With world geekdom temporarily placated with news of a 2017-bound “Pacific Rim 2” and an animated series to boot, now is the time to speculate and needle the filmmakers for additional information. Luckily for us, Guillermo del Toro has always been a friend of the film community and is rarely shy when it comes to reveal plans for upcoming projects and the thought process behind them. Making press rounds for upcoming “The Strain,” del Toro shed some light on the format of the series, how the production is moving along and why the initial thirteen-episode run which eschew the “story of the week” format.
“We’re going for a long arc, so the idea is to show a group of characters—we have pilots, functional jaegers, but we have all these younger characters. I really want to explore things that are complimentary to the things that I want to explore in the second movie: drift, what drifting does to you, what is needed to drift, a lot of stuff that I think is important, but also the jaeger technology, the kaijus being evolved, ideas about the precursors—the guys that control the kaijus,” he told Collider. “We have a lot of leeway in 13 episodes and I wanna make it sort of in the same spirit of ‘Pacific Rim,’ which is the ideal audience for ‘Pacific Rim’ was young—very young, 11-year-olds and so forth—but with really beautiful design and stories that make these characters interesting in a way that I found them interesting in, for example, ‘Year Zero,’ the graphic novel that we did. And I think that’s the basic thrust of the thing.”
Speaking on how individual episodes will stack up and build, del Toro said “If it connects we’ll go on [to more seasons], but the thing is I don’t want it to be weekly adventures. I don’t want it to be like Chapter One is a little action thing and it gets resolved in 40 minutes or an hour and then the next episode, [it’s like] nothing happened. My favorite anime series always have a long arc.”
That sounds terrific and with the Collider piece also revealing that del Toro is “talking to a couple of showrunners that have a strong animation background,” this has the potential to port over some terrific talent from overseas. Keeping in mind the series is still a ways away and del Toro is playing it surprisingly close to the chest with a small black and white film he’ll direct right before diving into “Pacific Rim 2,” the helmer’s schedule is quite possibly overflowing—we haven’t even mentioned the upcoming “Crimson Peak“!
Of course, that hasn’t stopped folks pondering what exactly is going with “At the Mountains of Madness,” after del Toro revealed he’s changed his stance on the R raitng and is willing to “explore” the possibility of a PG-13 film with Legendary Pictures, home of “Pacific Rim” and likely the smaller film that will materialize shortly. Now comes the additional tidbit, wherein the director dangles the possibility of both an unrated and a toned-down cut being released simultaneously.
“The way I’m thinking is, PG-13 goes a long way. It’s not that the novel is graphic, but people forget that there are crucial elements in the novel that are pretty horrific. Like the human autopsy, you know? I think that’s a dark moment,” he said. “So what I would like to do is shoot it, as dark as it is, in an unrated cut and a PG-13 cut. Ideally they would be released simultaneously if that’s at all possible. We could release one [cut] in a certain format and the other in a different format with the hopes that we can offer more intense moments in one cut and equally intense moments but without graphic content in the other cut. Lovecraft was famous for suggestion, and a lot of the piece can suggest, but there are [certain moments] you need to show. Part of it is budget, part of it is rating.”
Take this as a wishful thinking currently, a creative rumination from a talented artist, as del Toro himself adds, “The one thing I’ll say is that at this stage for me, ‘Mountains’ is not made. So I’d rather make it in a way that doesn’t compromise the content, or not do it.” Which is to say, keep waiting — it’ll be at least two years before production can gear up and in the meantime, gawk at the swath of promising pictures del Toro has lined up and for god’s sake, enjoy yourselves!