Today I attended the Pacific Rim: Uprising panel at New York Comic Con. The film, which premieres March 23rd, 2018, takes place 10 years after the conclusion of the first film. As a fan of the first film, this was a panel I was looking forward to during this con.
In attendance at the panel were:
Steven DeKnight – Director
John Boyega (Jake Pentecost) who is also one of the producers of the film
Burn Gorman (Dr. Hermann Gottlieb)
Scott Eastman (Nate Lambert)
Caliee Spaeny (Amara)
Director Steven DeKnight, who arrived on stage for the panel dressed in a Pan Pacific Defense Corps uniform, provided some details of the Jaegers and some background of the film. He set the scene of the film at the time in which a world has looked past differences and everyone stands united in the defense of the world. The Jaeger program has now been fully resurrected and rebuilt from the ground up since all of the Jaegers were destroyed in the first film. DeKnight also noted that the “humans inside the Jaeger are the heros” to the people – not just the Jaegers themselves as the world looked at them during the first film.
Since the Jaegers are redesigned, this presents an opportunity to see something entirely new for this film and DeKnight provided a little overview of the Jaegers. Gypsy Avenger is the flagship of the force. The feature weapon is the Gravity Sling, which allows the Jaeger to grab objects such as buildings and trucks to use as weapons. Brace Phoenix is a 3-pilot rig. When needed the third pilot ‘drops’ into the chest and mans the guns. Sabar Athena is the newest of the Jaegers in this film and features a pair of plasma swords. Guardian Bravo’s feature is the Arc Whip. DeKnight also hinted at a ‘Little Jaeger’ built out of the scrap parts of other Jaegers.
During early portion of the panel, the new trailer for the film was screened. The reaction from the crowd was electric with loud applause and a standing ovation. Personally, I had goosebumps and I wanted to see the trailer again on the large screen.
Boyega described his character of Jake Pentecost during the panel as a person unlike his father. The movie finds Jake as a man trying to stay out of the limelight of his father’s heroic sacrifice. He is then drawn into the forces. Boyega stated that the underlying theme of the films is hope. He also said that the film will have connections to the past film, while appealing to a new audience. When asked about a being an icon, he was humbled in his response and complimented his fellow actors with whom he has worked.
Burn Gorman was greeted warmly by the fans and he provided an update to his character, Dr. Hermann Gottlieb. He is the top scientist with the Pan Pacific Defense Corpsm with a larger budget. Herman is still affected by the drift and communication with the Kaiju during the first movie. He also described he work with Charlie Day, whose character of Dr. Newton Geiszler also returns for this film, as “fun”. YES – The odd couple is back!
Every one of the panelists paid homage to Guillermo del Toro during the course of the panel. It was a great sign of the respect they have for the world he shaped in the first film and the influence it has on this next film. DeKnight, as this film marks his directorial debut, is hoping for a bigger franchise (more servings of Jaegars fighting Kaijus; please sign me up!).
At the conclusion of the Q&A, they showed a video from Charlie Day in which he posed a question to the panelists. His question was about the theme song for the movie and he proceed to play a rendition of the song with his own comedic twist. This was a delight to the fans as well as the panelists and served as the perfect way to conclude the panel.
Here is a link to the trailer.