At Legendary Pictures’ Comic-Con Panel this past weekend, Guillermo del Toro offered a simple reason for why people should be excited about his new project, Pacific Rim – as he eloquently put it, because the film is about “giant f**king monsters against giant f**king robots.”
Variety has learned that Robert Kazinksy (EastEnders, Red Tails) is also now officially onboard for del Toro’s giant alien invasion thriller. Oscar-nominee Willem Dafoe is also said to be circling the project, which recently added character actor Max Martini (The Unit, Saving Private Ryan) to its cast.
Kazinsky is joining Hunnam, Elba, Kikuchi, and Martini in Pacific Rim as a collection of soldiers who (according to early script details) serve in the Jaeger program – where human pilots pair up and take control of building-sized mechanical suits, in order to battle their Godzilla-like otherworldly opponents.
Day is reportedly playing a scientist who attempts to locate the source of the invading extraterrestrials, who hale from a world known as the Anteverse. Dafoe, should he sign on, would portray “a rogue scientist with expertise on alien creatures” [Insert Spider-Man/Green Goblin joke here].
While at Comic-Con 2011, del Toro mentioned that he and Pacific Rim screenwriter Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans) are attempting to approach the idea of humanity battling “25 foot tall monsters” from a relatively grounded perspective. More specifically, the plan is for the film to both work as pure popcorn entertainment, while also exploring how people would respond to a global-scale threat of almost unfathomable magnitude in real-life.
Bizarre creature design is del Toro’s speciality, as anyone who remembers the nightmarish Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth or the imaginative denizens of the Troll Market in Hellboy II: The Golden Army can attest. Between that, an overall solid cast, and del Toro actually serving as director (and not just a “creative consultant” or producer) on Pacific Rim, the film has managed to generate a tremendous amount of positive buzz at this point.
The wild card element of Pacific Rim looks to be Beacham’s script – because the quality of his previous work is mixed at best. Although the film is all but guaranteed to boast fantastic effects and production design, Pacific Rim could be weakened by a perfunctory script that fails to distinguish itself from similar sci-fi action flicks (see: Aliens, Independence Day, Avatar, etc.). No need to jump to conclusions, of course.
Pacific Rim will begin production later this year. It is slated for theatrical release in the U.S. on July 12th, 2013.