When it comes to comic conventions, Guillermo del Toro is treated as a true legend. As the filmmaker behind comic book adaptations like Hellboy as well as incredible works of fantasy like Pan’s Labyrinth, the director is as big a name as you’ll find in genre movies, and the fans love him for it. And this year at WonderCon, del Toro rewarded that loyalty with some awesome giant robot vs. giant monster action.
As part of the Warner Bros. panel, del Toro delivered not just a brand new exclusive trailer to the crowds in the arena of the Anaheim Convention Center as well as some in-depth details to get you excited for the upcoming epic. The panel began with the director noting that the movie is now 85% complete, with effects and music still being mixed – but that he had cut a brand new trailer just for the convention attendees.
While it’s a bit hard to fully describe a trailer, due to the fact that the footage goes by so quickly, I will say that what del Toro had to show off was absolutely amazing. Completely action packed, there were multiple scenes of robots (aka Jaegers) fighting against monsters (aka Kaiju), but the highlight of the entire reel was a scene set in the middle of a city where one of the Jaegers picks up a giant ship and swings it like a baseball bat and a Kaiju’s head. The scenes also did a good job of setting up both Charlie Day and Charlie Hunnam’s characters, with the former interested in studying and understanding the beasts from beneath the ocean, while the latter is just blowing them all to pieces.
Del Toro also delivered some great insight about the making of the film, noting how he regularly chose practical sets over green screen, building not only models of the streets of Hong Kong (and destroying them), but also the inside of the Jaegers where the pilots lock in. Those sets were all built on gimbals, so whenever they had to show the pilots being rocked by a hit, the entire set would actually tilt. The filmmaker noted that all of the actors at one point complained about having to be in the suits and locked into the set, with the exception of Rinko Kikuchi.
He also went into full detail about how he went about casting Charlie Day, an actor best known for his work in comedies rather than big action blockbusters. Del Toro was inspired to cast Day after seeing an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia where the actor delivers a monologue about how rough it is killing rats with a baseball bat. The scene showed the director that Day is actually a skilled performer. Del Toro also described the character, Dr. Newton Geiszler, as a mix of Rick Moranis, J.J. Abrams, and the brother of Bradley Cooper. He is a hip geek with a touch of punk rocker.
There was also a great deal of talk about bringing both the monsters and robots to life. The filmmaker decided not to use motion capture on the film simply because creatures and beings 25 stories tall don’t walk like human beings. Instead he wanted his animators to figure it out, understanding that the incredible weight of the designs would make them move differently. Despite the film not being 100% done, del Toro says that he has seen the film multiple times now and each time it leaves him with a shit-eating grin.
Lucky for us, the wait for Pacific Rim is almost over. The film will be in theaters on July 12, and as we get closer to the release date we will surely see even more footage from the film. Until then, check out the trailer below.
For more of our WonderCon 2013 coverage, be sure to click over HERE