The auteur has not directed a film since comic book sequel Hellboy II in 2008.
His version of The Hobbit failed to emerge due to scheduling conflicts and then his long-awaited passion project At the Mountains of Madness was refused a green light by a nervous studio.
He has completed his trilogy of vampire horror novels The Strain with Chuck Hogan which will now be turned into a series of TV movies.
When a portal beneath the sea opens unleashing mega-monsters (known as Kaiju) from other dimensions, the human race must fight back by building 250 foot tall mecha-titans, known as Jaegers. Two human pilots control these giant robots as they get strapped into circuitry suits, each controlling a hemisphere (left or right) of the mechanical beasts.
Set in the not too distant future, the Kaiju that have emerged from the portal have devastated earth leading to masses of destruction and millions dead and the fight back has dwindled human resources leading to a sense of desperation. Charlie Hunnam’s former pilot is forced to team up with an untested trainee to ‘cancel the apocalypse’ in the words of Idris Elba’s commanding officer.
Travis Beacham, writer of The Clash of the Titans remake wrote a 25 page script treatment back in 2010 which was immediately purchased by Legendary Pictures. Del Toro then came on board developing the screenplay with Beacham for two years before principal photography began on the 103 day Toronto shoot in November 2011.
Inspired by the Fransisco Goya painting The Colossus that also inspired video game Shadow of the Colossus, the initial idea of Pacific Rim was to go back to the earliest tales of monsters that mankind would tell around campfires.
Taking a risk, del Toro managed to secure the cast he wanted without any of the huge star names that usually hold up a tent pole movie of this size. Legendary Pictures backed his decision, arguing it is the creation of the world and the concept that will be the main attraction to audiences.
Idris Elba is the commanding officer Sensi who will go head to head with the Kaiju. It was a role originally developed for Tom Cruise who had reportedly shown an interest. Charlie Hunnam from TV’s Sons of Anarchy takes the washed up Jaeger pilot role as hero Raleigh.
Steering away from the archetypal monsters of mythology, anime and previous Kaiju movies, the completely original designs have been at the forefront of del Toro’s mind since the beginning.
Del Toro resisted the pressure to shoot in 3D because he felt that the 3D effects would miniaturize the robots and monsters and audiences would not get the full sense of the scale and awe he intended.
Then came the shocking news that del Toro had agreed to a dreaded 3D post-conversion. Del Toro supervised the process, taking 40 weeks to do the conversion where it normally only takes a few weeks to complete on previous movies.
The latest trailer
Could this trailer be any bigger?