A decade after Stacker Pentecost and his team “cancelled the apocalypse” in Pacific Rim, the Kaiju are back and more deadly than ever in Steven DeKnight’s Pacific Rim Uprising. After the release of the film, we’re diving into all the secrets from the making of the big sequel. Read on to discover 10 facts you never knew about the creation of Pacific Rim Uprising (one for every year since the Kaiju decided to completely demolish the human race).
1) The original script had more Rippers – It’s as if the creators of the film were saying, “Yo dawg, we heard you like Kaiju…”, and they added small, insect-like Kaiju called Rippers to the growing list of monsters. Pacific Rim Uprising production designer, Stefan Dechant said, “At one point the Rippers were biological, then mechanical, then this ‘horde of insects’ look. You know with elastic bandages, there’s a metal tab that holds the bandage together? That’s what we did. The Rippers are basically stitches that claw themselves into flesh and pull the Kaiju together as a single unit.” The Rippers then became essential to the creation of Mega-Kaiju.
2) The audio team experimented a lot to create the sounds of the Kaiju – For the film, the audio team faced the challenge of creating sounds and noises for the Kaiju that resembled nothing we’ve ever heard on Earth (they are aliens, after all). When it came to recording these bizarre audio clips, they experimented with both the organic and inorganic: the sound of Shrikethorn’s ultra-fast spike volleys was, in reality, a frayed bit of plastic that was whipped past the audio mic. The voice of Hakuja, one of the other main Kaiju, was a combination of epiglottal tics and an audio recording of crushed ice and rocks that created a burrowing noise befitting the monster’s personality.
3) The voice of Raijin came from an especially territorial goose – Despite the pressure to create voices for the Kaiju that were genuinely other-worldly, Raijin was a bit of an exception. Being arguably the biggest and scariest of the Kaiju in the film, Raijin needed a very special sound to give it that certain je ne sais quoi. Sound editor, Erik Aadahl, said, “Geese, especially territorial and protective males, can be very expressive. A recording of a male goose, after it was slowed down and bass-enhanced, sounded viscerally intense and it was perfect for Raijin. The soul and personality in it was undeniable.”
4) Titan Redeemer’s design was inspired by the most brutal medieval weaponry – If the Middle Ages were known for anything, the most memorable elements to note would definitely be the rampant disease, plus the horrifying (and inventive) torture devices. So, it’s not surprising that when the Pacific Rim Uprising design team was searching for inspiration to create their Jaegers, they looked back to the era of the Rack and the Iron Maiden. Titan Redeemer, aka “The Armored Knight”, wields a familiar, spiked weapon that you’ve most likely seen in any medieval throwback in pop culture. The morning star was one of the coolest weapons for the design team to work with, and fit perfectly with Titan Redeemer’s Inquisition-era-torturer personality type.
5) Cailee Spaeny learned welding for her role in the film – As if being new to the Hollywood scene wasn’t hard enough, Cailee was challenged by the team to prove her acting chops during the making of the movie. Taking a page from the great Daniel Day-Lewis, she went method and learned the ins and outs of welding in order to make Amara a believable character. As a thanks for her dedication, the design team ended up including some of Cailee’s welded pieces into the actual Scrapper, Amara’s Jaeger. Take note kids, it pays to be in the trades.
Read Part 2 on the Insight Editions blog! If you’d like to discover more about the making of the film, be sure to pick up a copy of The Art & Making of Pacific Rim Uprising, available wherever books are sold!