Exclusive Interview with Travis Beacham, Writer of Pacific Rim and Prequel Graphic Novel
Travis Beacham, writer of Pacific Rim and the graphic novel, shared his thoughts on the relationship between the movie and the graphic novel and working with director Guillermo del Toro. Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero is now in stores and available for digital download through Comixology. Find a comic book shop near you using the Comic Book Shop Locator.
Q: Does the comic book tell a different story than the movie?
TRAVIS BEACHAM: Yes, the comic book is a prequel to the movie actually. The movie in a sense begins very late into the Kaiju war. This is maybe ten plus years after the first Kaiju hits. The graphic novel covers the very beginning of that. It covers the first Kaiju, the first Jaeger, and it really established a sense of how our world became the world that we see in the movie.
Q: Can you explain the graphic novel from the writer’s perspective?
TRAVIS BEACHAM: From a writer’s perspective, I think the graphic novel covers the parts of the story of the world that we wish that we can cover in the movie, but you know, the movie is its own thing. The graphic novel goes back to the beginning, it tells the story of the first Kaiju attack, it tells the story how the Jaegers were invented, it shows you what its like at the Jaeger academy. So we are filling in these parts of the world that we’d imagined from the beginning but didn’t get the chance to use in the movie. We are meeting characters at pivotal moments in their life that aren’t necessarily covered in the movie. I think what I really like about it and what I like about the process of having done it is that its not something where we’ve licensed it out or we’ve left it in anyone else’s hands. This is in every sense a product of this same exact people who created the movie. Legendary’s publishing it, Guillermo oversaw it every step of the way, and its written by the screenwriter of the movie and it’s a seamless artifact that bleeds right into that world which is something that I am really proud of.
Q: Which characters can we expect to see in both the film/comic?
TRAVIS BEACHAM: There’s a lot of Pentecost in the comic book, which I think is fun because there’s not a lot about his past in the movie. He of course is an enormous presence in the movie. But we never really find out a lot about what makes him who he is. In the comic book, we get to tackle that a lot more intimately.
Q: How closely did you work with Guillermo del Toro on the comic book?
TRAVIS BEACHAM: Very closely, Guillermo and I worked very closely on the comic book. He oversaw it basically from the beginning. Not in the nitty gritty sense, where we are with our laptops back to back typing because he at the time was still making the movie. But he had input every step of the way. He saw the script first thing; he gave page by page by page notes. This was the fun thing about the comic book actually and what was a little I think in a weird way more fun about making movies, that made me want to write comics books all the time was that you would get pages every single day from the artists, like “here’s this page, here’s this page”. And you would see the pencils and then you would see the inks, and you would see the color. Just every step of the way you really saw it coming together. Guillermo was in that loop and constantly saying like “that character doesn’t look like that, that character wouldn’t say that, or I loved way that’s timed out can we have more of that ” so yeah he was involved on every single step of the way.