‘Pacific Rim’: Is Guillermo del Toro’s film the new ‘Transformers’?

April 17, 2013 | 6:09 p.m.
Gipsy Danger in a scene from "Pacific Rim," due in theaters July 12. (Warner Bros.)

Gipsy Danger in a scene from “Pacific Rim,” due in theaters July 12. (Warner Bros.)

After footage of “Pacific Rim” played at CinemaCon this week, the whispers were palpable.

“This looks like a new ‘Transformers,’” many in the crowd of theater exhibitors could be overheard saying.

Indeed, Guillermo del Toro’s July release — the first he’s directed in five years — does prominently feature hulking, mechanical robots. But the filmmaker believes “Pacific Rim” and Michael Bay’s franchise share little in common.

“I think that the reference of the mechanics — the robot design — is completely different than that universe,” he said, referring to “Transformers.” “But if [moviegoers] are talking about how big the franchise is, I welcome it. If anyone says there are any visual similarities, they are design blind.”

Del Toro was sitting in the basement of the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Tuesday, shortly after a new trailer for his film was unveiled to conference-goers.

The movie — which the writer-director said took three years and cost nearly $190 million to make — follows a group of soldier-controlled robots battling against a race of alien monsters who rise from the ocean. Charlie Hunnam stars as troubled pilot Raleigh Becket; the cast also includes Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi and Del Toro regular Ron Perlman.

Guillermo del Toro, director of the upcoming film "Pacific Rim," poses before the Warner Bros. presentation at CinemaCon 2013 at Caesars Palace on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Guillermo del Toro, director of the upcoming film “Pacific Rim,” poses before the Warner Bros. presentation at CinemaCon 2013 at Caesars Palace on Tuesday in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Because he had not directed a film since “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” the filmmaker felt the need to “super prepare” for “Pacific Rim.” On most films, he said, he visits the set once before filming and creates one or two storyboards; for his latest directorial effort, he went to the set 25 times and prepared six storyboards.

“And then I was two days ahead on shooting by the second day of shooting,” he said with a laugh. “I was absolutely a wreck by the first day and a bundle of joy by the second day.”

Warner Bros. was so pleased with the director’s cut of the film that he was sent to work on a script for a sequel — though he doesn’t think a franchise will be officially greenlighted until the box office returns are in this summer.

No matter how the movie fares, though, Del Toro said the process of making “Pacific Rim” has left him forever changed.

“I could have an aneurysm, be booted out of town in August — whatever happens, I’ve already been blessed by doing ‘Pacific Rim,’” he said. “Creatively, it’s the greatest thing I have experienced, because it was a movie that was protected and secluded creatively with the scope of a big movie. And rarely, if ever, can these things combine.”

– Amy Kaufman, reporting from Las Vegas

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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Comments


6 Responses to ‘Pacific Rim’: Is Guillermo del Toro’s film the new ‘Transformers’?

  1. mantis says:

    I don’t understand why people who can’t relate to something they knock it. We are so trained to like movies within the hollywood parameters that when we see something truly inique we simply missjudge it, its safer. PacRim looks so unique in terms of cinematography, design and to another degree story telling. I’d say its a ballsy movie considering its a new concept and not a rehashed storyline (movie wise).

    • John W. says:

      The "hollywood parameters"? What does that even mean? Pacific Rim IS a "Hollywood" film. It's a Warner Brothers production. Why is it so popular to knock so-called Hollywood films when 95% of the best films ever made came from Hollywood and its producers?

      • daniell says:

        It's not about the producers, it's about the movie! He was just saying that most people only like popular movies like stupid comedies or romantic comedies or whatnot, while this high quality movie will just die slowly but surely

      • mirela says:

        As much as I'd love to agree with you, I don;t think pacific rim is that much of an original creation.

  2. vincetin says:

    great movie,we want a sequel.

  3. CARY DAVID HOFFSON says:

    PACIFIC RIM, IT AS BEEN VERY LONG TIME FOR A MOVIE LIKE IT JAPANNEES MOVIES NOT U.S. MOVIES THAT ARE NOT LIKE IT AT ALL BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONE'S WHO STARTED IT ALL NOT THE U.S. ONLY PACIFIC RIM IS THE FRIST TIME U.S. MOVIE TO DO IT LIKE JAPAN DO'ES IT'S MOVIES ONLY YOU HAVE TO SEE IT'S MOVIES ON TV. OR ON DVD'S TO KNOW THAT OR HAVE GROWN UP SEEING THEM.PACIFIC RAM MOVIE IS A NEW COME BACK FOR MOVIE'S LIKE THAT

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