Travis Beacham

Charlie Hunnam Shirtless in Pacific Rim

Even though it was a domestic box office disappointment and many critics weren’t in love with it (including myself), Pacific Rim fever is too powerful to keep the property down. Guillermo del Toro has announced that while he’s in the middle of post-production on next year’s haunted house flick Crimson Peak, plans are already underway for Pacific Rim 2, which will arrive on April 7, 2017. And that’s not all. Over the next three years leading to the sequel, there’s going to be a Pacific Rim animated series and more Pacific Rim comic books. Initial report came from Legendary Pictures, which is apparently happy to move ahead on both this and the Godzilla franchise with equal love — yet that’s not the case for distributor Warner Bros, which will keep hold of Legendary’s King of the Monsters while letting new Legendary partner Universal put out the one with monsters and robots. Additional details include original co-writer Travis Beacham returning to pen the script with del Toro and Zak Penn (The Avengers) and all the main characters are set to return. “Raleigh, Mako, Newt, Gottlieb and who knows, maybe even Hannibal Chau,” del Toro told Buzzfeed. “But we are taking them into a fresh territory that will display amazing sights and battles. The first film set the stage and now we’re ready to have a blast.” The actors who played all those characters are also expected to be back. Watch a video of del Toro talking about Pacific Rim 2 after the jump.

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Depending on where you look, Pacific Rim is either in 2nd or 3rd place at the box office this weekend. But it should make enough money to warrant a sequel, especially with international business. And those of us who are into this new original property from Guillermo del Toro are really, really into it. There’s certainly franchise potential, what with its whole background mythology (and back story, which you can find in graphic novel form). Plus it’s going to at least gross more than del Toro’s first Hellboy film, and that spawned a part II. There’s also the fact that Legendary Pictures began moving ahead on developing Pacific Rim 2 way back in December, hiring the first film’s screenwriter, Travis Beacham, to start penning another installment. In the months since, he and del Toro have been sharing some bare bits and pieces and possible ideas for what happens next. The details are thin but these teases about the direction part 2 would go in allow for some educated guessing and speculation as to what we’d see as far as more monster and robot battles. Below I highlight some of what’s been officially said, some of what’s been drawn from those reports and some of what we’re simply hoping for with Pacific Rim 2. If you haven’t yet seen Pacific Rim, there are spoilers to be found ahead. So get off the computer, go see it and then come back to read further.

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Pacific Rim Arm Mechanics

The dynamite is going boom this weekend with Pacific Rim, so we’ve got an interview with screenwriter Travis Beacham about building monsters with his brain. Plus, we present a handy pop quiz on earth-threatening, stories-tall beasts and some of the most ridiculous examples of them in movie history. You can play along at home, but just know that if you lose, Godzilla will find you and smash your house. And as a magical bonus, Geoff has some advice about how to approach working screenwriters on Twitter for advice. Speaking of which, you can follow Travis Beacham (@travisbeacham), interviewer Jack Giroux (@jackgi), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #24 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Year Zero

While fans of this week’s biggest (and robot-ist and monster-ist) new release, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim, have already started leading the charge for its final battle sequences to be recognized as some of the best battle sequences in modern cinema, my hyperbolic praise for the film has to be heaped on something that happens far, far earlier. Del Toro’s film centers on a world that’s been dealing with the influx of the intergalactic monsters known as Kaiju for over a decade, a world that has already experienced both fear and hope, triumph and despair – basically a world where the sort of major battles that round out the film’s action are somehow commonplace and old hat. Which is why the film starts with a long-from prologue that explains how Travis Beacham’s story actually got to this point – what it was like when the Kaiju first appeared, how humans bonded together to fight back, the way Jaeger pilots were treated by the public, the straight-to-our head success rate in battling Kaiju, and the ultimate realization that even the best Jaeger was no longer good enough for the constantly-evolving Kaiju. As entertaining as I found Pacific Rim to be, it was the film’s prologue that most intrigued me – and, frankly speaking, it was something that I found myself wishing was the part committed to film first. (Perhaps the early years of the Jaeger program will get the prequel treatment one day, but I’m still a bit sad that all […]

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Pacific Rim

Let’s all take a moment to be thankful that Guillermo del Toro walked away from The Hobbit. No matter what you ultimately think of that movie or Pacific Rim, the one he ended up making instead, there’s something undeniably fun about the concept of giant robots battling giant monsters that The Hobbit just can’t accomplish no matter how many 20-minute a cappella interludes it had. On concept alone, Pacific Rim is the movie I’d rather see every time. Luckily, the end result pays off the faith in this case, delivering Summer of 2013′s biggest, most relentlessly entertaining monster blockbuster. The kind of heroic piece of nerdy filmmaking that just might save us all from the summer daze.

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Jaegers beating Kaiju. Kaiju beating Jaegers. That’s all a movie needs, right? All red-blooded humans should start frothing at the mouth at the sight of piloted robots and otherworldly monsters throwing down, but without their own red blood pumping through metallic veins, the CGI is only spectacle to keep your eyes busy. Enter screenwriter Travis Beacham and the unique solution for injecting heart into Pacific Rim. Needing something that injected a bit of humanity into those massive Jaegers, the film employs a concept called “drifting” that should stifle anyone trying to compare Guillermo del Toro‘s latest sci-fi epic to Transformers.  Beacham’s concept is not only one of the reasons the movie got made, it’s one of the reasons the script was ever written at all. I recently got to speak with the writer, who had a lot to say about the work that went into making Pacific Rim more than a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em action fest:

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Showing a large amount of faith in Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim, Legendary Pictures has hired the screenwriter who crafted the initial treatment, Travis Beacham, to get crackin’ on a second installment. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production company is happy enough with early buzz to take the first steps toward developing a franchise. Of course, scripts are cheap relative to the finished product, so there’s always the chance that they could pull back on the reins if the film doesn’t meet their financial expectations. But if they’re happy…it means more monsters fighting robots in tropical locales. My personal fantasy is that if it hits big, it’ll ensure Beacham’s Killing on Carnival Row gets a greenlight and larger studio interest. That project — the future-set story of a detective hunting a serial killer who’s targeting mythical creatures —  got Tarsem Singh signed on a year ago but hasn’t yet been put into pre-production. Maybe a massively successful hit will be the catalyst it needs. Check out everything we’ve got on Pacific Rim

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Though it feels like we’ve been talking about Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pacific Rim forever, it really hasn’t been quite that long, and information on the project has remained vague at best. The first quick bite on Pacific Rim (from back in 2011) reported that the film was about alien invaders, though we quickly learned that it was really “a monster movie” that centered on creatures emerging from the deep. When Charlie Hunnam signed on for a lead role in May of last year, we learned that he would be “one of the pilots of a giant robot who needs to climb back into the driver’s chair.” But since then, the terms “monster movie,” “robots,” and “mech suits” have been bandied about without any official connective tissue. But that’s changed. Today, Warner Bros. has finally released an official synopsis for Pacific Rim, one that ties together all those seemingly disparate parts, while also clarifying both Hunnam’s role and Rinko Kikuchi‘s part in the film. It is, in a word, awesome. Check out the full press release and synopsis after the break.

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Immortals Director Tarsem Singh

The last few days have been pretty huge for director Tarsem Singh. First, his latest feature Immortals opened up to less-than-stellar to fairly middling reviews. Then he shocked the cinematic world with the completely ridiculous trailer for his next film Mirror, Mirror. And finally, he’s capped off his week by becoming attached to another film, this one called Killing on Carnival Row. According to Deadline Shahkot, Killing on Carnival Row was the first big spec script sale made by Travis Beacham, who has gone on to write things like Clash of the Titans and the upcoming Pacific Rim, but who never saw his first effort get produced. Killing on Carnival Row is described as a noir fantasy thriller set in a future city that resembles 18th century London much more than any sort of future city we usually imagine. Guillermo Del Toro was circling the project for a while, but like with most things Guillermo Del Toro, that didn’t end up working out. All of that previous stalling seems to be over though, because the producers putting this project together have said they now have studio backing, though they won’t reveal from who. And in Singh they feel like they’ve finally found their man to direct.

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Earlier in the day, I typed a news post while standing up because I’d jumped out of my chair for joy. At the Mountains of Madness was finally set to go into production this summer. The record is now being corrected, and it turns out that it was false joy and pipe dreams put forth by producer Don Murphy trying to pressure an answer from Universal. That answer is no. It’s unclear why, and I’m checking with Universal for their side of the story, but the assumption seems to be that the R-rating and cost were a bit too much for them to handle. Instead, Guillermo Del Toro might move on to deliver a PG-13 big-budget piece of work called Pacific Rim that was written by Clash of the Titans writer Travis Beacham and deals with the world defending itself from alien monsters in the future. Del Toro and monsters is a good fit, and it’s set up at Legendary, but its high concept sounds eerily familiar. Like, say, Battleship. Or Battle: Los Angeles. That’s a shallow assessment, but that doesn’t mean it’s incorrect.

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