After a video resurfaces on the making of a Pacific Rim enemy, director Guillermo del Toro reveals what else was made without the assistance of VFX.
While Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim may be remembered for its colossal Kaiju, fans might be surprised to learn that the creatures weren’t all computer-generated, as the filmmaker has confirmed.
The Academy Award-winning director responded to a Twitter post promoting a video on how practical effects studio Spectral Motion brought Pacific Rim‘s Kaiju Skinmites to life using a combination of molds and mechanical legs. Del Toro went on to reveal just how many other components of the film were practical, admitting, “We even built miniatures for some of the destruction- And (of course) all the Pilot Control Pods (Connpod) are life size sets mounted on multi-axis gambles to shake them, drop them and react to the punches.”
Released in 2013, Pacific Rim depicted a world where giant, Godzilla-sized monsters dubbed “Kaijus” (the word used for Japan’s giant monster movie genre) have invaded Earth, forcing the planet’s governments to build robotic suits called “Jaegers” as humanity’s last defense. In the film, retired pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) is brought back to fight a growing presence of Kaiju invaders, teaming up with recruit Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) — the adopted daughter of his superior Marshal Pentecost (Idris Elba) — to pilot Becket’s former Jaeger Gypsy Danger due to their “drift-compatible” nature. Upon release, critics praised Pacific Rim for del Toro’s direction, the action scenes and anime/kaiju movie-inspired visuals, with its success spawning a 2018 sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising and the Netflix animated series Pacific Rim: The Black.
While del Toro was originally set to direct Pacific Rim‘s sequel, he left the project in 2016 to make The Shape of Water, which won four Oscars at the 90th Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture. The sequel was taken over by writer Steven S. DeKnight in his directorial debut, but it received mixed reviews from critics. On what his Pacific Rim 2 story would have been about, del Toro revealed in an interview last year that “the villain was this tech guy that had invented basically sort of the internet 2.0. And then they realized that all his patents came to him one morning. And so little by little, they started putting together this and they said, ‘Oh, he got them from the precursors.’ The guys that control the kaiju. And then we found out that the precursors are us thousands of years in the future. They’re trying to terraform, trying to re-harvest the earth to survive.”
Currently, del Toro is working on a stop-motion Pinocchio movie for Netflix, which unveiled its first trailer in July. The film is expected to come out in December, marking the second Pinocchio adaptation this year after Disney’s recent live-action remake of its own 1940 animated classic. The director is also collaborating with Netflix on an upcoming anthology series titled Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, which will drop new episodes between October 25 and 28.
Pacific Rim is currently streaming on HBO Max.