Pacific Rim film
Pacific Rim is a 2013 American science fiction monster film directed by Guillermo del Toro, written by del Toro and Travis Beacham, and starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman. The film is set in the 2020s, when Earth is at war with the Kaijus, colossal monsters which have emerged from an interdimensional portal on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. To combat the monsters, humanity unites to create the Jaegers: gigantic humanoid mecha, each controlled by two pilots whose minds are joined by a neural bridge. Focusing on the war's later days, the story follows Raleigh Becket, a washed-up Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and teamed with rookie pilot Mako Mori as part of a last-ditch effort to defeat the Kaijus.
Del Toro envisioned Pacific Rim as an earnest, colorful adventure story, with an "incredibly airy and light feel", in contrast to the "super-brooding, super-dark, cynical summer movie". The director focused on "big, beautiful, sophisticated visuals" and action that would satisfy an adult audience, but has stated his "real hope" is to introduce the kaiju and mecha genres to a generation of children. While the film draws heavily on these genres, it avoids direct references to previous works. Del Toro intended to create something original but "madly in love" with its influences, instilled with "epic beauty" and "operatic grandeur".The end credits dedicate the film to Ray Harryhausen and Ishirō Honda, who helped to establish the giant monster genre with films such as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and Godzilla respectively.
- Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket:
A washed-up former pilot called out of retirement by the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. On casting Hunnam, del Toro stated: "I saw him and I thought he had an earnest, really honest nature. And he was the kind of guy that I can relate, as a male audience member I go, 'I like that guy. I would like to have a few beers with that guy' … he has an earthy quality.Describing the character, Hunnam stated: "When you meet me, in the beginning of the story, I've suffered a giant loss. Not only has it killed my sense of self-worth, but also my will to fight and keep on going. And then, Rinko and Idris, and a couple other people, bring me out of retirement to try to help with this grand push. I think that journey is a very relatable one. Everybody, at some point in their life, has fallen down and not felt like getting back up, but you have to, no matter how difficult it is." Hunnam was also considered for the role of Prince Nuada in del Toro's previous film, Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Paul Michael Wyers plays Raleigh as a child.
- Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost:
Raleigh's commanding officer. On selecting Elba, del Toro stated: "This is a movie where I have had to deal with more dialogue than ever, and the way I cast the movie was—who do I want to hear say these things? Who do I want Charlie Hunnam to go against? Who can really tell Charlie Hunnam 'sit down and listen'?" In another interview, the director said: "I wanted to have Idris not be the blonde, square-jawed, Anglo, super hip marine that knows [everything]. I wanted somebody that could bring a lot of authority, but that you could feel the weight of the world on his shoulders. When I watched Luther, that's the essence of the character... Luther is carrying literally the evils of the world on his shoulders. He's doing penance for all humanity... Idris is one of those actors that is capable of embodying humanity, in almost like a Rodin sculpture-type, larger than life, almost like a Russian realism statue, you know, big hands, all the turmoil of humanity in his eyes. I wanted somebody that you could have doubts internally, and very few guys can do that." To prepare for the role, Elba watched footage of politicians David Cameron and Barack Obama, as well as Russell Crowe in Gladiator and Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Del Toro initially offered the role to Tom Cruise, who declined because of scheduling conflicts.
- Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori:
Raleigh's co-pilot who lost her family in a Kaiju attack. Though Mori possesses a strength and fury that should serve well against the Kaijus, Pentecost is reluctant to use her, partly because of a fatherly bond and partly because he knows she is still fighting the terror of her childhood. Del Toro stated: "I was very careful how I built the movie. One of the other things I decided was that I wanted a female lead who has the equal force as the male leads. She's not going to be a sex kitten, she's not going to come out in cutoff shorts and a tank top, and it's going to be a real earnestly drawn character." Noting that the other actors were exhausted and "destroyed physically" by filming in the intensive Jaeger cockpit harnesses, del Toro said: "The only one that didn't break was Rinko Kikuchi, the girl. She never complained... I asked Rinko her secret and she said 'I think of gummi bears and flowers.' I try to do that in my life now."Mana Ashida plays Mako as a child.
- Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler:
A scientist studying the Kaijus. Day stated: "Certainly myself and Burn Gorman provide a little bit of much needed levity, it's a break from the monsters and the guys fighting. But then the character gets thrust into the story in a way that his life is seriously at risk and it becomes a little more action oriented and a little more horror movie-esque. So, he kinda bounces back between being humorous and also being real... the rest of these guys, they look really good in their suits and they've got abs, they can kick and fight and punch. Newt is sort of the 'everyman' and he's flawed and he's arrogant." Del Toro gave Geiszler the mentality of a celebrity chef, with tattoos and a "big personality". According to the director, Day was cast based on his performance in an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "He comes out with a stick, and he has a monologue about what it is to hunt the rats in the basement. It was very funny, but he was coming from character. He was not doing big stuff, he was, like, really mourning and lamenting his job, you know, how inhuman it is. And I thought, 'This guy is great at shading and comedy.' There are moments in the movie where he delivers them both." Trek Buccino portrays Geiszler as a child.
- Max Martini as Herc Hansen:
Chuck's father and co-pilot. Kazinsky stated Martini hated the fact that he was cast as Chuck's father, being only 13 years Kazinsky's senior. However Kazinsky said they developed a bond while filming, "Because we were working so tight together, we would finish and then we would go out for dinner every night and we would go to the gym together on days off we had... The emotional scene toward the end with the father-son parting, it was very easy for me to play because I had grown to actually genuinely love Max as a man and as a friend." Kazinsky revealed that Herc and Chuck's pet bulldog was del Toro's idea and said, "The dog's name was Max, ironically, and we ended up using Max for so many things. The story was that Herc and Chuck have difficulty communicating, that they communicated via the dog, and all the love that they couldn’t show each other they would show the dog." The role was originally written for Ron Perlman, but del Toro decided the scenes between Perlman's Herc and Hunnam's Raleigh "might start to feel like Sons of Anarchy 2.0".
- Robert Kazinsky as Chuck Hansen:
An Australian Jaeger pilot considered the finest soldier left in the Resistance. He and his father pilot Striker Eureka, "the strongest and the fastest" Jaeger with eleven Kaiju kills, and make up the Resistance's "go-to team". Kazinsky, a fan of science-fiction, was initially drawn by the film's concept, "My immediate reaction was 'Holy crap, that's cool.' In the hands of somebody else, you might sit there and go, 'Well, this might be terrible,' but with del Toro doing it, you kind of go, 'This is going to be amazing.'". Reflecting on his experience in the film, Kazinsky said in an interview, "The most fun I have ever had in my entire life was Pacific Rim, playing Chuck was incredibly fun."
- Ron Perlman as Hannibal Chau:
A black marketeer who makes a living dealing Kaiju organs. Perlman stated, "I actually think this character was designed to be played by another ethnicity other than myself. And somewhere along the way, [del Toro] had the notion, 'Wouldn't it be interesting to turn this guy into more of an invention.' So, in other words, somebody takes on a persona that completely sounds like he's someone else and acts like he's someone else but he's really, you know, as you see me. That added a dimension to the larger-than-life aspect of the character... I'm playing somebody very close to my own origins. But a completely made-up persona... which makes him even more full of shit. And I think that's the charm of the guy—that he's kind of elusive, hard to pin down. Pacific Rim marks Perlman's fifth appearance in a del Toro film. The director stated: "I think the moment you have a guy that is called Hannibal Chau and Ron shows up, and he's from Brooklyn and he's been selling black market organs, you know the whole story... That's all I need to know. If it's any other actor, there's a lot more explaining to do. But when Ron comes in with that look, you can make your own story and it'll be as compelling as anything I can invent. You do a little weightlifting with the audience." The bird tattoos on Chau's fingers indicate his past as a gangster.In the film, Chau states he took the name from his favorite historical figure and his second-favorite Szechuan restaurant in Brooklyn. Del Toro drew inspiration from Burt Lancaster's performance in Elmer Gantry when writing the character.
- Clifton Collins, Jr. as Ops Tendo Choi:
A Chinese-American Jaeger technician. Collins described his character as the "brains" behind the Jaegers.
- Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb:
A scientist studying the Kaijus alongside Geiszler. According to del Toro, Gottlieb is a "tweed-wearing, English, phlegmatic introvert that never leaves the lab". The modest Gottlieb resents Geiszler's arrogance and radical behavior; the duo echo the film's theme of incompatible people functioning together when the time comes. Drew Adkins portrays Gottlieb as a child.
- Diego Klattenhoff as Yancy Becket:
Raleigh's older brother and co-pilot. Klattentoff joined the project to work with del Toro. Describing his character, Klattentoff stated: "This is a guy who is looking out for his very eager, younger brother and they were enabled with this gift that gave them the opportunity to kind of save the world. Or help, at least." Tyler Stevenson plays Yancy as a child.
- Ellen McLain as Gipsy Danger AI:
The voice of Gipsy Danger's artificial intelligence system. Del Toro secured permission from Valve Corporation to cast McLain in homage to GLaDOS, her homicidal AI character in the Portal video games.The director stated: "It was clear to me that we needed something beautiful in that voice. My daughter is my wingman, we had done co-op on Portal 2 for a long time and I did Portal 1 when it came out. It becomes ingrained in you, that voice. I didn't want to use her as a negative force of evil. I called Valve and asked 'Can you give us the filter?' so we went full GLaDOS for the first commercial, but I thought it was too much. If you're a gamer, it's too distracting so we created our own GLaDOS 2.0 filter that's a little less full-on."
Additional Jaeger pilots include Charles Luu, Lance Luu and Mark Luu as the Wei Tang triplets (China), and Robert Maillet and Heather Doerksen as Sasha and Aleksis Kaidanovsky (Russia). Joe Pingue portrays Captain Merrit, the captain of a fishing boat caught in a battle between Jaeger and Kaiju. Santiago Segura plays an aide to Hannibal Chau. Brad William Henke and Larry Joe Campbell portray members of a construction team Raleigh joins after retiring from the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. Robin Thomas, Julian Barnes, and David Richmond-Peck portray U.N. representatives from the United States, Great Britain, and Canada respectively. Sebastian Pigott appears as a Jaeger engineer and Joshua Peace appears as an officer. David Fox plays an old man on a beach, while Jane Watson portrays Raleigh and Yancy's mother in a flashback sequence. Producer Thomas Tull makes a cameo appearance.