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This Weekend Was Kaiju-Tastic at Comic-Con, Sneak Peeks of Godzilla and Pacific Rim

San Diego Comic-Con is always a time for big announcements, but few could be bigger than those surrounding the upcoming Godzilla reboot and Guillermo del Toro’s giant robots vs. monsters movie Pacific Rim. Both feature baddies on an enormous scale, and both draw from a long tradition of Japanese cinema. They also sound really, really exciting.

Emphasis on “sound” exciting because as of writing there don’t appear to be any videos of the footage released on either film. That’s certainly disappointing, but there’s no end of written coverage about what lucky viewers saw.

In their coverage, Badass Digest writer Devin Faraci wrote about the surprise Godzilla reveal which took place on Saturday the 14th. He writes:

Set to a droning score and with the famous “I am become death” speech by J. Robert Oppenheimer, the trailer opens with scenes of devastation. But it’s not just the buildings that are impacted; corpses lay littered around a destroyed train, and survivors crawl out of the decimated remains of crumbled buildings.

Then a slow pan around a mass… a mass with scales and clawed hands. Lots of clawed hands. It’s a dead kaiju, crashed onto a home, with carrion birds flying by.

Cut to black and… the roar. The classic roar. The Godzilla roar. There’s a cloud of dust and debris with an enormous thing within it. A claw emerges and clutches the whole roof of an apartment building. Then plates – the spiky plates that the real Godzilla has, huge things big enough for a falling I-beam to crack in half on them. And then the face is shown – more dinosaur than the original puppy dog snout, but recognizably Godzilla.

The movie, which will be directed by Gareth Edwards and produced by Legendary Pictures with Warner Brothers, appears to still be in production. In fact, most of the news about the project is centered around creating a script for the project.

For his part, Edwards will likely draw on his experience from Monsters in making the film, and the studio seems keen to move in a different direction from the ’98 sci-fi blockbuster remake we got last time around. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t more details about the movie, or when we should expect to see it, but showing off a teaser trailer has certainly raised the stakes for the movie. Hopefully, Edwards will be able to breathe some new life into this half-century old

The next day, in the very same hall, del Toro showed off footage from his own moster flick Pacific Rim. Again, from Badass:

[...] at the very beginning of the footage, which has an old man and a child in a snowy waste, using a metal detector to find an old robot toy. Suddenly there’s a noise, and through the white out conditions stumbles a robot that’s at least a hundred feet tall, completely dwarfing the humans. The robot, arm damaged, falls to its knees and then collapses, face first, into the snow and sends up a thunderous plume of ice.

There’s a shot of a giant, knife-headed kaiju (think Guiron) attacking the Golden Gate Bridge, each of his clawed fingers being almost the breadth of the span. Jet fighters come in to attack and fly beneath his arm pit before being caught and destroyed.

And then the final images, of a robot (called jaegers in the film) walking into a bay, the water up to its knees, to battle the knife-headed kaiju. It’s old fashioned grappling and fisticuffs, ending with the jaeger nailing the kaiju on the top of its head with a double fisted crash.

For those unfamiliar, de Toro is perhaps best known for his dark fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth and brought his distinctive style to Hellboy and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. He was also briefly attached to The Hobbit, but it was not to be. Pacific Rim appears to be del Toro’s love letter to Japanese monster cinema, and his gathering of top-tier special effects artists — some of which have worked on Independence Day, Star Trek, and Ironman — promise that this will be a visual treat.

Like the Godzilla teaser, it seems likely that this weekend’s Pacific Rim footage won’t be making its way online any time soon. Del Toro is apparently intent to keep footage under wraps until the official trailer is released alongside The Hobbit later this year. The movie is slated for a release on July 12, 2013.

Personally I am all for more giant moster and giant robot movies. The only trouble now will be the nail-biting anticipation as these movies lurch slowly, destructively, towards theaters.

(via Badass Digest, and Badass Digest, image via Wikipedia)

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