Film Preview: Pacific Rim (2013)

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Release date: July 12, 2013 (US/UK)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Starring: Idris Elba, Ron Pearlman, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi.

 

Update, 12th July 2013

The film has been released! Read our review here: http://scifimethods.com/articles/film-review-pacific-rim-2013/1271/

 

Background
If you are familiar with the work of Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, you may know him as the director of 90s cult cockroach-based scifi horror “Mimic”, the respectable first sequel to Blade (that’s Blade II, by the way) or the adapted from comic book Hellboy films. For many, however, he is known for his masterpiece “Pan’s Labyrinth”: a Spanish-language film which manages to be truly terrifying whilst drawing you into a fantastical fairy tale at the same time. All of these films form an unlikely grouping of work, which makes the fact that del Torro’s next film will be a scifi blockbuster about giant robots fighting giant monsters extremely interesting.

He has stated that his influences run largely from the Japanese monster genre, “Kaiju”, Mecha-themed Anime and even Francisco Goya’s painting of “The Colossus”. However, as this will be most expensive film he’s ever been involved with ($200m), will studio interference mean we are delivered a bog-standard blockbuster about the Transformers fighting 90s-era Godzilla? Well, for your consumption-of-viral-marketing pleasure, we’ll keep this article up-to-date with all the latest info so you can judge for yourself (read from the bottom up for the full history).

2013, July

In the final run up to the worldwide release on 12th July, a range of promotional video and image materials are released. The most exciting of which are this excerpt from a Kaiju/Jaeger battle scene and poster showing Gypsy Danger wielding a chainsword-type weapon:

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There are two more clips over on the io9 website here: http://io9.com/charlie-day-and-ron-perlman-talk-kaiju-anatomy-in-new-p-625555228 so be sure to get yourself nice and excited, and check back soon for our full review!

2013, June

A new trailer is released featuring footage from the first trailer, the newer WonderCon footage and a few new shots. Watch it below, along with this previously unseen still showing a Kaiju skull on display in a museum.

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2013, May

The trailer from WonderCon suddenly gets an official release from Warner Bros, and it proves to be everything we could have hoped for! Stop reading and watch this:

As previously anticipated, this trailer is a huge improvement over the previous one and has helped to shake the ever-louder cries of “Transformers rip-off” from the less hopeful amongst us. A new cinema poster is released (see below) and a “Super-poster” is unveiled on the official website, which can be viewed here:http://www.pacificrimmovie.com/downloads/PRM_SUPER_HORIZONTAL_WW_res.jpg

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2013, April

A new promotional poster and “Trading Card”-style design for each of the Jaeger robots (see below) is released, in the run up to the the screening of a new trailer at WonderCon 2013. Four images which appear to be from actual footage (included below) are also circulated.

Once the new trailer is screened at WonderCon, early descriptions send the fan community into a frenzy as reporters comment on the sense of scale which is achieved, and it’s improvement over the first trailer. No leaked footage has yet appeared online, but we’ve included the video of the introduction and QA session with Guillermo del Toro below.

An age rating of PG-13 is confirmed for the film with the official statement “Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language”.

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2013, March

Total Film has published two exciting pieces of concept art (both below). Most interesting is the second, showing what appears to be a Kaiju skull in a Hong Kong location.

Further to these, images have surfaced around the web over the last few weeks of Jaeger toys which reveal a bit more detail about the robot design ( http://io9.com/5983270/star-trek-pacific-rim-after-earth-and-kick+ass-2-are-the-biggest-movie-spoilers-from-toy-fair ). A shot was also snapped of some toy packaging design (also below) which reveals a slightly clearer look at the Kaiju monster design.

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2013, February 3rd – An early cut screening of the film goes down well with a handful of lucky people – most notably “Looper” director Rian Johnson, who tweeted this:

 

In the ensuing buzz, Warner Bros. released 7 images which unfortunately were all stills from the trailer which was released in December. Still, you can view them below should you want another look. If you want to read more about the reaction to the test screening, there’s more info here: http://www.blastr.com/2013-2-4/6-intriguing-reactions-pacific-rims-1st-test-screening

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2012, December 12th – The official website countdown ends and the new trailer (watch below) is revealed. The trailer is met with a mixed reaction from the already huge fanbase. Disappointing some who believe the jaeger robots resemble Michael Bay-style Transformers too closely, and further exciting others who still see potential for Guillermo del Toro to deliver originality and substance in his homage to monster films. Amongst other films and media, “Robot Jox” (1989) is recognisable in the trailer as a clear influence. A new poster image and banner (also both below) are released.

Speculation mounts as to what the film’s age rating will be.

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2012, November 29th – The blueprints for two more Jaeger robots have been made available, Crimson Typhoon (China), and Striker Eureka (Australia). For your convenience, we’ve translated the Chinese one into English.

Crimson Typhoon (China)
(Translated)

Striker Eureka (Australia)

2012, November 28th – An official film website has appeared online ( panpacificdefense.com ), initially with one video depicting “a test of the Kaiju emergency alert system”, and now with another featuring a news report about the aftermath of a monster attack (in which we briefly see glimpses of a Kaiju monster). Some scans of military letters which explain pieces of the film’s background are also available on the site, but the most revealing content by far are these single-page blueprints for three of the seven/possibly eight “Jaeger” robots which will feature in the film. The blueprints reveal information about features and weapons in the language of each Jaeger’s own country of origin. Both of the videos and the first three blueprints can be viewed below.

The website also features a clock counting down to 19:00 EST 12th Dec 2012 / 00:00 GMT 13th Dec 2012, which is presumably when the next trailer/teaser video will be made available.

Gipsy Danger (USA)

Cherno Alpha (Russia)

Coyote Tango (Japan)

2012, July – Excitement stirs as this teaser poster emerges, clearly showing the scale of the Robots (known as “Jaegers”). Then in October at Comic-Con 2012, the “VICTORY” teaser poster (also below) is shown, and Guillermo del Torro presents some teaser footage which causes mass excitement amongst the journalists there. You can see the Comic Con video below (the teaser footage has been removed, damn it) but there is a description of it here along with some other useful info: http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3154026/san-diego-comic-con-12-pacific-rim-footage-description/

Film Teaser Poster

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2011 – It is announced del Torro will direct the film. Ron Pearlman, Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi are cast. Tom Cruise was considered for a lead role in the film, but was replaced by Idris Elba.

2010, May – Legendary Pictures purchases the Pacific Rim film treatment by American screenwriter Travis Beacham. Guillermo del Toro guides development of the screenplay as a producer.

1991 – I watch “Robot Jox” as a child (yes this is relevant) which in hindsight is clearly influenced by the Japanese Mecha genre of films and Anime. I am now completely obsessed with giant war robots. This spills over into watching Godzilla films, but only in the secret hope that Mechagodzilla will make an appearance.

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  • Matthew Robbins

    I made a mashup of Robot Jox set to the audio of Pacific Rim. I even made it to the wikipedia entry for Robot Jox, as did you!

    http://youtu.be/rW8H3tHe_FU

    • scifimethods

      Glad someone did this! Watching those clips again really highlights how much of an influence Robot Jox is on Pacific Rim. Honoured someone cited us as a reference on the wikipedia article too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot_Jox#References

    • scifimethods

      Hey again Matthew, I’m sure you’re already aware but Giant Freakin Robot featured your Pacific Rim/Robot Jox mashup vid: http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/scifi/pacific-rimrobot-jox-mashup-trailer-experienced.html
      congrats again on making a cool vid ;)

      • Matthew Robbins

        I just checked by youtube account tonight and noticed a HUUGE spike in traffic for that video. Apparently a few people are excited about some movie coming out soon and have started searching for related content. :)