Among the questions video-game fans may have about Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming robots vs. monsters blockbuster Pacific Rim — how are the robots? How are the monsters? — one question stands apart: Is GLaD0S really in it?
There has been some confusion on this issue. The first big trailer for the movie featured voice-actor Ellen McLain reprising her famous role as the villainous robo-matriarch of Valve's Portal series.
After that trailer was released, it became a bit confusing as to whether McLain would actually be in the movie, and to what extent.
"I wanted very much to have her, because I'm a big Portal fan," Del Toro told The Toronto Sun. He even asked Valve's permission to use the same vocal filter they used in Portal, since he loves the games and wanted to put an homage into Pacific Rim. But in the finished film, he said, "The filter we're using is slightly less GLaDOS. Slightly. The one in the trailer I wanted to be full-on GlaDOS."
I saw the movie over the weekend, and can report that Del Toro is as good as his word: GLaD0S is totally in Pacific Rim. Mostly. The robot voice inside the main characters' Jaeger megabot is definitely McLain, and the filter is more or less the same, though it isn't quite GLaD0S.
Which is interesting, and has me thinking about just what makes GLaD0S sound like GLaD0S. Rewatching that trailer, I was struck by the difference in performance: In the trailer, McLain's voice has that lilting, mocking tone that we all became so familiar with. In the film, that's dialed back.
If I had to place the robot voice on a scale of one to 10, with one being "Ellen McLain" and 10 being "GLaD0s," I'd put the Pacific Rim robot voice at about an 8.
This concludes your Pacific Rim GLaD0S Report. We'll have more about the movie, and io9 will have a full review, before the film's release on July 12.