MOTW: Five Things Fans Don't Know about "Pacific Rim"

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
July 10th, 2013

MOTW: Five Things Fans Don't Know about "Pacific Rim"

Every year, Hollywood releases a big-budget sci-fi film that viewers either love or hate. The first of those big-budget films to land in theaters in 2013 was "After Earth," which starred Will Smith ("Independence Day") and his son Jaden Smith, but the film left viewers dissatisfied and left theaters without making an impression. Guillermo del Toro ("Pan's Labyrinth") hopes to make fans happier with his latest film, "Pacific Rim."

The film combines classic elements of Japanese monster films with modern-day special effects. It tells the story of monstrous creatures that rise from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. As the monsters attack and millions of people die, humans must find a way to battle back against those monsters and save the world. The special effects in the trailers made fans excited about the film, but even diehard fans might be surprised to learn some of the fun facts about "Pacific Rim."

Idris Elba Almost Didn't Land the Starring Role

Idris Elba has a long history as a successful actor. He tackled television with a starring role on "Luther" and as a supporting cast member on "The Office." Elba also showed that he has what it takes to handle sci-fi with roles in "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" and "Prometheus." Despite his acting chops, he wasn't the first choice for the starring role in the film.

Early in the production of "Pacific Rim," producers actually met with Tom Cruise. Cruise recently starred in a series of action and sci-fi films that included "Oblivion" and "Jack Reacher." Though Cruise took a serious interest in the film, reports indicate that he later decided to work on "Oblivion" instead, which made it to theaters before "Pacific Rim." Elba later earned the role Cruise passed on.

The Ron Perlman Connection

Ron Perlman and Guillermo del Toro have a long history together. The two have worked together on several films, and del Toro suggested Perlman for a role in "Pacific Rim." Ironically, this is the only films they have worked on together in which Perlman plays the role of a human. He previously appeared in the "Hellboy" franchise, playing a demonic creature. The last time Perlman played a human in one of del Toro's films was "Cronos," which came out in 1993. Fans who watch the film will also see Perlman share a few scenes with Charlie Hunnam, who had a role in Perlman's show "Sons of Anarchy."

Gamers Will Recognize the Computer

One of the main plot points in "Pacific Rim" involves a computer that humans create to help them battle against the monsters. Those who play video games might recognize the female voice behind the computer. Ellen McLain previously worked on the games "Portal" and "Portal 2," and she won the Interactive Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement in Character Performance for her work on the first game in the franchise. McLain also provided voice work for the games "Left 4 Dead 2" and "Half-Life 2." "Pacific Rim" marks the first time she has done work for a film.

Guillermo del Toro Loves Anime

Director del Toro admitted that he wanted "Pacific Rim" to pay homage to the anime and Japanese monster films he watched as a child. Though he drew inspiration from those films, he worked hard to remove any references to other productions, because he wanted this film to stand on its own. The one thing that fans will pick up on is the name given to the monsters. Kaiju is a Japanese word that means strange beast, and reviewers often use the term in reference to Godzilla and other monsters from Japanese film.

Early Morning Inspiration

While many might credit the story to del Toro, it actually came from the mind of a screenwriter named Travis Beacham. Beachman previously worked on several short films and the 2010 release "Clash of the Titans." While taking a walk on the beach, he noticed the way different objects looked in the water, and he found himself imagining that those objects were creatures. The image stuck with him, and when he got home, he sat down and started work on the screenplay. Many elements of the film, including the robots, came from the story he worked out in his head while on the beach.

"Pacific Rim" combines action and sci-fi in a fun and exciting way. The film takes place in the near future, letting fans and viewers imagine that something like this could happen tomorrow. Those who watch the trailer and see the finished film will likely enjoy learning a few things they didn't know about the filming and writing of "Pacific Rim."