The Big Picture
- Guillermo Del Toro couldn’t direct Pacific Rim Uprising due to sounstage payments not being made on time.
- Del Toro did not watch the final movie and said the script was different from his vision.
- Pacific Rim Uprising earned considerably less at the box office compared to the first movie, and it remains to be seen if the franchise can make a comeback in the future.
Guillermo Del Toro established an expansive world in Pacific Rim, his 2013 blockbuster about humanity fighting against giant monsters using robots. After the commercial success the movie found upon its release, the studio behind it was eager to start developing a sequel. During the Q&A at Collider’s 10th anniversary screening of Pacific Rim in IMAX 3D, the director revealed to Steven Weintraub the reason why he didn’t helm the Pacific Rim sequel, the 2018 film that once again pitched giant robots against monsters that were claiming innocent lives:
We were getting ready to do it, it was different from the first, but it had a continuation of many of the things that I was trying to do. Then what happened is—I mean, this is why life’s crazy, right?—they had to give a deposit for the stages at 5pm or we would lose the stages in Toronto for many months. So, I said, “Don’t forget we’re gonna lose the stages,” and five o’clock came and went, and we lost the stages. They said, “Well, we can shoot it in China.” And I go, “What do you mean we?” [Laughs] “I’ve gotta go do Shape of Water.”
Yes, you read that right. A missed payment for Toronto sound stages caused del Toro to walk away.
Del Toro further explained why he hasn’t seen the second installment of the franchise, even if it’s been five years since it arrived on the big screen: “I didn’t see the final movie because that’s like watching home movies from your ex-wife. It is terrible if they’re good and worse if they’re bad, or the opposite. You don’t wanna know. So, I didn’t see it. I did read the final script, and it was very different. Some of the elements were the same but very different.” Neverthless, it was time to return to a planet infested with monsters capable of taking out major cities within a single day.
In Pacific Rim Uprising, Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) is stuck in a complicated situation ten years after the events of the first movie. He spends his time stealing abandoned Jaeger technology to sell it on the black market, and when he’s finally trapped by the authorities, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) tries to recruit him at the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. But a deep conspiracy would reveal that Dr. Newt Geiszler (Charlie Day) was secretly working on merging Kaiju brains with the latest generation of Jaegers, turning Earth’s protector’s into the planet’s biggest threat.
The Legacy of ‘Pacific Rim’
While Del Toro went to direct his wildly successful romantic drama film, The Shape of Water, Pacific Rim Uprising only managed to earn around $290 million at the worldwide box office. Given it how performed considerably worse than its predecessor, it remains as the latest installment the franchise has managed to produce. An anime series titled Pacific Rim: The Deep kept the universe alive for a couple of seasons on Netflix, but that story has also reached its conclusion. A decade after the original movie premiered in theaters, it remains to be seen if the franchise can make a comeback in the future.
Look for the full Q&A from our Pacific Rim IMAX Q&A very soon.