Pacific Rim (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Guillermo del Toro|
|Story by||Travis Beacham|
|Music by||Ramin Djawadi|
|Editing by||Peter Amundson|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Pacific Rim is an upcoming 2013 American science fiction monster film directed by Guillermo del Toro and written by del Toro and Travis Beacham. The film is set in the near future where soldiers pilot giant robots into battle against invading giant monsters who have risen from beneath the ocean.
In the near future, giant monsters identified as "Kaiju" have risen from a portal in a crevasse beneath the Pacific Ocean, resulting in a war which takes millions of lives and quickly consumes humanity's resources. To combat this new threat, a special type of weapon is designed: massive robots, known as Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. As time passes, even the powerful Jaegers prove almost defenseless in the face of a relentless enemy.
- Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket
- Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost
- Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori
- Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geizler
- Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb
- Robert Kazinsky as Chuck Hansen
- Max Martini as Herc Hansen
- Ron Perlman as Hannibal Chau
- Clifton Collins Jr. as Tendo Choi
- Diego Klattenhoff as Yancy Becket
- Ellen McLain as Jaeger AI. Del Toro secured permission from Valve Corporation to cast McLain in homage to GLaDOS, her homicidal AI character in the Portal video games.
- Robert Maillet as Lt.Sasha Kaidanovsky
- Heather Doerksen as Lt.Aleksis Kaidanovsky
On May 28, 2010, it was reported that Legendary Pictures had purchased Pacific Rim, a detailed 25-page film treatment by American screenwriter Travis Beacham. When Guillermo del Toro met with Legendary Pictures to discuss the possibility of collaborating with them on a film, he was intrigued by Beacham's treatment – still a "very small pitch" at this point. Del Toro guided the development of the screenplay, intending to produce – but not direct – the film.
In June 2011, del Toro was set to begin production on a live-action adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. Tom Cruise and James Cameron had signed to star and produce respectively. However, Universal closed down the project, as del Toro was unwilling to compromise on the $150 million budget and R rating. He then switched his attention to Pacific Rim, agreeing to direct the film. Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi were cast in the lead roles. Tom Cruise was considered for a key part in the film, but was replaced by Idris Elba. Ron Perlman, who has worked with del Toro on several occasions, was confirmed to have joined the cast on November 17, 2011.
Del Toro collaborated with Beacham on the screenplay, and is credited as co-writer. The script also received an uncredited rewrite from Neil Cross, who previously created the Elba-starring drama series Luther and wrote the del Toro-produced horror film Mama. Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan were also enlisted to perform uncredited rewrites when their spec script Monstropolis caught the filmmaker's attention.
On the film's design, del Toro stated: "I felt there was a chance to do something fresh, something new that at the same time was conscious of the heritage, but not a pastiche or an homage or a greatest hits of everything. One of the first things I did is make it a point to not check any old movies or any other references. Like start from scratch."
Del Toro had never shot a film in less than 115 days, but had only 103 to shoot Pacific Rim. In order to achieve this, del Toro scheduled a splinter unit that he could direct early in the day, before main unit, and on his off-days. The director worked 17 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, for much of the schedule. Del Toro took a new approach to directing actors, allowing "looser" movements and improvisation; however, the director maintained tight control over the production: "Everything, 100% goes through me sooner or later. I do not delegate anything. Some people like it, some people don't, but it has to be done that way."
The film was shot using Red Epic cameras. At first Guillermo del Toro decided not to shoot or convert the film to 3D, as the effect would not work due to the sheer size of the films robots and monsters, explaining; "I didn't want to make the movie 3D because when you have things that big... the thing that happens naturally, you're looking at two buildings lets say at 300 feet [away], if you move there is no parallax. They're so big that, in 3D, you barely notice anything no matter how fast you move... To force the 3D effects for robots and monsters that are supposed to be big you are making their [perspective] miniaturized, making them human scale." But it was later announced it would be converted to 3D, with the conversion taking 40 weeks longer than most and Del Toro saying "What can I tell you? I changed my mind. I'm not running for office. I can do a Romney."
Industrial Light and Magic was chosen to create the visual effects for Pacific Rim. Del Toro hired Oscar winners John Knoll and Hal T. Hickel, both known for their work on the Star Wars prequel trilogy and the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Legacy Effects was hired to do the special and practical effects on the film. Shane Mahan, known for creating the armoured suits for Iron Man, was hired on as effects supervisor. John Rosengrant was also brought in for his work on Real Steel. Oscar winner Clay Pinney, known for his work on Independence Day and Star Trek, was also brought on board.
Del Toro conceived the film as an operatic work: "That was one of the first words I said to the entire team at ILM. I said, 'This movie needs to be theatrical, operatic, romantic.' We used a lot of words not usually associated with high-tech blockbusters ... We went for a very, very, very, very saturated color palette for the battle for Hong Kong. I kept asking John to tap into his inner Mexican and be able to saturate the greens and the purples and the pinks and the oranges." The director asked that Knoll not necessarily match the lighting from shot to shot: "It's pretty unorthodox to do that, but I think the results are really beautiful and very artistically free and powerful, not something you would associate a big sci-fi action movie." Del Toro considers the film's digital water its most exciting visual effect: "The water dynamics in this movie are technically beautiful, but also artistically incredibly expressive. We agreed on making the water become almost another character. We would time the water very precisely. I'd say 'Get out of the wave [on this frame].'"
Based on his work on Iron Man and Game of Thrones, Ramin Djawadi was chosen to compose the film's score. In an interview with Collider.com, Guillermo del Toro also indicated that audiences can expect some Russian rap.
On November 28, 2012, the official film website premiered alongside two viral videos – one depicting the initial Kaiju attack as captured by a handheld camera. Blueprints depicting the designs for the Jaeger machines were also released online. A prequel graphic novel has been announced; other merchandise is also in development. On March 30, 2012, it was announced that a prequel graphic novel Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero would predate the film, with a story by the film's screenwriter Travis Beacham, and cover art by Alex Ross.
Pacific Rim was initially expected to reach theaters in July 2012. However, Warner Bros. decided to move the film's release date back to May 10, 2013. In March 2012, it was announced that the film would be released on July 12, 2013. Several minutes of the movie were shown at Wondercon and met with extremely positive reactions.
In July 2012, del Toro discussed the possibility of making a Pacific Rim sequel. "We always leave ideas that were in the first draft as you go along. You know, either a set piece that was great but too expensive, an idea that was really bright, but it couldn't quite fit the structure... so we have a little stash of stuff we wanted to do that we didn't get to do. So if that's a possibility, A) I would be very happy to do a sequel, but B) a lot of these ideas, set pieces and all that, actually have in them a really good seed for a sequel."
On December 4, 2012, Legendary Pictures announced that it had selected Pacific Rim co-writer Travis Beacham to write the sequel, along with del Toro, though there was no comment as to whether del Toro would return to direct the second film.
At WonderCon 2013, del Toro expressed enthusiasm for a potential crossover between Pacific Rim and Godzilla – another Legendary Pictures kaiju film – but stressed that no such plans were in place.
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