I carefully avoided the car commercial aesthetics or the army recruitment video aesthetics. I avoided making a movie about an army with ranks. I avoided making any kind of message that says war is good. We have enough firepower in the world. I was very careful how I built the movie.
One of the other things I decided was that I wanted a female lead (Babel’s Rinko Kikuchi) who has the equal force as the male leads. She’s not going to be a sex kitten, she’s not going to come out in cutoff shorts and a tank top, and it’s going to be a real earnestly drawn character. One of the decisions we made as we went along in the process of the movie was, let’s not have a love story. Let’s have a story about two people…
I have been offered movies that have huge budgets that have war at its centre and I said, ‘I don’t do that.’ I have two daughters and I wanted to make this movie for kids. It’s my lightest movie and yet it’s one of the most precise, adult exercises in world design I’ve ever made. It has the craft of a 48-year-old (del Toro’s age) and the heart of a 12-year-old.
What I wanted was for kids to see a movie where they don’t need to aspire to be in an army to aspire for an adventure. And I used very deliberate language that is a reference to westerns. I don’t have captains, majors, generals. I have a marshal, rangers…it has the language of an adventure movie. I want kids to come out of the movie and say, I want to be a Jaeger pilot! I really think that would be my dream come true."
— Guillermo del Toro (via timetoputonashow)