Pacific Rim is about big things: big robots, big monsters, big earthshaking battles. So it seems fitting that the film — the first major summer tentpole from fanboy favorite Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) — comes out of the ruins of his biggest disappointment. Del Toro initially planned only to co-write and produce this sci-fi adventure about humankind’s last stand against rampaging alien creatures because he’d be directing his dream project, an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s novella At the Mountains of Madness. But Universal pulled the plug on that film, and only days later del Toro took the helm of Pacific Rim. ”I jokingly say that I was a widower on Saturday and on Monday I was cruising the Pacific Coast Highway with a blonde in my convertible,” he says.
Pacific Rim features epic clashes between enormous, human-piloted robots called Jaegers and massive creatures called kaiju (Japanese for ”giant monsters”), but don’t be fooled by the Transformers-meets-Godzilla trappings. At its heart, del Toro insists, the film has all the quirks and eccentricities his fans would want: ”We do crazy s— nobody has ever done…. I always feared that with big budgets came big constraints, and this has been the opposite. I’ve kind of been ruined for life.” In a good way, we trust.