I’m not the biggest Guillermo del Toro fan on the planet. I love Pan’s Labyrinth, but a lot of his more popcorny genre work doesn’t really resonate with me. If he said that he was swearing off horror movies and action franchises for the rest of his career in favor of focusing on dark dramas, I would be ecstatic. But that isn’t the sort of filmmaker he is, and we’re probably all lucky for that, because even I’m getting excited about how awesome his upcoming monster movie Pacific Rim sounds.

Lately del Toro has been making all the right moves to turn me around and get me amped up for this project. First he hired Idris Elba to replace Tom Cruise in the starring role. Talk about a major upgrade. Then he went around town making comments about how big and unmodest this film was going to be, how he was approaching it like a big kid having fun, and how it was going to feature mankind creating mech suits to battle giant monsters that come out of the ocean. I don’t know what the best way to get a geek’s attention is, but promising monsters fighting mech suits just might be it. And now he’s in talks to cast Willem Dafoe in a high profile role.

According to Variety, Dafoe is negotiating to play a rogue scientist with expertise on alien creatures. Just the concept of a rogue scientist is enough to make this one sound like cheesy goodness, but when an actor as charismatic and fun as Dafoe gets mentioned to play the role, you really know that there’s some potential. I hope that Dafoe is offered total creative freedom to get as experimental with frizzy hair and silly mustaches as he wants to play this crazy, wild eyed scientist. He just might be mankind’s last hope, so it would be better if we could all see him coming.

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