As is usual these days, there are a lot of movies out this summer torn from the pages of comic books, while others end up spawning graphic novels themselves. Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim is firmly in the latter camp, and is one of the few to feature a title written by the movie’s creative team. Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero is about to hit our shores, and now co-writer Travis Beacham is talking up the print release.
Tales From Year Zero was developed from the bible created by del Toro and his co-writer to flesh out the story of Pacific Rim and given them grounding for the script. The graphic novel will chart the 12 years leading up to the battles we’ll see in the movie, and draws from details on the 21 different Jaeger models and 51 Kaiju, most of which won’t be seen on screen.
“We’ve listed every single battle that happens, where it takes place, when it takes place, what the Kaiju’s name was, what the Jaeger’s name was, who the pilots were, and the circumstances of the battle,” Beacham tells Wired.
He goes on to explain that the book was born from the pair’s frustration with films that simply throw things on screen because the script demands them, with no real background. “With bad sci-fi – sci-fi that I don’t really like – you watch it and get the impression that you’re just seeing exactly what they created because they needed it in the movie. You feel like there’s nothing more beyond that. But with the good stuff you feel like the world has depth and has texture and that if you stepped in and you looked around the corner you would see that the streets kept going and there was other stuff happening. I’ve always thought that was important, especially for genre stuff.”
Talking to Collider, he explains that the book won’t simply be about Jaeger-on-Kaiju scraps. "This is absolutely about the characters, unequivocally. You’ll see some of the characters from the movie in the graphic novel; some more than others. Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) is the character who I think has the most face-time in the graphic novel of any character in the movie. I think he’s necessarily very mysterious in the movie and he has a lot of mystique about him, but with the graphic novel we get to go back and see his formative moments over the course of this history as he becomes the man we see in the movie. We meet Charlie Hunnam’s character, Raleigh, and see his career as a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed applicant into the jaeger academy.”
The graphic novel hits US shelves on June 5, and makes its way over here on June 18. The movie, meanwhile, makes landfall on July 12. For Guillermo del Toro writing exclusively about Pacific Rim, pick up the latest copy of Empire.