Been a long while since our last post on this project - July 2011, when it was announced that Warner Bros. had scheduled Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim, which Idris Elba co-stars in, for July 12th, 2013.
What's been described as an epic sci-fi film, a movie that's "set in a future in which malevolent creatures threaten the earth... as the planet must band together and use highly advanced technology to eradicate the growing menace," now has an official synopsis, released by WB today.
Read it below:
From acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro comes Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ epic sci-fi action adventure “Pacific Rim.”
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.
Oscar® nominee Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) is directing “Pacific Rim” from a script by Travis Beacham (“Clash of the Titans”). Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Mary Parent are producing, with Callum Greene serving as executive producer.
The film stars Charlie Hunnam (TV’s “Sons of Anarchy”), Idris Elba (“Thor”), Rinko Kikuchi (“The Brothers Bloom”), Charlie Day (“Horrible Bosses”), and Ron Perlman (the “Hellboy” films). The ensemble cast also includes Max Martini, Robert Kazinsky, Clifton Collins, Jr., Burn Gorman, Larry Joe Campbell, Diego Klattenhoff, and Brad William Henke.
Del Toro’s behind-the-scenes team includes Academy Award®-winning director of photography Guillermo Navarro, production designer Andrew Neskoromny, editor Peter Amundson, and costume designer Kate Hawley.
Slated for release in Summer 2013, “Pacific Rim” is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures. The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
So obviously Elba's role isn't either of the two unlikely hero leads who save mankind. Instead, he plays a character known as Lieutenant-Commander Stacker Pentecost, commanding officer of Charlie Hunnam‘s character, previously known as "Sensei."
I'll resist the temptation to play the "will he succumb to the brotha rule" game in Pacific Rim; oh wait... I guess I didn't quite resist enough, did I? :)
I should note that Tom Cruise was initially attached to play Stacker Pentecost, before he left the project and Elba took over. So it should very well be a plump role; although, the cynic in me is considering the possibility that the character Cruise was originally set to play isn't depicted/written the same way as the character Idris signed up for. From Hollywood's POV, Cruise and Elba aren't exactly interchangeable (at least, not yet), and I'm not just talking skin color.
So, yes, another supporting role for mr Elba; nice work if you can get it certainly; pays the bills; but here's hoping he isn't relegated to secondarys status. He's likely assured leading, front and center roles in *black films*, but in those bigger-budgeted studio pics, look for him in the background instead (Thor, Ghost Rider, Prometheus, Pacific Rim).
Ah well... at least he's not just sitting around, waiting for an opportunity; he's creating his own opportunities (Legacy, Luther, and the upcoming Nelson Mandela biopic notably; all non-Hollywood studio projects he starred/stars in). So kudos to him!
Maybe the multi-picture deal he has with Marvel Studios, may see him cast in any of a few rumored black superhero franchises - from Luke Cage, to Black Panther, to even a Blade reboot.
Travis Beacham wrote the screenplay for Pacific Rim, and Legendary Pictures' Jon Jashni and Thomas Tull are producing. It's currently in post production, and rumor has it that it'll be released in 3D (according to MarketSaw), and that clips of it will be shown at Comic-Con in July.
I'm a fan of director Guillermo del Toro's work, so, Idris or no Idris, I'm still excited about this.