'Pacific Rim' Images and Early Reactions; del Toro Talks Western Influence

We have new 'Pacific Rim' images, reactions to an early screening and director Guillermo del Toro discussing the film's East-meets-West flavor.

One of the Jaegers in 'Pacific Rim'

Guillermo del Toro is considered a God by certain members of the geek population, after his supernatural horror comic book adaptations (Blade II, the Hellboy movies) and grim(m) Spanish-language fairy tales (The Devil's Backbone, Pan's Labyrinth). He's renewing fanboy/girl cred this year, beginning with his first directing project in five years: the East-meets-West monsters and giant robots extravaganza Pacific Rim.

The filmmaker, author (see: The Strain) and creature-horror aficionado recovered quickly after At the Mountains of Madness collapsed back in 2011, shifting his attention over to the Japanese monster genre throwback - del Toro insists it's not a Quentin Tarantino-inspired pastiche with "greatest hits of everything" - developing from screenwriter Travis Beacham (Dog Days of Summer, Clash of the Titans (2010)).

Time-jump eight months and shooting had begun, followed by the teaser trailer premiering at last year's International Comic-Con; then, in December, the preview began making the rounds in theaters. Editing and visual effects processing is half-way finished (including, an extensive 10-month 3D post-conversion), but early test screenings took place over the Super Bowl XLVII weekend.

Those in attendance were not permitted to go into intimate detail about what they saw, but early reactions are overwhelmingly positive and optimistic about the final product. True, that's a common outcome for these sort of events, but that trend partially stems from studios' tendencies to keep poor test audience responses low on the radar (see: G.I. Joe: Retaliation screenings feedback, prior to reshoots and a 3D post-treatment).

Here is one such reaction from writer-director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper):