It's only one year into Universal Pictures and Legendary Entertainment's five-year production co-financing partnership, and already it looks like the honeymoon period might be over. Thus far the partnership has been one of mixed success, with some abject failures like Seventh Son and Blackhat alongside the colossal hit that was Jurassic World, but new reports suggest that there is tension between Universal and Legendary CEO Thomas Tull.
Thus far the biggest projects of Universal and Legendary's collaboration have been based around the idea of giant monsters - whether they be Jurassic World's Indominus Rex or the titular star of planned King Kong origin story Kong: Skull Island. After some uncertainty, one movie that seemed to be firmly on the studios' plate was Pacific Rim 2, a sequel to Guillermo del Toro's 2013 action movie about giant mechs taking on extra-dimensional invaders. However, the future of Pacific Rim now appears to be considerably less secure.
In a lengthy article covering the alleged strains on Universal and Legendary's relationship, THR touched on the plans for Pacific Rim 2, which had been given a summer 2017 release date and was supposed to begin filming this fall under the working title Maelstrom. According to THR's sources, Pacific Rim 2 has been "halted indefinitely" and will either be pushed back to a later date or cancelled entirely. Rumors of this delay were also reported by Latino Review, with the added detail that the production start date has been delayed to some time in 2016.
The matter of whether Pacific Rim actually needs a sequel or whether it worked fine as a self-contained story is something we've discussed before, but there are a lot of people who enjoyed the original film and are eager for a sequel. For those people, it's still too early to give up hope. Pacific Rim performed reasonably well at the box office, grossing $411 million worldwide, and according to THR Legendary was particularly happy with how well the movie did in China.
Pacific Rim starred Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi as Jaeger co-pilots Raleigh Becket and Mako Mori, and del Toro has said that all the characters who survived the first movie are going to be back for the sequel. While the fate of the Pacific Rim franchise hangs in the balance, Hunnam can soon be seen in the supporting cast of del Toro's latest film, a gothic horror called Crimson Peak, which Universal declined to co-finance on the grounds that it was too expensive for an R rated movie.
Whether or not Pacific Rim 2 gets made will likely depend on the performance of Legendary's other projects, as too many box office failures could make Universal and Legendary gun shy about moving forward with such an expensive and risky sequel. Are you still eager for a Pacific Rim sequel? Let us know if you're keeping your fingers crossed for Pacific Rim 2: Maelstrom in the comments.
We'll keep you updated on Pacific Rim 2's status as this news continues to develop.