A followup to Guillermo del Toro's sci-fi blockbuster Pacific Rim has been in the works since even before the original film hit theaters, but Pacific Rim 2 has been largely stuck in development since 2014. It was believed to be moving forward when the sequel was scheduled for a 2017 release date with production said to start late in 2015. But, after the release date was pushed back, Pacific Rim 2 was officially delayed by Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures in late 2015.
Still, del Toro continued to work on Pacific Rim 2, and the film reportedly had a finished script. More recently, Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil) signed on as director of the sequel, with del Toro still onboard as a producer. Now, as development on Pacific Rim 2 continues, Universal/Lengendary have brought in a new screenwriter to help the script undergo rewrites.
THR is reporting Derek Connolly has been tapped to help rewrite the script for Pacific Rim 2, though it's unclear whether the screenwriter will be doing a page one rewrite or working on developing story ideas established in previous drafts. Connolly co-wrote Jurassic World with its director Colin Trevorrow, co-penned Legendary's Kong: Skull Island, and has been working on Jurassic World 2. Previous drafts of the Pacific Rim 2 script were worked on by del Toro, Zak Penn (The Incredible Hulk), and Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange).
Plot details for Pacific Rim 2 are being kept under wraps, but early reports seemed to indicate it would be a prequel. However, del Toro has since confirmed Pacific Rim 2 will take place a few years after the previous film, feature returning characters, focus more on the Kaiju world, and be "very different" from the original. Additionally, the previously reported working title for Pacific Rim 2 was Maelstrom - but it's unclear if any of these aspects of the sequel will be incorporated as it moves forward in development.
Certainly, Connolly joining Pacific Rim 2 seems to indicate that Universal and Legendary are dedicated to moving forward with the sequel - which may have been helped along by Legendary being acquired by China's Wanda Group earlier this year. Additionally, given his writing credits, Connolly seems perfectly suited to big-budget blockbuster fare and could potentially get the Pacific Rim 2 script to a point where the studio feels confident in officially moving forward with production and setting a release date.
But, that being said, with DeKnight on board as director and Connolly working on the rewrite for Pacific Rim 2, it's unclear how faithful the sequel will be to the spirit of the original - which was a passion project for del Toro and Pacific Rim co-writer Travis Beacham. Of course, del Toro will still be involved in Pacific Rim 2, but whether it will provide a compelling continuation of the story that engages fans and casual moviegoers alike remains to be seen.
We’ll bring you more information on Pacific Rim 2 as it becomes available.