Last week it was finally confirmed that Pacific Rim 2 was on the way, and a release date of April 7th 2017 was set. Del Toro confirmed he would be writing the film as of now with Zak Penn, and he also hinted at the return of most of the major characters from the first film.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week, del Toro went into a little more detail on the upcoming sequel, while not giving too much away. He then also spoke about his thoughts on his long gestating adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, and how he believes it may finally see the light of day.
Firstly del Toro spoke of the changes planned for the sequel:
Wall Street Journal: Without spoiling anything, what can fans expect from “Pacific Rim 2??
Guillermo del Toro: “We are three years away, so to spoil anything would be fantastically silly of me. What I can tell you: [screenwriter Zak Penn] and I really went in, we started with [screenwriter Travis Beacham] about a year and a half ago, kicking ideas back and forth. And, admittedly, I said to Zak, let’s keep kicking ideas till we find one that really, really turns the first movie on its ear, so to speak. (…) It was hard to create a world that did not come from a comic book, that had its own mythology, so we had to sacrifice many aspects to be able to cram everything in the first movie. Namely, for example “the Drift”, which was an interesting concept. [Then there was] this portal that ripped a hole into the fabric of our universe, what were the tools they were using? And we came up with a really, really interesting idea. I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different”
Del Toro then explained how he was looking to being new characters to the sequel:
Do you plan on expanding the cast and adding new characters in “Pacific Rim 2??
“I’m hoping to bring the same idea I had in the first movie, that was to make it multicultural and humanistic as much as possible, to make characters from many nationalities or gender, to make them equal in the scope of the adventure, in the day-to-day of the adventure. So, we’re bringing a few characters that are new and hopefully doing good work managing those that survived the first movie.”(laughs)
He was then asked about a production start date for the film:
When do you expect production to start on “Pacific Rim 2??
“I start designing in six weeks. It takes me nine months to design a movie like that. People see the movie, and they have to see that we designed everything in the movie, from ID cards or patches, pamphlets, posters, signs, sets. I start with a core team for about six months designing the jaegers and the kaiju, you know, so we know how many kaiju, how many jaegers. We are creating some new jaegers and a lot of new kaiju. We start [designing the production] in August”
So Pacific Rim 2 is moving ahead nicely, but what of del Toro’s long gestating desire to adapt H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, a film deemed to horrific and too expensive to make?
With this support from Legendary, do you have any hope that your adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness” will be made?
“That’s exactly what I discussed with them. I said to them, that’s the movie that I would really love to do one day, and it’s still expensive, it’s still … I think that now, with the way I’ve seen PG-13 become more and more flexible, I think I could do it PG-13 now, so I’m going to explore it with [Legendary], to be as horrifying as I can, but to not be quite as graphic. There’s basically one or two scenes in the book that people don’t remember that are pretty graphic. Namely, for example, the human autopsy that the aliens do, which is a very shocking moment. But I think I can find ways of doing it. We’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility in the future. Legendary was very close to doing it at one point, so I know they love the screenplay. So, we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’s certainly one of the movies I would love to do”
If it doesn’t work out, what are the chances we see (Lovecraft’s) Cthulhu appear as a kaiju in a “Pacific Rim” movie?
“(laughs) Not really. I think there’s a really strong possibility we can do it (“At the Mountains of Madness”) at Legendary because now they are at Universal, and Universal, you may remember, almost greenlit the movie. The fact that we now have two studios together that love the material, and if they support each other, they are risking a lot less. It would be great to do it, but I’ve understood that you don’t plan your career, it just happens”
Pacific Rim 2, which will be released in 3D and Imax, is the first title to land on the April 7, 2017 date.
No details have been revealed apart from the release date, but Legendary shared Del Toro’s enthusiasm, releasing a statement:
Guillermo del Toro returns to direct Legendary Pictures’ PACIFIC RIM 2, the next chapter of the epic action-adventure he created with 2013’s hit original film. Zak Penn will write the script with del Toro. Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni once again produce alongside del Toro, Mary Parent and Callum Greene. Jillian Share will executive produce. Universal Pictures will release the film worldwide in 3D and IMAX 3D.
Del Toro has also posted a video to Legendary’s Youtube channel, and in it he states:
“From now until April 2017 we are going to develop a new animated series for Pacific Rim that will continue the storyline of the Year Zero comicbook series, and most importantly creating a sequel for the film. I’m working on this with Zak Penn and Travis Beacham and we’re all very happy to be bringing you more Kaijus and Jaegers kicking each others butt!”