Let Them Not Eat Cake! Pacific Rim’s GLaDOS-lite Jaeger A.I. A Definite Nod To Portal

By Nick Venable | Published

This article is more than 2 years old


If Guillermo del Toro’s career has taught us anything, it’s that the man will put his money and efforts where his interests lie, even if that project never makes it past the concept stage. His name is attached to damned near everything that isn’t a romantic comedy or a war documentary. It’s been over four long years since Del Toro’s last directorial effort, 2008’s Hellboy II, but Pacific Rim looks to plug him right back into the theatrical forefront, with mech guns blazing. And it really makes me GLaD…OS.

The latest sign of Del Toro’s personal tastes comes in the form of a voiceover, the one you probably recognized from the trailer as belonging to GLaDOS, the deviously malicious A.I. system guiding players in the fan-favorite Portal games by Valve Corporation. The distinctly vocoded voice, as performed by opera singer Ellen McLain, appears in the trailer as an intentionally direct replica of the game’s antagonist, though Del Toro says the feature itself will use a different modulation of McLain’s voice. “The filter we’re using is slightly less GLaDOS. Slightly. The one in the trailer I wanted to be full-on GLaDOS,” he explains, causing game fans everywhere to consider donating their organs to a Self-Esteem Fund for Girls.

Del Toro, a self-professed Portal fan, contacted the Valve offices to acquire permission for use of the voice, and Valve had no problem cooperating. “I said, ‘Look, there’s no A.I. I’d rather have than GLaDOS,” Del Toro says, though quick to point out, “But just as a wink. She’s not cake-obsessed. She’s not out to destroy humanity.” Which is a little disappointing, because beyond the explosive action of giant freakin’ robots fighting giant freakin’ monsters, there are few things more immediately stimulating than hearing an all-knowing computer system go slightly askew for the first time. “I’m sorry, Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”