Guillermo del Toro reveals why he's not directing Pacific Rim 2 as well as how much he was involved with the film. The acclaimed filmmaker directed 2013's Pacific Rim for Legendary and Universal Pictures, based on a screenplay he co-wrote with Clash of the Titans' Travis Beacham. The film - starring Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Beckett, Idris Elba as General Stacker Pentecost, and Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori, among others - released to generally positive reviews from critics, but the movie didn't earn enough money at the worldwide box office to immediately justify a sequel.
In 2014, del Toro officially confirmed plans not only to develop Pacific Rim 2 but also an animated series that would bridge the gap between the first and second installments. Unfortunately, as with many del Toro projects, Pacific Rim 2 started to fall by the wayside. And so, del Toro stepped away from the director's chair and allowed Spartacus creator and Daredevil season 1 showrunner Steven S. DeKnight to take over directing duties. Still, despite departing the project relatively early on, del Toro remained partially involved with the production.
"I prepped my version of Pacific Rim 2, which was I developed the screenplay, I storyboarded and designed the creatures and the robots and all that. And then that suspension of six months, I left and helped select the new director, Steven DeKnight, and that was about it."
While Guillermo del Toro still had some semblance of involvement with Pacific Rim 2, it's not as much as he initially hoped. It's widely known that del Toro left the film to make The Shape of Water, which is earning him critical acclaim. But what's interesting is that he chose to leave the project in the first place because of that six-month suspension, which was due to another film taking Pacific Rim 2's spot.
"...You have a thing called a hold on the stages. When you get a hold on Pinewood Studios, they hold the stages for you. But if somebody challenges you, which, in this instance, was xXx 3 - the one with Vin Diesel. They came in and challenged us. And Legendary [Pictures] said we're not going to challenge that, and that meant delaying the movie at least six or seven months."
It appears that del Toro was almost ready to begin shooting Pacific Rim 2 when xXx: Return of Xander Cage contested the hold. Since del Toro didn't want to wait around for six months to start filming, he exited the project and began working on The Shape of Water instead. In fact, he says that his friends and fellow directors, Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Harry Potter) and Alejandro Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant), helped convince himself to abandon the sequel and pursue Shape of Water. Considering how much praise he's getting for the 2017 film, it seems he made the right decision.
- Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) release date: Mar 23, 2018