Guillermo Del Toro loves Comic Con. Every year that he has a film coming out the Hellboy director his way down to San Diego to visit his fans and give them a glimpse at his new project. Fortunately for us, 2012 is one of those years. For the last few months Del Toro has been hard at work putting together Pacific Rim his new sci-fi epic about giant robots fighting against giant monsters for the future of mankind. The movie sounds absolutely awesome and in a few minutes we’ll be getting the chance to see for ourselves.
I’m currently sitting in the middle of Hall H in the San Diego Convention center as the cast and crew of Pacific Rim get set to display their new film for the first time. It hasn’t yet been announced who will be on the panel, so follow the live blog below as I take you blow by blow through everything I see. And, perhaps most importantly, come back to this page once the panel has ended to find complete descriptions of all the footage shown!
2:36: We're about to get going! Two huge screens have opened up at the front of Hall H and a full display for Pacific Rim is on the screen!
2:38: Huge applause erupts just at the mention of Guillermo del Toro's name. And even more screams as the filmmaker makes his way on stage!
2:38: Del Toro says this is just the beginning of Pacific Rim. Tells the story of how the people at Legendary Pictures basically saved his life with this movie. He says it was important to not forget how it’s possible to make an original film with material that includes robots vs. monsters.
2:38: Twelve weeks ago they were still shooting the movie, but they cut something very special for Comic Con. We won’t see any more until the end of the year! UPDATE: Here is a full description of the Pacific Rim footage!
The footage began with an old man and a kid walking over an icy tundra with a metal detector. As they walk the machine begins to beep faster and faster and the old man picks a toy robot out of the snow. But that’s not the only metal in the area. The old man slowly raises the detector into the air and a look of intense fear strikes across his face. In the distance a giant robot appears, with only one arm, and begins to stumble. It falls to its knees and then crashes with a huge boom into the snow face-first.
2:43: Time to bring out the cast! Charlie Hunnam! Rinko Kikuchi! Charlie Day! Ron Perlman!
2:44: Day talks about screening It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia at Comic Con, but it’s all a blur. Ron Perlman says it’s a miracle he’s still invited to come down here. Says that Del Toro’s standards must keep dropping if he keeps inviting him to Hall H. Rinko Kikuchi says she’s very nervous, but the crowd cheers to support her.
2:45: In the words of Guillermo: It’s time to show some stuff! Let’s roll it!
2:46: The director explains that the robot is controlled by two pilots who are mind-melded with the giant robot to control them.
2:49: Mind-blowing stuff. This movie may not be done, but already the CGI looks fantastic and the robots vs. monsters looks epic. Stay tuned later for a full recap!
2:49: The idea behind this film was to introduce something new. The tone of the battles is outstanding according to Del Toro, but the emotion of being there was the key. Created a world where these monsters and robots could exist.
2:50: Del Toro wanted to make it as crazy as he could. Told his staff to use 110% and do everything he can to make the movie as big as possible.
2:53: Fan question time! Asks if we will be seeing giant drills and rocket punches. Del Toro’s reaction? Yes to rocket punches and the fan literally jumps up and down in excitement. No drills, but the director tells us to expect plenty of robot porn.
2:54: First two questioners look very similar, and Chris Hardwick mixes them up. Good stuff
2:55: Approximately 9 monsters and 6-7 robots in action in this movie. Designed 40 kaijus and did an “American Idol on them.” They would vote, have discussions, and throw punches. Every time we think the robots can’t do anymore, they do.
2:56: Anything we can imagine will be there in the movie. Del Toro says there are some set pieces that we have never seen on film.
2:57: Hunnam said that there wasn’t a script when he signed on. He says only two filmmakers would make him take that leap of faith. Calls the filmmaker a slave driver, but says it was extraordinary because the director was always working twice as hard as him.
2:58: What would happen if one person if they tried to control the robot? Apparently that question is answered in the film. If a Kaiju leaves one pilot alive and he can still bring the robot to safety, that’s a big deal.
3:00: Question about balancing CGI and practical effects. Del Toro says the idea is to treat it all like any other element of the film. He tried to dirty the camera by throwing water and oil to it, adds scratches to the camera. Can’t see an entire Kaiju or Jaegar so that you can get a real sense of scale. Approach it from the purity of animation like how Harryhousen would approach stop-motion. No motion-capture because he didn’t want the robots moving like human beings. No moments where the monster is just waving its arms and not just attacking the robot. Not like kung fu movies where only one person attacks at a time. He calls it a “fuck that shit situation.”
3:01: He also ensures that there is plenty of practical. They build sets so that they would shake as monsters and robots walked through.
3:04: The movie has sea monsters, flying monsters, everything you can imagine. The movie won’t have any classic monsters, though. “Except Ron Perlman,” Del Toro says
3:06: And that’s a wrap!