Prior to his big presentation at this summer's San Diego Comic-Con, Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro sat down with LA Time's Hero Complex to discuss his vision for a Hollywood sized homage to Japanese mecha versus kaiju spectacles, Pacific Rim.
“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,” Del Toro said. “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.”
On the mecha Jaegers and their kaiju foes, he said:
"We designed a little over half a dozen Jaegers and they're in the film in one way or another, but the main four that have real set pieces and are there for the body of the movie are Russian, Chinese, American and Australian. Then we have others - the Japanese robot, the first US robot that was built, a German robot... And the Kaiju - we designed about ten, but not all of them appear in main set pieces. The main Kaiju... There are about seven or eight, there's one I keep forgetting but he's gonna be a big surprise."
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.
Pacific Rim hits theaters on July 12, 2013, starring Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Clifton Collins and Rob Kazinsky.