The fact that Pacific Rim 2 is happening is sort of astonishing, considering the first movie was intended to be a billion dollar grosser that barely made $100 million domestically. Thankfully, though, international audiences seemed to eat it up, because it ended up pulling in over $400 worldwide, and considering how much the studio spent making it, they were probably thinking long and hard about whether or not they wanted to keep pumping money into this property. But here’s the thing about Pacific Rim: it’s based on a completely original idea, and it belongs solely to Legendary Pictures. They own the rights to all of the characters, and thus pull in all the profits from merchandising, toys, and all of the sort of ancillary stuff that contributes to the overall studio business model these days.
Director Guillermo del Toro and writer Zak Penn have been secretly working on the script for a while now, and in a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, del Toro gave an update on their progress and what we can expect from the new movie:
Screenwriter Zak Penn and I really went in, we started with screenwriter Travis Beacham about a year and a half ago, kicking ideas back and forth. And, admittedly, I said to Zak, let’s keep kicking ideas till we find one that really, really turns the first movie on its ear, so to speak. (…) It was hard to create a world that did not come from a comic book, that had its own mythology, so we had to sacrifice many aspects to be able to cram everything in the first movie. Namely, for example “the Drift”, which was an interesting concept. [Then there was] this portal that ripped a hole into the fabric of our universe, what were the tools they were using? And we came up with a really, really interesting idea. I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.
Del Toro is one of the most passionate, intelligent filmmakers out there today, and the fact that he’s willing to go all in on this franchise and really dig for a creative reason for doing a sequel is exciting to me. He’s hoping to have the animated series on the air for a full season before the sequel hits theaters, and the show will follow the adventures of the pilots and cadets working in the Shatterdome before the events of the first movie. (I’m guessing it’ll be along the lines of “Tron: Uprising.”)
And for those of you hoping to eventually see del Toro’s take on his long-developed At the Mountains of Madness, he also gave an update on that project:
That’s exactly what I discussed with [Legendary]. I said to them, that’s the movie that I would really love to do one day, and it’s still expensive, it’s still … I think that now, with the way I’ve seen PG-13 become more and more flexible, I think I could do it PG-13 now, so I’m going to explore it with [Legendary], to be as horrifying as I can, but to not be quite as graphic. There’s basically one or two scenes in the book that people don’t remember that are pretty graphic. Namely, for example, the human autopsy that the aliens do, which is a very shocking moment. But I think I can find ways of doing it. We’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility in the future. Legendary was very close to doing it at one point, so I know they love the screenplay. So, we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’s certainly one of the movies I would love to do.
Now that Legendary films are being distributed by Universal, del Toro may have another opportunity to bring that project to life. Tom Cruise was in talks for the lead at one point, so we’ll have to see what happens with that project as it slowly trudges through development.
What do you think about Pacific Rim 2? Looking forward to it? Let us know below!
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