WonderCon 2013: Guillermo del Toro Goes Big With 'Pacific Rim'

Saturday, 30 March 2013 10:40 Written by  iamrogue
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WonderCon 2013: Guillermo del Toro Goes Big With 'Pacific Rim'

Guillermo del Toro unleashed the Kaiju and Jaegers on Anaheim today, with Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures looking to prove that in Pacific Rim, size is everything.

New footage of monsters and mechs going head to head is staying in Orange County for the time being, but for everyone who couldn't make it to WonderCon, we've got the cover art for a Pacific Rim prequel comic, a series of trading cards complete with battle stats, and a new poster featuring the United States of America's Jaeger, Gipsy Danger.

As part of the Warner Bros. and Legendary Panel at the Anaheim Convention Center, del Toro took the stage in arena and presented a trailer tailor made for this particular crowd.

Said trailer had everything you could hope to see from a movie about truly massive interdimensional beasts doing battle with equally gargantuan robots with the fate of humanity at stake.  Del Toro explained that his intent with Pacific Rim was to awe audiences by conveying the enormity of "twenty-story-high-motherfuckers kicking the hell out of each other."  Many moments in the con-specific trailer conveyed the scale of the action, from the Kaiju first contact in San Francisco (former home to WonderCon) to the inner-child-joygasm of a Jaeger using cargo ship to slug a Kaiju in the face.

The trailer, which carried the tagline "Go big or go extinct," served as a showcase for a supporting character of whom we've seen very little so far.  Dr. Newton Geiszler is the film's resident scientist and Kaiju expert, a genius bent on understanding the beasts, which he says target human population centers.  As played by Charlie Day of Horrible Bosses and FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Geiszler doesn't look like the standard issue event movie scientist.  He's extensively tattooed and pierced, but he regards the Kaiju and Jaegers both with a certain childish enthusiasm.

Ron Perlman, who starred in del Toro's Hellboy movies, Cronos, and Blade II, also showed up in the trailer.  This first look at Perlman's character revealed him wearing sunglasses as Hannibal Chau, a disreputable harvester and dealer in black market Kaiju bodyparts.

In the panel that followed the footage, del Toro discussed the size of the Jaeger interiors on which actors Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, and Idris Elba worked.  The director said that the production involved full size four-story Jaeger heads serving as cockpits on gimbals so that the whole shebang could shake, rattle, and roll with concussive impacts simulating Kaiju combat. The actors, he said, worked on these exhausting rigs as much as possible rather than relying on stunt performers.

He stressed that, despite the obvious abundance of visual effects in the film, he also took a surprisingly physical approach to Pacific Rim.  In addition to constructing the robot-heads, he said, the production also built several blocks replicating Hong Kong on set in Vancouver.  "And then we destroyed them," the loquacious filmmaker said, clearly relishing the memory.

During the audience Q&A he also shared a bit of insight on Crimson Peak, the horror tale he's prepping as his next directorial endeavor, and the DC Comics adaptation he's developing at Warner Bros.  He said that the latter project, Dark Universe, now has a screenwriter about whom he's very excited.  The hypothetical movie, which del Toro said may very well end up titled Justice League Dark, will feature John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, Deadman, Spectre, and the Demon.

He reiterated that unlike the Keanu Reeves version of Constantine, this Hellblazer will be blond.  And he'll act as a sort of recruiter assembling the group of supernaturally inclined anti-heroes.  The film will also apparently avoid exposition-dumps by exploring the character's origins through the course of the story.

But back to Pacific Rim.

WonderCon saw the debut of the cover art for Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, a prequel comic written by Travis Beacham, the screenwriter behind the film.  The comic hits stores on June 5th and covers the early days of the war between humans and Kaiju after the monsters arise from an interdimensional rift deep in the Pacific Ocean.  It boasts a cover painted by Alex Ross (the Alex Ross).  Like Ross's so much of work (Marvels in particular), the painting conveys fantastic happenings from the point of view of the mere mortals who could end up as collateral damage. Check it out:

Con attendees can get their grubby meathooks on five Jaeger trading cards, which reveal that Australian bot Striker Eureka has by far the most Kaiju kills.  See for yourself:

Take note of that last Jaeger.  Throughout the week, Warner Bros. has been unveiling character poster, which you can see here and here.  The American Gipsy Danger now joins its robo-brethren on a poster of its own.

Del Toro enthused that even though at this point in post-production he's already seen Pacific Rim countless times, each time he still finds himself sporting a "shit-eating grin."

Hopefully we'll be wearing similar expressions when Pacific Rim arrives in 2D and 3D on July 12th.

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