Earth of their own accord, but are instead being compelled by some other force from their universe, is a very interesting one. Could it be that the Kaiju are simply giant organic bulldozers that have been sent to clear the plains of Earth for recolonization? Or was the rift caused by some kind of trouble in their own dimension that is forcing them to seek out a new habitat?

Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi in Pacific Rim Pacific Rim Screenwriter Reveals Jaeger Technology & Kaiju Biology Details

On the other side of the battle are the Jaegers: giant robots directly controlled by human minds – two pilots acting in perfect synchronization in order to control the movements of the enormous machine. The reason that two pilots are needed was explained in a recent featurette on the neural link between human and computer – known as ‘The Drift’ – which burrows into each pilot’s entire consciousness and memories in order to make them the most efficient fighter possible. The strain of such a link proves to be too great for a single human to survive it, but the Drift succeeds when bolstered by the presence of two human minds working simultaneously. Beacham explains that, as well as theoretically giving the Jaegers a more human feel, this also creates an unusual connection between the human characters:

“The idea that let us realize that this was a human story was the idea that it takes to pilots to drive a Jaeger. That puts human relationships literally at the core of the robot in the battle. Suddenly it matters to the battle, and to the people that they are defending, that the two people are driving this robot get along, and that they trust one another, and that they have a firm relationship between them.”

Despite how intimate this connection might sound, it doesn’t necessarily mean Pacific Rim will have a forced romance subplot. When Screen Rant interviewed Charlie Hunnam at Comic Con, he described the relationship between his character, Raleigh, and Mako Mori (Kikuchi) as being, “a love story without a love story. It’s about all of the necessary elements of love without arriving at love itself.” This sounds like a fairly unique approach to their relationship, since it’s comparatively rare to have the male and female leads in an action movie exploring a deep but platonic friendship, without romantic or sexual elements to it. Having the two characters fall in love as a result of their Drift connection would have felt like far too obvious a road to go down, so it’s promising to hear suggestions that Beacham and Del Toro didn’t fall into that trap.

With Beacham’s graphic novel coming out later this month, and a tie-in video game already in the works, are you planning to explore the Pacific Rim universe outside of the movie?

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Pacific Rim opens in regular and select 3D/IMAX theaters in the U.S. on July 12th, 2013.

Source: IGN

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  1. This movie will be the summer blockbuster of the year. I wish it were coming out in mid to late August.

    • That title, I’m afraid, will go to Man of Steel.

      • Both movies are interesting MoS and PR will have there lion part of success.

        • Please tell me that was just your bad taste in humour. Man of Steel was awesome, Pacific Rim was a rim job. ’nuff said.

      • @ LUTHOR

        Unfortunately, MoS and Pacific Rim come out only three weeks apart, so I’ m thinking each one will hurt the other in toal box office. That’s why I wish they further apart in opening.

        • They come out almost a month apart, MOS is June 14th and Pacific Rim is July 12th.

          • That’s still too close. I would like to see MoS get as much time alone as possible before another blockbuster comes out, especially one of this magnitude. MoS is already going to have enough competition.

  2. This movie just gets cooler every time I read something new about it.

  3. This was the summer movie I’d been the most excited about all year so really looking forward to seeing how it all works out in the finished movie. Tempted to buy that graphic novel.

    • I’ve pre-ordered it from Amazon.

      • Might do the same, trying to save money to frame my paintings though and book some recording studio time later in the year. Might budget in a little extra though for it, that’s unless I wait and get it cheaper around the holidays.

        • Thanks for the budget report, Dazz.

      • Me too :)

  4. I just can’t get exited for this movie. I just feel it has flop of the year written all over it

    • Please explain.

      • Yeah, please do.

    • @ Drool Monster

      Nope, that title went o After Earth.
      LOL!

      • +1

  5. Each monster having its own unique ability reminds me of the Angels in Neon Genesis

    • Am I the only one hyped for the hobbit?

      • I am too. I read that The Hobbit P2 trailer will appear in Man Of Steel projection

      • Wait longer. The Man of Steel hype train didn’t really get started till the trailer came out in April. We still have several months to go for The Desolation of Smaug.

    • Evangelion is my favorite anime but to be fair, every enemy in any mecha based anime has its own set of unique abilities…

  6. Can’t wait to see this, I am a fan of Del Toro’s artistic vision.

  7. For anyone loving giant robots being manned by human pilots beating up on and occasionally wining a battle against giant monsters, this is a dream movie. We have all seen enough trailers to know how it looks and to get our own ideas from them. I don’t think its right to affix “flop” to the movie before anyone has seen it. I think, like any other movie your waiting to see, you have to go into it with a love of wanting to see something that you like and hope for the best. You cant say way before it that you see “Flop” written all over it. Its a kind of defeatist attitude way in advance.
    The movie will have two kinds of audiences. One that is waiting for it because there has never been a film like this done in live action on such as grand scale and it appeals to us. The other audience, the action/ sci-fi and curious ones, thinking that it might be a good time.
    I just want to have a good time watching what I love. Giant Robots vs. Aliens.
    They did a great job with the Japanese live action version of Space Battleship Yamato why cant we do more with that kind of thing. Pacific Rim could be the start of something huge.

  8. As wierd as this sounds, the success of this movie hinges on the Kaiju for 3 key reasons:

    1. Will the mystery of the Kaiju keep us intrigued? Will the “Why?” keep us watching?

    2. Are the Kaiju unique enough to keep us invested? Are they scary enough? Awesome enough? Varied enough in look and personality to hook us and get us to root for them? The video game syndrome will kill this movie if they aren’t.

    3. Did they hold back in the trailers and marketing? It looks like they’ve already overexposed the Jaegers. Heaven help them if they’ve revealed the entire spectacle and shown is all the Kaiju months before release.

  9. It does seem like they have showed us quite a lot of the Jaegers, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is. its more than likely a 2 hour plus movie, so for the small piddling amount of scenes that they have showed us is hardly overexposing the robots or the scenes. I’m sure there are plenty of awesome scenes yet to come, Rob. But with each little scene they whet our appetite more and more. I’m looking forward to seeing the short scenes they have showed us in the previews in there entirety.
    I think saying, “Heaven help them…” is a bit strong and negative. If your looking forward to the movie, then that’s really all that matters, isn’t it?

    • It’s not just Evangelion. Influences for this movie predate it by 20+ years. Calling it an Evangelion rip-off betrays a lack of genre experience. And yes, heaven help them if they betray their core audience by revealing too much. It may be a bit melodramatic, but they get one shot to do it right and do it first.

  10. Does any one realize this is movie is a complete knockoff of Hideaki Anno’s ” Evangelion”? I cant wait to see it, Im so excited to watch it. But,I hope that someone recognizes who was the true creative genius behind this amazing work of art.

    • You are not the first person to mention this, but giant monsters fighting giant robots was not something new when Evangelion came out.

  11. I love anime and manga,so this is definitely on my must see list along with Man Of Steel.

  12. This sounds cool

  13. It’s insane to think that this might perform poorly at the box office.

  14. i really enjoyed Pacific Rim, it is what it is! giant robots fighting giant monsters! to be critical of this film is to completly miss its point! its a leave your brain at the door and enjoy some great escapism!

  15. Reluctantly, I gave Pacific Rim a chance to be a great sci-fi blockbuster. However as one of the devout, in terms of Neon Genesis Evangelion, I feel that the lines of intellectual property were completely crossed, almost to the rank of plagerism. In my opinion, director Hideaki Anno, Eva’s creator, should receive at least fifty percent of all residuals made from this obvious knock-off of his anime masterpiece!
    True, there were subtle differences, but the majority was rehashed Evangelion aspects. Ok, the monsters or Angels came from an inter-dimemsional sea while on Evangelion they came from the sky or other dimensions and at least one from the ocean I’m the episode which Asuka was introduced. The body suits the pilots were are almost identical and the Jaegers too much like the Eva units, down to how they even deployed them. Only special people could operate these machines and the synchronization levels were very reminiscent of Eva. True, in pacific room each Jaeger was operated by two people, but that is a minor difference. The character in charge of the project (Stackhouse) was a replica of Gendo Ikari from Eva, down to the special relationship he had with Mako Mori, who like the beloved Eva pilot, had blue in her hair. There was even an experimental Eva unit called JetAlone. Underground cities were made, as in Eva and the prospect of the Kaiju not representing the angels is a pathetic attempt of originality. At least the Kaiju didn’t have souls and were not based on dead relatives, but you got that eerie feeling that you’ve seen this before. The movie script was lacking and the actors were unrecognizable to me, but at least it blew away Atlantic Rim, which was a low budget form of Pacific Rim. Had I never see Eva and fallen in love with it, I would have enjoyed this as a cool mecha sci-fi film, but with all of the hints and suggestions over the years that Eva was going to be made into a live action film, made this all the more frustrating. So to conclude my rant and I left out some other direct rip-offs from Eva, I will give this movie a C+ or maybe a B-, as it is impossible for me to look at this with an unbiased eye…so yeah there were some cool action scenes and some fun computer hardware but aside from that the story was lacking. Unlike Eva, there were no religious undertones, save for one comment made by Newt. I’m sure the director and producers knew that they were going to get a lot of blame because this was so close to Evangelion. But at least something live-action in the adult form of Mecha was made aside from the Transforners, which was to kiddie to start with. In my final opinion watch it if you can get a copy for free as it is definitely not worth paying for!!

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