When humanity's only defense against complete extinction is a small army of giant robots, it's essential to have a good tech team on your side. When the creatures attacking are aliens from another dimension, it's just as important to have a science team who are capable of digging into the Kaiju (literally) to find out what makes them tick. As Chinese military general Sun Tzu once advised that the key to winning your battle is to know your enemy.
Sun also said that, "To know your enemy you must become your enemy," and taking too keen an interest in a bunch of slobbery monsters, whose reciprocal interest in you is limited to squashing you flat and then destroying a building or twenty, is a dangerous path to go down. Since Pacific Rim could still get a sequel despite its slow domestic start, it might make sense for director Guillermo Del Toro to shake up the old dynamic of a united human front and introduce an enemy from within.
According to Charlie Day, who plays one half of the Pan Pacific Defense Corp's science team, Doctor Newton "Newt" Geiszler, that enemy might have been his own character. When asked by Crave whether he had heard any talk about sequel material during the making of Pacific Rim, Day revealed that Del Toro had been considering changing things up for Newt in Pacific Rim 2:
"I remember when I first met with [Del Toro] that he liked the idea of Newt becoming a bit of a villain in the second film. But, I think over the course of making the film, and the way the character resonated with the audience, I don't think he would want to turn him into a villain now, but I really have no idea."
Newt is among the more accessible characters of the film, since like most members of the audience he has a tendency to geek out over the Kaiju, to the point of getting tattoos of them all over his arms (at least, we think it's just his arms). If anything, this actually makes a transition to potential villain status more likely, especially since Newt made the rather risky decision to "drift" with the Kaiju hivemind, and there have to be some unpleasant side effects associated with plugging interdimensional aliens directly into your brain.
When asked about the likelihood of Pacific Rim actually getting a sequel, Day wasn't able to offer much more than a verbal shrug, though he did make a small jab at the way in which comic book and superhero movies are currently dominating the box office:
"I also don't know if it would ever get made. I think because there's no one in a cape it might hurt our chances of making another one. We'll see. Look, I would love to do it. Hopefully if it keeps performing this well overseas we'll get to find out."
Even with Del Toro's heavily-packed roster of planned and potential upcoming films, a sequel to Pacific Rim could still be the on the cards, especially since it recently hit $293 million at the worldwide box office. Given how neatly the story of the first film was wrapped up, it won't be the end of the world if Pacific Rim 2 doesn't happen, but there are certainly a lot of interesting directions that a sequel could take.
Did you like Day's character in Pacific Rim enough that you'd be sorry to see him become a villain, or do you think that could be the natural progression of his interest in the Kaiju?
Pacific Rim is out in theaters now.