Pacific Rim: Director Guillermo del Toro Discusses the Scale of the Production and the Casting of Charlie Hunnam
06.14.12 by BJSprecher
If you've seen Pan's Labyrinth or either of the Hellboy movies, then you know that director Guillermo del Toro prefers to use costumes, makeup, and practical effects whenever possible, rather than computer-generated imagery. Del Toro's predilection for doing things "in-camera" continues in the production of his latest movie, Pacific Rim. In the new issue of Total Film Magazine, del Toro revealed that "several blocks of Hong Kong" were created only to be destroyed during the conflict between the titanic "Kaiju" monsters that threaten to wipe out civilization as we know it and the enormous piloted robots called "Jaegers" that serve as the last line of defense for the human race.
When we’re talking about the physicality of the fight, we ended up building several blocks of Hong Kong. And literally demolished them. We built a building and then we took down the buildings.
Though the exteriors of the Jaegers will most likely be one of del Toro's necessary concessions to digital technology, the massive "command centres" inside the Jaegers were constructed practically.
We built command centres of the robots that were the size of the house. We started them on hydraulic rigs that shoot and elevated them and moved them round so you could really get a sense of the physical nature driving a robot like this.
Del Toro went on to reveal that lead actor Charlie Hunnam (FX series Sons of Anarchy) almost had a major role in Hellboy II: The Golden Army and explained why he was the right choice to play the "washed up former pilot" that leads the fight against the Kaiju.
The funny thing is Charlie was one of my only two choices for the prince of Hellboy II: The Golden Army. I met with him. He screen tested. I loved Charlie before Sons Of Anarchy. He always brought a certain honesty. He’s the kind of guy that women will love who guys won’t hate.
He’s the right side of honest and good looking [enough] that you don’t want to punch him in the face. You want to have a pint with the guy. You want to take him to the pub. There’s male bonding energy with this guy that I thought was perfect for the character.
We have yet to see any depictions of either Kaijus or Jaegers, but we recently got our first look at Idris Elba (Promtheus) in full costume, presumably sporting the duds of a Jaeger pilot. Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi (The Brothers Bloom) will also be playing a Jaeger pilot, albeit an "untested trainee" pilot. Additional cast members include Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Diego Klattenhoff, Larry Joe Campbell, Burn Gorman, Brad William Henke, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Clifton Collins, Jr.. The screenplay was written by Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans remake).