Saturday was the unofficial Biggest Movies day for the giant Hall H at Comic-Con 2012, and amongst the biggest was an absolutely epic trio of presentations by Legendary Films. As if the lineup of Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, and The Hobbit wasn’t enough, they even added giant extra-long screens on either side of the main screen, which featured thematic artwork or content, depending on the panel.
Here’s a wide angle view of the Pacific Rim presentation, and a closeup of the left panel:
The Pacific Rim panel was moderated by Chris Hardwick (whose Nerdist Industries was recently acquired by Legendary Entertainment) with actors Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, and Rinko Kikuchi, Thomas Tull of Legendary, and the we-could-listen-to-him-all-day director Guillermo del Toro.
In his absolutely charming Mexican accent, del Toro told us about the long road of this movie. He called it a “big fat obscene Christmas gift at a time when I needed it very much… I have assembled and reassembled it 20 times to make it perfect.”
He explained that it’s “not a war movie but an adventure movie, and a movie that had a huge romantic sense of adventure… operatic battles that were not only great spectacle but have a huge emotional content on them, and a sense of awe… (With) 25-story robots and 25-story monsters, if you don’t have a sense of awe and scale, everything is lost.”
Del Toro then informed us that “12 weeks ago we were still shooting the movie” and that the trailer that would be presented to us was made especially for Comic-Con and would not be shown anywhere else. After the panel, Pacific Rim “is going into radio silence until the end of the year,” so “this is for you, totally for you, and those mother f***ers that have the James Bond f***ing cameras and the glasses, don’t use them.”
He did share this information before showing the trailer:
The only thing you need to know is that the robots, called Jaegers, have two pilots in the cockpit in their heads. One pilot shares the responsibility to handle the right hemisphere the other one handles the left hemsiphere of the robot because the neural surge from the robot would be too much for one pilot. And they fuse together through memories into one single mind, so it’s a single mind with two pilots.
Obviously, you won’t be seeing the trailer here. But here’s a general description, cobbled together from my recollection and that of a few others: the trailer started out with an older man and a boy using a metal detector near a body of water – the ocean? – when the detector starts beeping wildly and A GIANT MECHANICAL FOOT comes out of the water. The camera pans up and up and up and we see the Jaeger (like the one in the poster) falling, falling…
We saw the pilots in their cool pilot suits hooking themselves into the control setup, and we saw more of the environments. We also saw a few quick glimpses of the monsters, including one ripping through a car-covered bridge with its giant claws. We also heard a rallying cry by some humans. The look was dirty and grimy and magnificent, and the sound was at clothes-vibrating level. It was AWESOME.
Here are some more tidbits about the movie that is to come, gleaned from the question and answer session:
There will be “approximately” 9 Kaiju, and “approximately” 6 or 7 robots, each with unique abilities. They designed about 40 Kaiju, and then “did an American Idol on them” to narrow it down to the 9 they are using. “We got into heated discussions, punches were thrown…” There are flying monsters, sea monsters, “we have monsters up the wahoo.” The monsters and robots were designed from the inside out and are unique to the movie, not remakes of other monsters and robots. ILM is doing the animation.
“One of the things we were very clear about is no f***ing motion capture… because I don’t want the robots to move like human beings.” He described how he told the designers that monsters just waving arms around makes no sense. Weapons include rocket launchers and other “amazing artillery” – “expect obscene robot porn, robot on Kaiju action.” Referring, presumably, to the battles.
As for the look of the film, they added oil, water, scratches to the camera lenses, to help root the movie to a place and an atmosphere. And here’s a cool tidbit – they rigged the streets and buildings on hydraulic systems so when a monster is walking, the buildings and pavement actually bounce; it is not CG.
I CANNOT WAIT for July 2013, and judging by the noise level of the 6000+ fans in attendance, I am not alone.
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 directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Ron Perlman, Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Clifton Collins Jr., Max Martini, Rinko Kikuchi and Diego Klattenhoff is slated to hit theaters on July 12th, 2013.