There's a lot of curiosity surrounding Pacific Rim, as Legendary has initiated a viral marketing campaign to countdown to the trailer premiere next week. On one hand, it boasts a cool sci-fi premise - human-piloted giant robots duke it out with Godzilla-esque monsters from another dimension - and is being brought to life under the direction of Guillermo del Toro (Blade II, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth).
On the other hand, del Toro hasn't directed a movie since 2008's Hellboy II: The Golden Army, after spending two years in pre-production on his version of The Hobbit and putting together At the Mountains of Madness (which is currently out of commission). Not to mention, the Pacific Rim footage shown at Comic-Con had its thunder stolen by the teaser for the new Godzilla movie - at least, as far as many of those who were in attendance are concerned (this writer included).
Overall, though, it's fair to say there's more anticipation than concern surrounding Pacific Rim right now; we will see if that changes after the trailer release, for the better or worse. However, Legendary is preparing for a hit, and has commissioned screenwriter Travis Beacham (who penned the original spec script) to begin co-writing a sequel with del Toro - who, according to Heat Vision, may or may not be interested in directing - some eight months before its release.
This announcement comes hot on the heels of reports that del Toro's planning to make the horror flick Crimson Peak his next feature-length directing effort. Moreover, he's got a handful of other projects lined up on his plate for next year (Pinocchio, The Strain) and had made it known that he doesn't intend to begin work on a Pacific Rim sequel in the immediate future - at least, not right after he finishes the editing and 3D post-converstion process.
To quote the filmmaker directly.
“We certainly started tossing ideas for possibilities of a sequel and Travis Beacham and I are writing a proposal of ideas, but at the same time I know I don’t want to do that next. I want to do something else, I want to do something in a different genre that’s not so big."
Legendary seems to believe it has a box office winner in Pacific Rim (if not also a critical hit, but there's reason to question that prospect. For starters, the film's cast is populated by lauded names - Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Idris Elba (Luther) and Oscar-nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, The Brothers Bloom) - but no one who can be fairly called a bankable A-lister. Moreover, del Toro has a strong cult following, but he's yet to deliver a movie that reaches anywhere near the box office heights of summer blockbusters with built-in brand recognition (Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.).
Of course, there are plenty of casual moviegoers out there (re: those only mildly familiar with the cast and director of Pacific Rim) who should turn out just based on the movie's concept. If the trailer(s) manages to impress - and the actual film generates good word-of-mouth - then who knows: maybe originality and innovation will trump recycled entertainment in the case of Pacific Rim (and thus, a franchise is something we can get all the more excited about).
Look out for the Pacific Rim trailer to hit theaters next week. The movie’s official release date is July 12th, 2013.