Guillermo Del Toro talks about the optimism of ‘Pacific Rim’ and making monsters for young fans

It’s no secret that Guillermo Del Toro is one of my favorite people in the film industry today.

There are very few filmmakers who adore genre with the same enthusiasm as Del Toro who can also wrestle the images from their heads directly onto the screen. No matter how outrageous or surreal an idea he has, he is great at turning those ideas into actual physical things. Part of that is because he’s a gifted artist in his own right, but it’s also because he knows how to mobilize the amazing art departments that he puts together for each of his films.

There are talented filmmakers who I don’t feel strongly about on a personal level, but Guillermo is as decent as he is gifted, and when you see how many people work with him over and over, that’s because he really does create an atmosphere of family on the films he makes.

It’s been frustrating as a fan of his work to see him stuck in neutral for the last half-dozen years, and while I am curious what his “Hobbit” would have looked like, I’m glad that he ended up making something that spoke to him as deeply as “Pacific Rim.” He was a fan of screenwriter Travis Beacham thanks to an earlier script called “A Killing On Carnival Row,” and even before he signed on to direct this film, he was a producer and he was actively involved in helping Travis flesh out the pitch that he sold to Legendary. I wonder how Travis is going to handle every other director he ever deals with, because he’s been spoiled by this experience.

I think this interview gives you a taste of the boundless enthusiasm that Guillermo brings to everything he does, but I could have spent another hour chatting with him and still only scratched the surface. You will see very few films this year, mega-budget or indie, that are made with the same degree of passion that’s on display here, and that’s the same thing Del Toro brings to every single project he makes.

“Pacific Rim” opens July 12, 2013.