LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A lifelong fascination with Japanese mega-monsters is behind Mexican director Guillermo del Toro’s eagerly anticipated summer blockbuster “Pacific Rim,” due to be released worldwide this week.
Ever since childhood, del Toro has been captivated by Japanese “kaiju,” the name given to huge creatures such as Godzilla who emerged in popular culture in the 1950s.
Monsters and the supernatural have been a recurring theme of del Toro’s movies which include “Cronos” (1993), “Mimic” (1997), both “Hellboy” films and his Oscar-nominated 2006 masterpiece “Pan’s Labyrinth.”
“Monsters are my obsession,” del Toro told AFP. “You see some people whose faces light up when they’re talking about their puppies or kittens. Me, I’m happy when I’m talking about monsters.”
Del Toro’s new film — with an estimated budget of around $180 million — has allowed him to indulge his passion on a vast scale. The film stars British actors Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba as humans who control giant robots constructed to battle a crop of enormous sea monsters who emerge from a chasm at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
The film is by far the largest and most complicated of del Toro’s career, but he said he was unfazed by the scale of the movie.
“I’ve always been a filmmaker with a strong technical bent, whether in terms of makeup, animation and special effects,” he said.
“So I wasn’t lost in the technical aspect of the film. Making a film of this magnitude, is above all a matter of discipline, work and energy,” del Toro added.
The challenge, del Toro said, was trying to ensure the overall feel of the film was not overwhelmed by the myriad visual effects.