What is PACIFIC RIM?

It is now widely known that Guillermo Del Toro’s next film will be the sci-fi monster flick, PACIFIC RIM.  This is a film that has been flying under the radar quite some time – in fact, the only report I remember was when LatinoReview.com erroneously reported that PACIFIC RIM was actually a  GODZILLA reboot. But LR did have one thing right: Guillermo had been offered the director’s chair.

And so, with GDT’s dream project dead for now (read a great Q&A about how the deal went down here), Guillermo will find himself shooting PACIFIC RIM for Legendary Pictures this September.  Based on a quote from the New York Times, GDT sounds excited:

“We started developing Pac Rim a while ago with the mad passion and enthusiasm of a project unwatched and unchecked by politics or comparisons,” he said. “We designed and shepherded the movie we want to make. We start shooting in September and we hit the ground running because we are so in sync. My partnership with Legendary represents, both in scale and creative demands, a huge step forward for me.”

 Legendary Pictures is responsible for some incredible films, including BATMAN BEGINS, 300, THE HANGOVER, and INCEPTION. (Of course, they’ve made some stinkers, too.  But in the case of movies, let’s not consider the Ron White theory, who says your parenting skills are judged by your worst child. Stay positive, people!)

Jeff Leins at NewsInFilm.com has posted a plot synopsis of PACIFIC RIM.  I’m always hesitant to post a synopsis like this since oftent the reviewed script can be quite outdated.  So, keep this in mind.  But for now, this is what is being said:

not much is known about Pacific Rim yet, other than it’s about giant monsters and will allow del Toro to create a “new world” of beastly creatures.  That’s only halfway accurate.  This project will give the Hellboy filmmaker the opportunity to create two worlds.The first is an alternate version of Earth in the near future, decades after a historic date in November 2012 when the first kaiju, a towering Godzilla-like beast, emerged from a hole in the Pacific Ocean and attacked the city of Osaka, Japan.  The second is “The Anteverse,” another universe on the other side of that gaping portal, 5 miles below our ocean’s surface.

Since the first attack, the rim has been “spitting out” a variety of gigantic monsters at an increasing rate, which then stride out of the ocean and begin destroying sea-bordering cities, like Tokyo and Los Angeles.  In order to combat these monstrous, otherworldly menaces, the military developed the “Jaeger” program, which trains teams of two pilots to jointly operate massive, building-sized mechanized suits of armor and high-tech weaponry.

Within the first act alone, we are given enough detailed background on the god-like Jaeger systems, its shared neural piloting system (called “pons”), and the relentless beasts.  But Beacham is an absolute master at immediately establishing characters and their conflicts.

The central character is Raleigh Antrobus, 23, a skilled Jaeger pilot still wrestling emotionally with the loss of his co-pilot and biological brother, Yance, during a mission a year earlier.  The ordeal has wreaked havoc on his mind spirit, leaving him with ghostly nightmares of the battle from the shared “pons” experience.  After the initial setup, the damaged hero is recruited to re-join the task force in Tokyo, where pilots are in demand, and team with a fellow “leftover,” 22-year-old female Japanese pilot Mako Mori.  Naturally, the language barrier (among other things) presents an issue for the out-of-sync duo, meaning an even steeper learning curve for the unprecedented pairing.

Meanwhile, Felicity “Flick” Kincaid, a journalist and Yance’s former fiancée, circles the globe (ours) to discover answers about this mysterious rift and the origins of its intensifying threat.

Without ruining any more surprises (past the first act), there are several different species of towering kaiju, each with their own unique characteristics, and the clashes between monster and machine are epic in scale.  Beacham has even developed his own glossary and lingo for his characters, a blend of scientific and military jargon used to describe the elements of this fully fleshed out reality, much like the shorthand in Cameron’s Avatar or the developing mecha-warrior versus aliens movie All You Need is Kill.

 This synopsis is encouraging. Guillermo has yet to confirm or deny these details, but there seems to be enough detail that it is very likely that this is a good indication of what to expect.  Sounds pretty cool, too. 

So what do you think, fans? Comment below!

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