We speculated earlier this week that the tragic events in Japan might impact the direction of Warner Bros. and Legendary's giant monster invasion film – and it appears that may indeed be happening.
Bloody-Disgusting spoke to an insider close to the production who's telling them that Legendary has asked Del Toro (who signed on to the project recently after his adaptation of HP Lovecraft's 'At the Mountains of Madness' fell through) to rewrite the screenplay for 'Pacific Rim' – making it so no attacks take place in Japan. Early reports on the film's script stated that a giant monster would rise up from the ocean floor in 2012 and attack the island nation.
According to BD's source, Del Toro has yet to respond to the request.
Hit the jump for the latest skinny.
Apparently, Legendary is excited to have the filmmaker onboard but would also be quite happy if he changed the screenplay completely – turning it into a long-rumored 'Godzilla' reboot. Del Toro has reportedly refused. The interesting thing about that particular rumor is that 'Monsters' director Gareth Edwards was attached to the 'Godzilla' updating back in January. This would seem to mean that Edwards would be left standing at the altar if Del Toro wanted to do 'Godzilla.'
Meanwhile, Harry Knowles has taken to the AICN pulpit to say that his sources reacted with "genuine disbelief" when told of the Bloody-Disgusting scoop. Knowles says he has intimate knowledge of the project but that he isn't able to write about in detail at this point of 'Pacific Rim's' development. According to AICN, any rumor that Japan will be completely removed from the feature isn't true – although, in Bloody-Disgusting's defense, their story never made that claim either. Their source simply stated that the script would be re-written so there was no attack on Japanese soil. AICN also insists the 'Godzilla' rumors are false as well.
Knowles goes on to add that a lot of the current conjecture about 'Pacific Rim's' direction is based on the script from October of last year – and that much has changed since that draft, but things are still moving full-steam ahead for a planned 2013 release.
What are we to believe here? It doesn't seem far outside the realm of possibility that Legendary and Warner Bros. would ask for a rewrite in light of recent events. In fact, it seems fairly obvious. The difference between BD's story and AICN's denial when it comes to Japan could be a misunderstanding. Japan could still play a prominent part in the film (as AICN says) but not be ground zero for a giant monster attack (like BD is reporting).
As far as the 'Godzilla' rumors go, who knows? Clearly a new 'Godzilla' film is in the works on some level, but having Del Toro direct it seems highly unlikely (hence his reported refusal). It seems we'll all have to watch as things develop to find out what's truly happening with this suddenly red-hot project.
And finally, should you feel so inclined, here are several ways you can donate to the relief efforts to help Japan recover from these tragic events.