This time, we we look at the 2013 sleeper hit with our Pacific Rim film review, and along the way we ask if the giant Jaegers are actually possible? Does Ron Perlman play the best character in the film? Finally, we examine Pacific Rim’s complicated legacy. Let’s dive in…
Pacific Rim Movie Cast and Crew
Written and Directed by Guillermo del Toro: Del Toro came into the project almost by accident as he was pitching a different movie, an adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story At the Mountain of Madness, but when this didn’t materialize, he read the story treatment for Pacific Rim developed by Travis Beacham and immediately signed on to direct the film.
Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket: At the time, Hunnam had achieved popularity after starring as the lead character on the FX series Sons of Anarchy. He had previously been considered for a role in a past del Toro film, Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori: Kikuchi had risen to international fame following her Oscar nominated performance in Babel and has remained a star in Asian cinema in the years since Pacific Rim.
Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost: Elba has had a varied and impressive career over the past 20 years. From roles on shows like The Wire, Luther and The Office as well as films like Thor, The Jungle Book (2016) and Beasts of No Nation. The role of Pentecost was originally offered to Tom Cruise who declined due to conflicts in his shooting schedule.
Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler
Ron Perlman as Hannibal Chau
Robert Kazinsky as Chuck Hansen
Max Martini as Hercules Hansen
Clifton Collins, Jr as Tendo Choi
The Odd Journey to Pacific Rim
The production of Pacific Rim actually began in 2006 when screenwriter Travis Beacham conceived of a film where giant robots battled giant monsters. While basic, the concept evolved over the next several years until he had a 25 page treatment. Then, in 2010, Guillermo del Toro was announced to be directing the aforementioned H.P. Lovecraft film, but this project was ultimately cancelled after del Toro was unwilling to compromise on the film’s budget as well as the eventual “R” rating for that film. Following that cancellation, del Toro partnered with Beacham to continue working on the script for the next year.
Finally, in 2012, del Toro and his team were able to begin shooting and the schedule was hectic to say the least. Del Toro is notorious for the control he exerts over his productions. He often does not employ a second unit to shoot scenes that do not include principal actors or prominent scenes, but due to a condensed shooting schedule, he had no choice but to utilize a creative scheme to get his movie completed.
He decided to use what he called a “splinter unit” that would arrive on set prior to the main schedule that included several actors and crew members and they would work on off days in the production. Del Toro also worked eighteen hours per day as well as encouraged improvisation and looser movements.
In addition to the crazy production cycle, the post-production cycle was also tumultuous with a last minute decision to convert the film to 3D which added 9 months to the post-production schedule.
When Can We Get a Jaeger?
Obviously, the literal big technology on display in Pacific Rim is that of the Jaegers, the gigantic twin piloted robots that have been built to battle the monstrous Kaiju that are emerging from the Pacific Ocean. Is the technology currently available to develop these giant robots? In short, no and there are very compelling reasons why it’s not.
For starters, the sheer size of the Jaegers. Just because something is bigger, doesn’t mean that it's better. The amount of energy needed to move these robots would be staggering and would actually be weaker than say a robot of regular human proportions.
In addition, there aren’t any materials that are strong enough to create the ultra-tough Jaegers.