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'He's the don': Pacific Rim stars Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba pay tribute to director Guillermo del Toro

Video: Del Toro has described the film's themes as 'very dear to me'

Not all actors have good things to say about the directors they work with.

But with the release of sci-fi monster film Pacific Rim imminent, its British-born stars, Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba, have paid tribute to the flick's director, Guillermo del Toro.

The Mexican director - also behind Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth - has paid homage to the comics of his youth for the blockbuster, in which earthlings don giant robot suits to battle an invading army of equally giant monsters, called kaiju.

Speaking about the film, Elba, best known as TV's detective Luther, said: "The great Guillermo del Toro - he is a schoolboy, with an imagination and mastery of film."

And Hunnam, who recently said that his fellow Geordies would defend the world from a Kaiju attack, added: "He's not operating from a place of insecurity. He's operating from a place of knowing he's the don."

Del Toro spoke of his influences in making the film, which hits cinemas on July 12.

He said: "The story I wanted to tell with Pacific Rim is very dear to me. It was part of me growing up in the 1960's, with the birth of the kaiju and the mecha genre - two genres from Japan which celebrate, with great love, giant robots and giant monsters.

"It was very personal for me to revive the genre for a new generation of monster and robot lovers."