Guillermo del Toro, director of the forthcoming sci-fi picture “Pacific Rim,” had a very specific set of parameters for the movie’s visuals.
For starters, the filmmaker, whose directing credits include “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hellboy,” knew what he didn’t want the movie to resemble.
“I didn’t want the movie to look or feel like an action movie of the summer … basically looking like a car commercial or a recruitment video for the Army,” said del Toro, speaking at an event for reporters in Hollywood on Tuesday morning hosted by “Pacific Rim” producer Legendary Entertainment.
Though the director didn’t refer to specific titles, a handful of summer pictures that center on the military or the automotive world have fared well at the box office.
Universal Pictures’ “Fast & Furious 6,” which focuses on a group of street racers who try to take down a mercenary organization, has grossed $221 million domestically and $417 million abroad. Paramount Pictures’ “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” which centers on an elite military force that grapples with a terrorist group, has taken in $122 million in the U.S. and Canada and $247 million internationally.
“Pacific Rim,” which will be released by Warner Bros. July 12, stars Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi. It centers on a fight between giant robots squaring off against monsters that invade Earth.
Del Toro said he wanted to make a movie that differentiated itself visually from other summer fare.
“I wanted the movie to be visually very crazy. I use the term ‘operatic’ all the time,” he said.
The director also said that he wanted to make an “escapist movie,” and one that centered on a menace that posed a threat to all of mankind, and not just Americans or any single group.
In “Pacific Rim” footage screened at the Tuesday event, two giants — one a sleek metal robot controlled by humans, the other a hulking monster — square off in a city, smashing through buildings and bridges.
Del Toro said that he has already considered the possibility of a sequel to the movie, and has begun discussions with the “Pacific Rim” creative team on the matter.
“We are talking about the ideas for it,” he said. “We are writing an outline that goes a very different route than the first one,” he said.
Legendary Chief Executive Thomas Tull cautioned that a “Pacific Rim” sequel would be dependent on the performance of the first film. “We had a blast doing this ... but ultimately we will see how it does,” he said.
Tull also said at the Tuesday event that his company could agree to a new production deal in the next 60 days — perhaps staying with current partner Warner Bros. or cutting a deal with another studio.
Since 2005, Legendary has had a distribution and co-production deal with Burbank-based Warner Bros. The agreement expires at the end of the year, Tull said.
Other forthcoming Legendary projects previewed or discussed at the event included a “Godzilla” reboot, the sequel “300: Rise of an Empire” and an untitled Michael Mann project set in the world of cyberterrorism.