The sky-scraping robots in Pacific Rim - known as Jaegers - operate by a two-pilot system, where both individuals must form a neurological bridge with both the machinery and each other. When we spoke with the blockbuster's lead actor Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) back at Comic-Con 2012, he revealed that the process requires each pilot to make their consciousness and memories completely accessible to their partner - resulting in what Hunnam described as "a love story without a love story."
A new Pacific Rim featurette combines previously-unreleased footage from the film with interviews, featuring co-writer/director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy 1 & 2, Pan's Labyrinth) and the cast discussing the sci-fi premise of "drift space" - where two people form a psychic bond that allows them to control the Jaeger with ease - and how it's fundamental to the movie's premise of humanity bonding together in the face of possible extinction (caused by monsters from anther dimension).
This "drift space" concept was present in the original Pacific Rim script draft - that Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans) wrote before del Toro joined the project - and draws from Japanese Humongous Mecha pop culture tropes (in addition to real-life science). From a storytelling perspective, sci-fi elements like this bring a deeper significance and meaningful emotional quality to del Toro's blockbuster that has long been absent from similar genre fare (a certain Michael Bay franchise, in particular).
Meanwhile, the first official Pacific Rim TV promo continues to showcase the film's (literally) massive scale and awe-inspiring destruction spectacle, such as that nerdgasm-inducing trailer shot of a Jaeger smashing a Kaiju in the face with a cargo/tanker ship. If you think that looks impressive now, just wait until you see it on the big screen (rather than a computer monitor).
If the aforementioned sci-fi content manages to satisfy even the geekiest of movie buffs (our lot, basically) - and the big 3D action helps to bring in a large crowd to make back the reported $180 million budget - then we may get to see del Toro and Beacham explore the Pacific Rim world more over the course of a sequel. The blockbuster is looking quite promising right now, but we'll have to wait and see how it goes over with those who aren't immediately hooked by the robots vs. monsters setup.
The Pacific Rim cast includes Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi (Babel), Idris Elba (Luther), Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses), Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), Diego Klattenhoff (Homeland), Burn Gorman (Torchwood) and Robert Kazinsky (EastEnders).
Look for the film in 2D and select 3D/IMAX theaters on July 12th, 2013.
Source: Warner Bros.