Many a gamer immediately recognized the A.I. technology that runs the Jaegers (re: human-piloted robots) in the Pacific Rim trailer speaks with a voice similar - nay, identical - to GlaDOS from the Portal franchise. Director Guillermo del Toro has since confirmed that was an intentional homage, as he is a self-admitted fan of Valve Software's critically-acclaimed game series.
Qualcomm premiered a recut Pacific Rim promo (with sprinklings of previously-unseen footage) at its Las Vegas CES presentation, which is now online. However, that GlaDOS voiceover has been removed in favor of more grave narration from star Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and the inspirational call-to-arms delivered by Idris Elba (Luther).
The Toronto Sun caught up with del Toro recently, since he's been promoting this month's horror film Mama (which he produced). No surprise, the discussion turned to the Pacific Rim trailer and its GlaDOS A.I. voice - provided by opera singer and voice actor Ellen McLain - which the filmmaker says he got permission from Valve to use in both the promo and actual movie.
“I wanted very much to have her, because I’m a big Portal fan. But just as a wink. She’s not cake-obsessed. [laughs] She’s not out to destroy humanity.”
Pacific Rim draws from a long tradition of pop culture that involves battling Kaiju (giant monsters) and human-controlled robots, with early footage (including viral marketing) prompting comparisons to Transformers, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Godzilla, Avatar, Cloverfield and everything in between. Hence, del Toro feels the Portal shout-out was appropriate; though, he offers assurances that the A.I. won't sound quite so alike to GlaDOS in the final film:
“I said, ‘Look, there’s no A.I. I’d rather have than GlaDOS.' The filter we’re using [in the movie] is slightly less GLaDOS. Slightly. The one in the trailer I wanted to be full-on GlaDOS.”
Somehow, we have our doubts that's going to curb the cake jokes anytime soon. Moving on...
We included Pacific Rim on Screen Rant's Most Anticipated Movies of 2013, but it failed to crack the top 15. That's in part because there are just so many hotly-anticipated superhero movies and sci-fi franchise titles on the horizon. However, a quick survey of reactions to the Pacific Rim trailer (including, our staff's) suggest the SR community have mixed feelings so far, with regard to whether or not this is indeed shaping up as the ultimate geek-fest.
A cast populated by fan-favorite TV actors who are not (yet) proven draws at the box office - combined with the niche content - likewise raises doubt about how much Pacific Rim will appeal to mainstream audiences. Then again, screenwriter Travis Beacham and del Toro have already started developing a sequel; that suggests Warner Bros. may have good reason to be confident about both the film's quality and financial prospects (even with the 3D post-conversion being applied as an afterthought).
Pacific Rim opens in U.S. theaters on July 12th, 2013.
Source: Toronto Sun