New York Comic-Con: Guillermo Del Toro Talks PACIFIC RIM and the Prequel Graphic Novel

     October 12, 2012


We only saw a little bit of Pacific Rim at San Diego Comic-Con, but what we saw looked terrific.  It was the unique vision and boldness that could only come from a director like Guillermo Del Toro.  Del Toro is known not only for the richness of his stories, but for the detailed worlds he sets those stories in.  Pacific Rim will be no different, and Del Toro and screenwriter Travis Beacham came to New York Comic-Con to appear on Legendary Comics’ panel, so they could talk about the movie as well as the prequel graphic novel that was announced yesterday.

Hit the jump for what Del Toro and Beacham had to say about the graphic novel, turning the movie 3D, the personality of the monsters, a minor Portal reference, and more.  Click here for all of our New York Comic-Con coverage.

For those unfamiliar with Pacific Rim here’s the official synopsis:

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-movie-image-idris-elbaThe Legendary Comics panel opened by giving time for Matt Wagner to talk about his new comic, The Tower Chronicles, and Grant Morrison to talk about his upcoming comic series, Annihilator.  Then Del Toro and Beacham came on stage to talk about Pacific Rim.  Del Toro began by saying he had some bad news and some good news.  The bad news was that the studio didn’t want him to re-show the footage he showed the audience at San Diego Comic-Con.  “The good news is that I don’t give a fuck!” Del Toro happily exclaimed, and then showed the footage.  The audience went nuts, and I was reminded of how I can’t wait to see this movie.  “Now I’m happy I don’t give a fuck!” says Del Toro.

Here’s what Del Toro and Beacham had to say about the graphic novel:

  • When the proposal came for a comic, they decided to do it as a prequel that can grapple with a robot that is a “weapon that can change its mind.”  So the pilots need to feel the pain of the robot and really be in danger.
  • Del Toro approved the comic every step of the way from the colors to the penciling to the inking, etc.
  • The comic will explore a back-story that’s insinuated in the movie.
  • The comic will come out probably a month before the movie.
  • “It’s like the supplemental guide to Pacific Rim” says Beacham.
  • Del Toro gave the comic book’s artists and writer the 1000-page film bible that has the Jaeger blueprints, the mythology, etc.
  • For the movie, Del Toro gave his concept artists specific instructions to not make any of the monsters referential.  The closest they came was a monster they nicknamed “Karloff” because it looked like the famous horror film actor.  The monster didn’t make the movie, but it will be in the comic.

pacific-rim-posterTalking about the movie:

  • Del Toro says he wanted to make an adventure movie with a sense of romance.  Not the slick blue steel where everyone is super cool.  He wanted storms, dramatic lighting, saturated colors, etc.
  • The film is coded in the look of World War II, e.g. ration cards, Rosie the Riveter, and a tone to convey the sense of people who are offering up their lives to stop an unstoppable evil.
  • One of the eyes in the robot is a nod to the Portal character GLaDOS, and they even got voice actress Ellen McLain to record a couple lines of dialogue.
  • Regarding the personalities of the monsters in his movies, Del Toro says, “There’s a sense of loss every time a monster dies.”  But with the monsters in Pacific Rim, he sees them as a force of nature, so there won’t be something like the death of the elemental in Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

Talking about the 3D:

  • As we previously reported, Del Toro originally wasn’t up on the idea of converting his film into 3D.  Speaking to the audience at New York Comic-Con, Del Toro says he had final cut, and that as he started getting the dailies from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and seeing the wide-angle shots, he was approached by a company asking if they could do a 3D test.  However, he wanted a guarantee that they would not miniaturize anything, and not diminish the beauty shots.  He then gave the company, Digital-D, the most difficult shots to test.  The 3D footage he got back was amazing, says Del Toro.
  • All of the special effects shots are being rendered in 3D and directed by ILM as opposed to a post-conversion house.
  • Del Toro has made sure that 3D-conversion process has more than 40 weeks to work before the film’s release date.
  • “So I pulled a full-Romney,” jokes Del Toro.

Pacific Rim opens July 12, 2013.


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