When you’re piloting a giant robot waging war against massive monsters, the last thing you need is a computer trying to kill you.
The trailer for director Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming sci-fi monster movie Pacific Rim caused a bit of a stir among gamers when it was released last month, as fans of the Portal game series quickly noticed the voice of the movie’s A.I. was similar to – nay, identical to – that of the murderous A.I. GlaDOS, featured in Valve Software’s critically acclaimed games.
It’s del Toro’s deliberate tip of the hat to the Portal series, of which he’s a huge fan. But there’s no crossover between the worlds of Pacific Rim and Valve’s Portal or Half-Life. In fact, the A.I.’s voice – supplied by American opera singer and voice actor Ellen McLain – has been a bit de-GLaDOSsified for the final film.
“I wanted very much to have her, because I’m a big Portal fan,” del Toro said in an interview promoting the upcoming fright flick Mama, which he’s producing.
“But just as a wink. She’s not cake-obsessed,” he said with a chuckle. “She’s not out to destroy humanity.”
Del Toro approached Portal and Portal 2 creators Valve to get permission to use the voice of GLaDOS in the movie, which revolves around monsters emerging from the ocean and the soldiers who pilot giant robots to fight them. Everyone was on board with the idea.
“I said, ‘Look, there’s no A.I. I’d rather have than GlaDOS,’ ” he said. But McLain’s voice in the movie, due in theatres July 12, has been modulated a bit to be less similar to the distinctive tone of Portal’s unforgettable antagonist. “The filter we’re using is slightly less GLaDOS. Slightly. The one in the trailer I wanted to be full-on GlaDOS.”
Del Toro also said his long-in-gestation survival horror game inSANE, which was cancelled last year by financially troubled publisher THQ, is inching closer to release. “We are in talks with a very, very big company. I can’t say who, but it’s one of the big ones. They really responded to the game, they responded to what we were trying,” he said.
“Some of the devices of the game I need to update, because now I’ve seen them in other games that just came out. That always happens. But the principle we’re trying to do with the game is to make it a really immersive narrative experience. It’s still a really challenging proposal.”