After spending years in development fruitlessly looking to direct first The Hobbit movies, then his dream H.P. Lovecraft adaptation At The Mountains of Madness, last year, del Toro's Pacific Rim got him into production for the first time since 2008's Hellboy sequel. Now that we're in the midst of summer movie season, we're getting into a lather about next year's tentpole pictures, and del Toro ably pimps his massive monster movie in the latest issue of Total Film.
The loquacious, infectiously enthusiastic director of Pan's Labyrinth, Cronos, Blade II, and The Devil's Backbone singled out Pacific Rim as unique among his American moviemaking experiences, saying, “So much of the creation of the movie was having the best creative experience I’ve ever had in Hollywood."
Elba, whose picture we'll get to shortly, plays Stacker Pentecost, a pilot of giant anime-inspired robots called Jaegers. He serves as something of a mentor to the protagonist played by Charlie Hunnam. The British Hunnam is best known as the star of the FX series Sons of Anarchy, but he showed comedic chops on Judd Apatow's lamentably short-lived Undeclared and unrecognizably showed up as a thug in Children of Men, directed by longtime del Toro buddy Alfonso Cuaron. Of Hunnam's casting as the hero in a huge event movie, del Toro said,
"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."
The director has previously stated that Pacific Rim will be basically the biggest monster movie ever made, pitting giant city-destroying extraterrestrials called Kaiju against humanity's principal defense, the Jaegers. He elaborated a bit on just how huge the action will be, explaining,
"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."
So that's something to look forward to. The full interview with del Toro is available in the print edition of Total Film, but the good folks at MovieHole kindly scanned the below look at Idris Elba suited up to combat some monstrous scum.
Late last month, Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures released the first official synopsis for the film, which you can read by clicking right here. The always-busy del Toro is directing from a screenplay by Travis Beacham. Hunnam and Elba lead the human cast against a bunch of visual effects, and the humanoids in that cast also include Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Ron Perlman, Clifton Collins Jr., Diego Klattenhoff, and Robert Kazinsky.
Pacific Rim is a ways off, as it's currently scheduled for July 12, 2013.