LAS VEGAS -- Call it the battle of the 'bots.
According to Guillermo del Toro, his upcoming giant robot movie Pacific Rim couldn't be more different from Michael Bay's Transformers franchise. But during Bay's presentation at CinemaCon earlier this week plugging Pain & Gain and 2014's Transformers 4, Bay told theater owners that there have been quite a few "rip-off' robot movies and that audiences know better.
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Bay didn't specifically name any titles, but he likely was referring to Universal's ill-fated Battleship and DreamWorks' Reel Steel, both of which didn't work at the box office. However, many attending the session wondered if Bay was also calling out Pacific Rim, which del Toro promoted during his CinemaCon presentation a day later (insiders close to Bay say they highly doubt it).
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, del Toro responds that his movie is totally different than Transformers.
"We are far, far far away from that in a very willing fashion," del Toro says. "For good or bad, this is my movie. This is my universe and my creation, and I do not create through comparison."
There is an operatic quality to Pacific Rim in terms of size and scope, del Toro says. In the film, the robots are as tall as 25-story buildings — much larger than the Autobots of Bay's franchise -- and they take on invading alien monsters.
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"The fights don't occur in well-lit, super cool, car commercial-looking environments," del Toro says. "They occur in the middle of a raging sea storm or in a savage snow storm. They happen in a universe that is incredibly saturated."
The director also points out that robots have been a mainstay of science fiction for decades. "And to some degree, the source of all artificial life is Frankenstein," he says.
On a lighter note, del Toro says his robots could crush every "robot in the history of mankind in a toe-to-toe showdown."
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures open Pacific Rim in theaters on July 12.