Since 2006 Guillermo del Toro has had over a dozen projects in some form of development to his credit (with him either as a writer, director, creative consultant, etc.). His upcoming sci-fi film is the first project that he’s both written and directed since Hellboy II: The Golden Army. So what can we expect from GDT this time around? If you weren’t already aware, submitted for your approval is one Pacific Rim; a film about inter-dimensional/extra-terrestrial creatures attacking Earth. But before you finish your yawn, know that Earth has a fighting chance this time as our saviors of the terra-firma come in the form of 25-foot-tall mechs whose controls are tied into the brains of their human pilots. Still got your attention?
True it seems like very mundane or amateur material from a very original filmmaker right but before you chalk this up to someone else trying their hand at a mecha story, consider the source. It’s Guillermo del Toro! Yet even he acknowledges that there’s been plenty of mechs, robo-jocks, load lifters, (even his Golden Army) that have already paved the road before him:
I never “bend” a property to fit me. I just fall in love with the stories and give it my everything, so – don’t worry about [Mechas like The Golden Army in ‘Hellboy 2’]. These are proper robots but they obey our own sensibilities in design. I am not making them gear or steampunky at all but I also don’t want them to be just a “riff” on preexisting designs from Anime or games.
That’s exactly what I expected to hear from him especially when you recall that he, like other great filmmakers, puts story first. As this premise still seems like it’d be his take on one or more landmark Japanese mainstays, Pacific Rim star Idris Elba recently gave some more insight during an interview with MTV:
“Godzilla would throw out the wrong sort of image, I think. We are talking about some big MF-ers… There’s a lot of actuality in [‘Pacific Rim’] because [del Toro has] created huge sets. I mean, we’ve taken over four sets in Pinewood in Toronto and built a lot of the stuff that you might see. Yes, there is huge CGI I’m sure, but we built a lot of stuff too.”
Doesn’t quite dispel the perceived initial resemblance to Japan’s most famous giant creature features but I like his lead off sentence. Serving as little more than in-house excitement (and a possible PG Rating?) here’s a snippet film FEAR.net’s interview with script doctors/co-writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton:
“[Working on ‘Pacific Rim’] was an amazing experience, because we read the script, and so we went in knowing what the producers and studio wanted us to do; and we went in and met Guillermo, and he started showing us the tests by ILM. They were just mind-blowing… This is a PG movie. Most of his stuff is pretty edgy, for the most part. Nothing below PG-13 that I can think of. So this is his sort of four-quadrant movie. But it’s got all the traits of a Guillermo movie, with the monsters and the young characters and the things that go bump in the night… It’s pretty great.
This is a PG movie. Most of his [Del Toro’s] stuff is pretty edgy, for the most part. Nothing below PG-13 that I can think of. So this is his sort of four-quadrant movie**. But it’s got all the traits of a Guillermo movie, with the monsters and the younger characters and the things that go bump in the night… It’s pretty great.”
“Mind-blowing” sounds promising but the team still has a long way to go. Remember we haven’t even seen a creautre or mech concept image let alone a trailer. But it never hurts to get excited at the idea. It already has the makings of a kick-ass action flick. But add to that Del Toro’s gift for spinning a yarn and his promise at last year’s ComiCon to deliver the “finest f–king monsters ever committed to film” and I think we can easily upgrade the hype on this to something above “cautiously optimistic”.
Still over a year out, Pacific Rim is slated for release next Spring on May 10th, 2013. How does this grab you?
**In the movie industry, a “four-quadrant movie” is one which appeals to all four major demographic “quadrants” of the moviegoing audience: both male and female, over and under 25 years old.
Four-quadrant movies are not necessarily family movies; they may, for example, be too frightening for children, yet still be able to pull in all four quadrants of adult moviegoers. – source, Wikipedia