Crazy week for director Guillermo del Toro. First, he exits his long-gestating adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness." And then right after, he signs up for "Pacific Rim," a gigantic monster movie. The plot details weren't immediately available concerning this new movie, but News in Film got their hands on the script, and it sounds like this could be the most expensive movie ever. Or maybe just the most confusing.
Now, to be fair, this isn't an official plot synopsis, and parts of the story may have changed since NIF read Travis Beacham's screenplay. So with that in mind, let's dive in (Spoiler Alert):
This project will give the "Hellboy" filmmaker the opportunity to create two worlds.
The first is an alternate version of Earth in the near future, decades after a historic date in November 2012 when the first kaiju, a towering Godzilla-like beast, emerged from a hole in the Pacific Ocean and attacked the city of Osaka, Japan. The second is "The Anteverse," another universe on the other side of that gaping portal, 5 miles below our ocean's surface.
Since the first attack, the rim has been "spitting out" a variety of gigantic monsters at an increasing rate, which then stride out of the ocean and begin destroying sea-bordering cities, like Tokyo and Los Angeles. In order to combat these monstrous, otherworldly menaces, the military developed the "Jaeger" program, which trains teams of two pilots to jointly operate massive, building-sized mechanized suits of armor and high-tech weaponry.
And that's just the first act -- seriously. NIF mentions that Beacham put together a glossary for all the jargon he created for this movie, which makes sense since just this brief description is a bit of a slog to go through. Of course, a lot of this will depend on the execution: Trying to explain the logistics of "Avatar" to someone who had never seen it was probably equally frustrating.
By the way, The Playlist, among others, have noted the rather unfortunate timing of this news item in the light of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan. We appreciate the need for sensitivity at a time of unimaginable tragedy, but we'd like to point out that, unless it was the idea of someone in del Toro's camp to leak the script to a film site, this isn't exactly sanctioned news. And even NIF acknowledged that they ran their item before the earthquake. It's good to be respectful and to remember that the business of covering Hollywood tentpoles is by no means as important as what goes on in the actual real world, but it would be wrong for people to accuse del Toro or anyone else connected with this film of somehow trying to capitalize on what's going on in Japan. By all accounts, they didn't even expect these plot details to go public -- and they certainly wouldn't have chosen today if they had.