Of all the projects director Guillermo del Toro (“Hellboy”) has been talking up but never getting around to making, “Pacific Rim” was the least likely candidate, yet turned out to be the one he’s making in the end. Just as well. The premise is awesome: aliens versus giant robots! Yes, it is exactly as cheesy as it sounds. But trust del Toro to make something earthy and extremely cool out of it. The Mexican filmmaker is taking his geek love of Japanese manga and putting it literally into action. The robots in this film will be man-made and man-controlled, created as a defense against the invading extraterrestrial monsters. Sounds like something out of “Mazinger” or “Robotech”.
Today, TotalFilm managed to grab hold of del Toro, who’s on a short break from filming, to get his thoughts on the sci-fi epic. He said: “So much of the creation of the movie was having the best creative experience I’ve ever had in Hollywood.”
Asked what sort of scale he is working on, del Toro replied: “When we’re talking about the physicality of the fight, we ended up building several blocks of Hong Kong. And literally demolished them. We built a building and then we took down the buildings. We built command centres of the robots that were the size of the house. We started them on hydraulic rigs that shoot and elevated them and moved them round so you could really get a sense of the physical nature driving a robot like this.”
He also went into the casting, and how the leading man Charlie Hunnam got the part: “The funny thing is Charlie was one of my only two choices for the prince of Hellboy II: The Golden Army. I met with him. He screen tested. I loved Charlie before Sons Of Anarchy. He always brought a certain honesty. He’s the kind of guy that women will love who guys won’t hate. He’s the right side of honest and good looking that you don’t want to punch him in the face. You want to have a pint with the guy. You want to take him to the pub. There’s male bonding energy with this guy that I thought was perfect for the character.”
Today, we also have our first-ever look at the film. Specifically, cast member Idris Elba (“Prometheus”) who sports a pretty high-tech suit of body armour. He’s playing one the last remaining human soldiers in the war against the alien invaders. This could also be the suit worn when linking up with the giant robots. The design isn’t terribly original, but Elba as always makes everything look cool.
“Pacific Rim” also stars Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Max Martini, Willem Dafoe, Robert Kazinsky, Clifton Collins Jr., Diego Klattenhoff, and Ron Perlman. The Travis Beacham-scripted movie premieres 12th July 2013.