|This article is a history page|
This article contains early or scrapped production information about Legendary Pictures's Pacific Rim, and is intended to work as a history book on the film's development progress.
- "From now until April 2017, we're going to develop a new animated series for Pacific Rim, continue the comic book series that started with Year Zero, and most importantly, creating a sequel for the film. I'm working on this with Zak Penn and Travis Beacham. And we are all very happy to be bringing you more Kaijus more Jaegers, kicking each others butts."
- —Guillermo del Toro
"Pacific Rim 2" was the sequel to Guillermo del Toro's 2013 science-fiction film, Pacific Rim. With del Toro returning as director, the sequel was scheduled for an April 2017 release. del Toro worked on the script with Zak Penn and Travis Beacham. The sequel was intended to expand the universe with two prequels: A comic book series, and an animated series that would lead into the events of the film.
An overcrowded release schedule, saw the sequel pushed to August 2017 by Universal Pictures. The sequel was rescheduled a second time following financial troubles between Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures, and in 2016, it was shelved by Universal.
Plans for the comic book were also altered, and animated the series was scrapped. Following del Toro's departure from the project as director, the sequel was later reworked into Pacific Rim Uprising.
May 20, 2013, Entertainment Weekly announced that Pacific Rim was set for a sequel prior to the film's release on July 12, 2013. Legendary Pictures announced that the studio hired Travis Beacham to write the script for the sequel. Former CEO of Legendary Entertainment, Thomas Tull asked Guillermo del Toro to start working on a screenplay based on ideas omitted from the original film.[note 1]
del Toro would help Beacham write the sequel, but it was undetermined if he would direct. Travis Beacham stated that he was given the go-head to write a sequel "a while ago" but had received no word that the production would be greenlit. In an interview with ShockTillYouDrop.com, Thomas Tull confirmed that del Toro and Legendary Pictures were still open to the idea of developing a sequel for Pacific Rim.
During the promotion of The Strain at the Austin Television Festival, del Toro announced that screenwriter Zak Penn was working with him to develop the script for the sequel. At the time of the announcement, Travis Beacham was involved with the FOX television series, Hieroglyph, which was later cancelled before its premiere in the fall of 2014.
June 26, 2014, Guillermo del Toro announced on Legendary's YouTube channel that, "Pacific Rim 2" was planned for a April 2017 release. In conjunction with writing the script with Zak Penn, he added that Travis Beacham would return as a writer. To promote the pending film, an animated series and additional comic book similar to that of Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero were also greenlit for production.
In an official statement with BuzzFeed.com, del Toro stated, "The characters I love will return. Raleigh, Mako, Newt, Gottlieb and who knows, maybe even Hannibal Chau – but we are taking them into a fresh territory that will display amazing sights and battles. The first film set the stage and now we’re ready to have a blast."
Following his announcement on YouTube, Legendary Pictures announced the film's release date on their official twitter and tumblr pages for both their company and Pacific Rim. Actor Burn Gorman followed suit, retweeting the news from the Hollywood Reporter with the response, "by Jove".
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, when asked about when production would officially begin for the sequel, del Toro stated that design production for the film would start in August of 2014.[note 2] Scouting for locations for the film were expected to take place July 2015 and principal photography November of the same year. del Toro expected to begin advertising the sequel in early 2017.
April 23, 2015, following the announcement of the eighth Fast & Furious sequel and the upcoming sequels to Fifty Shades of Grey, Universal Pictures released a list of films whose original release dates were changed to accommodate the other franchises. Pacific Rim 2 was officially moved from a April to an August 2017 release.[note 3]
During the 2015 Comic-Con, del Toro reconfirmed that principal photography would begin in November and pre-production was in the third month of the film's design process at the time of the interview.
July 2013, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, del Toro stated that the sequel would be unlike the first and would avoid repeating any elements from the first film. “We have plans that are pretty bold and pretty crazy,” he said. “We would not be repeating anything from the first one. We would go to completely fresh territory.” del Toro revealed in a Long Beach, California Q&A that he was interested in bringing focus to the idea of humans “drifting” with Kaiju. "We're writing... and the main idea that we're bouncing off is the fact that Newt drifted with a Kaiju brain and all Kaiju brains were connected".
Another idea posited by del Toro was the focus on the Precursors and the Anteverse and how they could use the information provided by Newton Geiszler against mankind. “They have a hive mentality, meaning that if you ‘drift’ with a Kaiju brain, you are drifting with every Kaiju alive. Depending on the duration of the drift the information might be complete or incomplete, but the Kaiju know everything the human drifts with them knows. That’s as much as I can tell you without spoiling the sequel.”
The sequel would also see the possible return of Gipsy Danger and a Kaiju/Jaeger hybrid; "We will have Gipsy 2.0 for sure. Second thing is you're gonna see a merging of Kaiju and Jaeger. And that is quite special." Actress Rinko Kikuchi hinted at the idea of Idris Elba's return to the sequel during a press event in San Francisco.
Prior to the June 26 announcement, del Toro announced that the script was in the process of being written by himself and Zak Penn, but had not been bought for production by Legendary Pictures. “I don’t have the money, but I’m proceeding like it is happening,” he said. del Toro also stated that characters Raleigh Becket and Mako Mori would return and that the story would follow the events after Pacific Rim. He made clear that he was not interested directing a prequel centralized on the "first wave of the invasion", and was focused on introducing "very crazy ideas for the second one".
During the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, when asked whether or not he would be filming in Toronto, del Toro stated that he would be writing the sequel's story to be told on a global scale. "[...]it’s all over the world this time. I want it to be different enough to the first one that you don’t feel you’re seeing the same movie." The film's action sequences would be orchestrated differently from the original film, and take place during both day and night battles.
The journey of Raleigh Becket would be "completely different", as he came full circle with the loss his brother, Yancy Becket, after rescuing his new co-pilot, Mako, at the end of Pacific Rim. del Toro reconfirmed that the sequel would expand on the mythology of the Precursors and the Anteverse and the creation of a "Gipsy Danger 2.0". He also added that the sequel would introduce new characters as well. In another interview with Collider.com, del Toro revealed that the setting of the movie would be set "a few years after the first one" and would see the film dealing with a Kaiju free world and the fate of the remaining Jaeger technology.[note 4] When promoting Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Charlie Hunnam expressed an interest in seeing a larger focus on character and less attention on special effects.
When discussing the Jeagers, del Toro stated that four Jaegers had been established during the design process. The Jaegers would hail from China, Russia and Korea, the latter of which was said to have "two robots".
del Toro went on to reconfirm that the Mexican Jaeger mentioned at the 2015 International Film Festival in Guadalajara, "Black Maria", was among the Jaegers mentioned in the design process. October 2015, IGN.com reported that del Toro had submitted "a tentative budget and script" to Legendary pictures.
In an interview with Collider.com, covering the production of The Shape of Water, Paul Austerberry revealed that the original script for del Toro's Pacific Rim sequel lead the story to Shanghai, and involved a river and desert location for major action sequences. The film would have ended in San Francisco where a major battle between the Kaiju and the Jaeger was meant to take place.[note 5]
In a November 2018 discussion about his numerous unproduced scripts on Twitter, del Toro briefly described his script for the sequel as "very different".[note 6] Travis Beacham discussed early story ideas he worked on with del Toro. He explained that they both were interested in pursuing a storyline that would allow them to explore "the other side of the rift" at later point.[note 7] Beacham also expressed an interest in working on a prequel film for the franchise.
During the promotion of Nightmare Alley, del Toro explained one version of the sequel's script involved a tech villain who created an advanced version of the internet under the influence of the Precusors. The story would eventually reveal that the Precursors were humans from thousands of years in the future who created biological exosuits to survive a deveastated Earth.[note 8]
“They’re trying to terraform, trying to re-harvest the earth to survive," del Toro explained. "[...]We were inside. And it was a really interesting paradox.” While some elements of the story were preserved in Uprising, the story was radically changed. del Toro considered Mako Mori the hero of Pacific Rim, and stated that she would've been one of the main characters in the sequel.[note 9]
Since its official announcement in 2014, del Toro indirectly stated that the surviving cast of Pacific Rim would return for the sequel by way of reference to the characters and the continuation of the story. Burn Gorman and Charlie Day were among the first of the original cast officially confirmed to return, with the possibility of larger roles.
During the promotion of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, Rinko Kikuchi stated in an interview Superhero Hype that she was uncertain that she would be asked to return for the sequel despite del Toro's discussion of narrative. During his appearance at the Television Critics Association, del Toro corrected the media-wide error that Gorman and Day would take over as the sequel's protagonists, and reiterated that he believed most of the cast from the original film would return for the sequel, Charlie Hunnam included.[note 10] During the film's delay, del Toro considered casting Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones for the sequel.
September 15, 2015, the Latino Review reported that the production of the sequel was delayed until 2016 according to "multiple sources" and would impact the August 2017 release of the film planned at its announcement. Forbes.com speculated the reported delay was Universal Pictures' attempt to avoid clashing with director Christopher Nolan's 2017 feature, Dunkirk, produced by Warner Brothers.
Subsequent media outlets began spreading the report, similarly stating that they were unable to get an official comment with Legendary or Universal Pictures. September 16, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter detailed financial troubles and internal strife between Legendary Pictures, Thomas Tull and Universal Pictures. Universal and Legendary Pictures' grievances were presumably over the fact that Tull was taking credit for the success of The Dark Knight and Jurassic World, but ignoring the financial failures of films such as Blackhat.
A source close to Legendary relayed to the Hollywood Reporter that the sequel "has been halted indefinitely and will be pushed back". Forbes.com writer Scott Mendelson speculated the sequel was postponed by Universal for reasons that the Tron Legacy sequel was canceled: The studio was overburdened with too many upcoming franchises.
Guillermo del Toro addressed the postponement rumors in an Entertainment Weekly interview, stating that while the film had been pushed back, the delay was "only temporary". “We are still turning in a screenplay and a budget in three weeks,” del Toro told Entertainment Weekly. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s not gone. We’re still on it.” Additionally he expressed an interest in doing another film before the production of the sequel would go forward.
January 7, 2016, reports from Universal that the sequel had been officially shelved began to circulate. According to Screencrush.com and the Hollywood Reporter del Toro had been in talks with Universal in an attempt to get the film's production off the ground.
However, the director was unable to come to an agreement with the studio and the sequel was officially “off the table”. The reports followed the announcement that del Toro was in the running to direct a remake of the 1966 science fiction film, Fantastic Voyage. Following the report, del Toro responded to the news on twitter, "Pac Rim 2 cancelled? Don't believe everything you read. It's still going and I'll remain w it in one way or another!"
- The working title for the sequel was rumored to be "Pacific Rim: Maelstrom".[note 11]
- The Spanish working title for the sequel was "Titanes del Pacífico 2" (Titans of the Pacific 2).
- When asked whether or not he would return for the Pacific Rim sequel during a AMA on Reddit, Idris Elba was doubtful considering "[his] character died in the first one".
- During an interview promoting Jorge Gutierrez's The Book of Life, Guillermo del Toro suggested that the end of the second film could lead to a third film.[note 12]
- During an appearance at the 2015 International Film Festival in Guadalajara, Guillermo del Toro stated that he would make an effort to put more Mexican elements in his films. With regard to the Pacific Rim sequel, he stated he would add a Jaeger named "Black Maria".[note 13]
- On his official tumblr page, when asked, Travis Beacham stated he was "not busy with Pacific Rim 2", but would return to work on the production if asked.[note 14]