When it was announced that ‘Pacific Rim‘ was going to get a sequel we all assumed that Guillermo del Toro would be directing. Now we’ve learned why he didn’t sit behind the camera for ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising.’ We’ve seen a lot of theories from schedule conflicts to the lackluster box office performance in the States for the first film, but now the famed director shares the real reason. It was especially surprising with how much he was hyping the series with Legendary Pictures where an animated television series and potential trilogy were being proposed.
With Universal distributing the sequel we soon learned that Steven S. DeKnight (‘Daredevil,”Spartacus’) would be handling the movie. While a huge fan of his work, it was odd to see that one of the main driving forces behind the first film wouldn’t be returning.
When talking about ‘Trollhunters’ in a recent interview that very question came up, and scheduling did end up being the problem after all:
“The timing started to suck. I had this little movie that I wanted to do—The Shape of Water—very, very much. At one point it was Justice League Dark or Pacific Rim, I said, ‘Let’s go to Pacific Rim.’ The reality is they said, ‘We’re gonna need to postpone,’ because they were changing hands—Legendary was going to be sold to China, to a Chinese company [called the Wanda Group]. They said, ‘We’ve gotta wait nine months’ and I said, ‘I’m not waiting nine months, I’m shooting a movie,’ and I went and shot [The Shape of Water] and we chose Steven DeKnight.”
What that meant for the sequel remains to be seen, and hopefully, fans of del Toro’s work will be happy with ‘The Shape of Water’ though I, for one, suspect I would have rather seen him return to directing giant city-destroying robots and Kaiju.
When talking about the new director he had nothing but praise to share:
“It was such a great choice. I mean I love [DeKnight], love what he does, I think he’s really brilliant. He’s making it his own. I’m not breathing over his shoulder saying, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’ He’s doing things differently and I like that. When I produce I try to produce the way I would like to be produced. I say to everyone I produce, ‘If you need me I will be there 100% all the time. If you don’t need me, I’m not there. You show me the cut then we’ll start interacting.”
That being said, don’t expect ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ to feel like the first movie as it wasn’t what del Toro had in mind for the follow-up to his film:
“It’s going great. I see dailies every day; I see early cuts, I see teasers. They’re doing great. It lets him have his style, lets him have his notion of the characters. I wrote a screenplay, developed two or three drafts of that screenplay—this is different than what I developed, and I’m OK. A producer is in the corner; the director is in the ring. The producer’s not getting the punches, the director is, so shut up, wait in the corner, refresh the towel and wait for the director to come to you.”
This has to make you wonder what differences we’ll see between ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ when it is released compared to what it could have been. Who knows? Maybe we’ll get a ‘Pacific Rim 3’ with del Toro back in the director’s chair and some of these changed ideas could still end up being brought back for that film.
Are you looking forward to ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising?’ Do you wish it would have followed del Toro’s vision or are you glad to hear that it will have an original approach to the franchise? Share your thoughts below!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!