Pacific Rim 2 has had a troubled production, to say the least. After multiple delays it was removed from Universal Studios' release schedule, though Guillermo del Toro insisted that the film had not been canceled. Now it seems that a major shake-up has happened in the film's production, with del Toro no longer at the helm. Instead, the film will be directed by Daredevil season 1 showrunner Steven S. DeKnight.
The original plan for Pacific Rim 2 was for it to begin filming last year, possibly in November. It was delayed, and then put on hold. Not long after, the film was removed from Universal's slate altogether. The budget and script for the film were supposedly set as early as last October, but the project was unable to get the traction it needed to begin production. With del Toro's long list of commitments, from Fantastic Voyage to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark preventing the film from getting underway in the near future, it seems he has stepped aside to allow a new director to come in.
THR reported the latest news on Pacific Rim 2, which will be DeKnight's feature-length film directing debut. In the past, though, he did serve as showrunner and head writer for Netflix's Daredevil and he also created the visually impressive Spartacus for Starz. This time around, DeKnight will direct from a script written by Jon Spaihts, who co-wrote Ridley Scott's Prometheus and the upcoming Marvel film Doctor Strange. Del Toro will remain attached to the project as a producer, alongside Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Mary Parent; Legendary Pictures' Senior VP of Production Jillian Share will serve as executive producer.
It will be interesting to see how this sequel plays out with a different director, given how much of a passion project the original Pacific Rim was for del Toro. The characters and core plot of the original film were created by del Toro and Travis Beacham, so it couldn't have been easy for them to let someone else take over on the followup. That said, del Toro has stated that he planned to see Pacific Rim 2 through "one way or another," though, so it seems that he is a man of his word.
The big question is when the project will start moving forward now that a new director is in place. If del Toro's busy schedule was the only holdup, then we might see motion in the next few months and possibly even a start date before the end of the year. If there was more going on with Pacific Rim 2 than that, though, there's no telling whether things are really ready to move or not. However, Pacific Rim's studio backer Legendary being acquired by China's Wanda Group may help the sequel in that regard too, as the original Pacific Rim performed better at the China box office than in other markets.
Pacific Rim 2 is currently in pre-production. No release date has been set.