While enthusiasm is running high for the next big project from the Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth director, any time you get a comics adaptation of a feature film, the quality tends to be suspect and fans--as Dan DiDio and Jim Lee pointed out when questioned on a Dark Knight Rises tie-in at San Diego Comic Con International in July--have by and large stopped responding to such projects. So what made the pair (and Legendary Comics, who are publishing the book) think theirs can be any different?
"The idea was, from the start, not to do an adaptation of the movie, that, with very rare exceptions, suck," del Toro told a small group of reporters on Thursday evening. "I always thought it was a lose-lose proposition to try and adapt the movie into comic book form. We thought about this as the most humble trans-media attempt. When we were developing the movie, both Travis and I kept writing biographies for the characters and eventually, we started developing the design and the tech for the Jeagers and the story for the Kaiju and we ended up generating a bible that was several hundred pages long. There was such richness in that material, so many ideas that were there."
There' certainly an interesting aspect to the technological and practical side of the Pacific Rim story--something that presumably won't be explored too deeply in the movie, which mostly revolves around the Jaegers--giant combat robots--battling monsters who are attacking the planet.
"It takes months and months and months and billions of dollars to build a Yeager and a few hours of casual combat to total the Yeager," del Toro said. "The origin is something we always geeked out about and the comic is perfect for that."
On that origin, he explained that "The Kaiju are created as perfect traps. They're not carbon-based organisms. They're silicon-based organisms. It takes a while to figure out something that is not carbon-based. They decompose and release an agent called Kaiju Blue that completely destroys the cities, makes air impossible to breathe and their blood is completely acidic."