Legendary Pictures acquired the rights from Travis Beacham to produce a feature film of a monster treatment he wrote called Pacific Rim. After Mountain of Madness fell, Guillermo del Toro signed on to direct Pacific Rim. Charlie Hunnam and Charlie Day were official casted in the movie. Idris Elba was casted in the film, replacing Tom Cruise.
Principal Photography started on November 14, 2011. It ended in April 2012. About an hour of footage was cut from the final product. Del Toro made the movie in mind honoring the Kaiju and Mecha genres while at the same time creating something original. Over a hundred Kaiju were designed, but only nine made into the film. Inspiration was drawn from nature and paintings instead of other movies. Visual Effects were created by Industrial Light and Magic. It was supposed to come out July 2012, but was pushed back to May 10, 2013, and once more to July 12, 2013.
The first world is an alternate version of Earth in the near future, decades after an historic date in 2013 when the first kaiju, a towering Godzilla-like beast named Trespasser , emerged from a hole in the Pacific Ocean and attacked the city of San Francisco. It came from ‘The Anteverse,’ another universe on the other side of that gaping portal, 5 miles below our ocean’s surface. After more Kaiju attacks, the world created Jaegers to combat the beasts. Earth started to win, but eventually more and more Jaegers were being lost. The government was prepared to end funding on the Jaeger program and use it for an Anti-Kaiju wall in Sydney. However, a Kaiju called Mutavore broke through the wall and was stopped by Australian Jaeger Striker Eureka.
Years later, Stacker hires retired pilot Raleigh Becket to return and pilot the Jaeger Gipsy Danger, which he and his brother Yancy used to pilot before he was traumatized when Yancy was killed by the Kaiju Knifehead during a mission in Alaska and Raleigh was still connected to him. Raleigh needed a co-pilot who would have a strong mental connection with him. He found it in director Mako Mori, bu Stacker opposes his choice.
Stacker had saved Mako at a young age from the Kaiju Onibaba, and he promised to take care of her. Stacker eventually allows her to co-pilot Gipsy.
Things almost end in disaster when Mako remembers the Kaiju Attack during a test run and almost kills everyone by charging Gipsy's Plasma Cannon. Afterwards, three remaining Jaegers and sent to Hong Kong to defend it from two Kaiju, Leatherback and Otachi. Defense goes badly when two of the Jaegers, Crimson Typhoon and Cherno Alpha are destroyed. Gipsy Danger is eventually sent and turns the die of the fight.
Meanwhile, a Kaiju expert named Newton Geiszler connects with a Kaiju brain, which almost kills him. He finds out the Kaiju are being controlled by aliens known as the Precursors. He sents of to find Hannibal Chau, an expert on Kaiju parts to procure another brain. They find out that both Kaiju are seeking out Newton, placing him in danger.
Gipsy eventually kills both Kaiju, and the team study the corpses. Newton discovers something startling, that one of the Kaiju, Otachi is pregnant. A newborn Otachi rips from its mothers body and swallows Chau before dying. Newtwon and his colleuge, Hermann Gottlieb, merge with the newborn's brain and find out that the portal to the other dimensions will only allow Kaiju in.
Gipsy Danger and Striker Eureka, as the last Jaegers active, are sent to the Breach under the Pacific Ocean to destroy it with a nuclear bomb. Stacker co-pilots Striker even though there are dangers, namely him dying if he gets back in a jaeger due to a mental strain from a three hour solo ten years earlier. The duo are attacked by three Kaiju, Raiju, Scunner, and Slattern, the later of which is the strongest ever.
Stacker sacrifices himself to allow time for Raleigh and Mako to make it to the portal. Raleigh and Mako make it and kill the final Kaiju, Slattern, and make it into the Breach.
Running out of oxygen, Raleigh gives most of his to Mako and sends her to the surface. He activates the Jaeger's self-destruct mode and escapes. The reactor explodes, closing the portal between Earth and the Anteverse. Raleigh and Mako both make it and embrace while helicopters arrive. Post-credits, Hannibal Chau is revealed to survive by cutting his way out of the newborn Kaiju.
A video game based on the film was published and developed by Yuke's, released on the same day as the movie. A tie in game on the iOS and Android were also created.
The film was received positively by critics. The film grossed worldwide at $407,058,211. It competed with Grown Ups 2.