Looks like Warner Bros. decided it’s time to start telling the general public that “Pacific Rim” is on the way, and not a moment too soon.
I’m as sold as sold gets when it comes to this giant summer movie directed by Guillermo Del Toro. If you want backstory, go check out my write-up from this summer’s Comic-Con presentation for the film. I’m looking forward to sharing my impressions from a set visit I did as well, but for now, it’s time for Warner to kick off what looks like a dense set of viral marketing materials that are all landing today in different places.
I think Wired has a pretty great one, and if you want to know what makes Del Toro’s approach to this material special, I think a close-up examination of a blueprint for one of the film’s Jaegers is a good place to start. I love that all of the Jaegers have names, that they’re not just generic robots. These things have character, each one driven by a team of neurally-linked pilots who are put through hell during the combat we’ll see in the film. The film imagines how the world might respond if giant monsters started to pour forth out of some hole in the middle of the ocean, and the response the film suggests is the Jaegers, giant robots that each country contributes to a sort of general world defense organization called the Pan Pacific Defense Corps.
Travis Beacham created “Pacific Rim” as a pitch that he took to Legendary Pictures, and since then, more and more people have started building onto that world, with Guillermo at the helm of it all, encouraging people like his army of conceptual artists, or screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, or the eclectic cast including Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Hunnam, and Clifton Collins Jr., or longtime partner in crime Guillermo Navarro. There are a lot of voices in the mix, and when you talk to Legendary’s CEO Thomas Tull, he is visibly giddy about what they’re making, but in the end, this may well turn out to be the most unfiltered peek into Guillermo’s imagination so far.
Del Toro talked to us on the set visit about how he would spend afternoons in childhood drawing elaborate diagrams of both monsters and robots, loving the idea of giant things with multiple chambers and parts that serve more than one purpose, and he would fill those hidden rooms inside the robots and the monsters with places for people to sit while they steer these larger things. When you look at the giant blown-up version of that blueprint, you can see that little kid is still in there, but doing it in the most professionally slick manner possible. Guillermo has become a prodigious film technician, great at directing physical effects and stunts as well as digital characters and beasties, and I think when people see the key set pieces in “Pacific Rim,” they’re going to see some things that they’ve never seen before, things that Guillermo was born to put onscreen. It’s a great collision between filmmaker and material.
It looks like Warner wants to start establishing the “reality” of the world of “Pacific Rim” through the viral materials. Take this video, for example. This is a news report set now, at the beginning of the story. The film will take place fifteen years later, after mankind has been fighting the war that entire time, gradually burning through all of the resources at their disposal. This news report reflects a world that still doesn’t understand what’s happening, or what’s in store for them. And, no, the film is not going to look like this all the way through. This is just a piece of the larger world of the movie.
If you explore the website that went up for the Pan Pacific Defense Corps, you’ll basically find that video and a countdown clock and that’s it. There’s a memo that was leaked to Total Film, and it looks like they were the ones that kicked everything off with their piece today.
Looks like we’re about two weeks away from the trailer, and that’s verrrrry exciting. If Warner has the right trailer in theaters along with “The Hobbit” this holiday season, they could easily lay the groundwork for this to be one of 2013’s biggest movie events.
Which it should be. Totally.
July 12, 2013. “Pacific Rim” turns all that mayhem loose. Cannot. Wait.