At this point, I’m practically begging for a Pacific Rim 2. Not out of a desperate affection for the first one, though I remember seeing it and telling people I liked it enough, but an inescapable fascination with all the ballyhoo to have followed the production since it was announced as a go. The latest episode of uproar threatens to cancel Pacific Rim 2 entirely. After inheriting the Kaiju-laden property from Warner Bros., Universal Pictures has now decided to halt production on Pacific Rim 2, Guillermo del Toro’s developing sequel. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess if we’re looking at delays or outright abandonment of the Legendary film, with the latter presenting as a distinct possibility.
The ultra-budgeted Pacific Rim did terrifically overseas, more so than it did in the United States, leaving any potential sequels the subject of hard-nosed deliberation. Thankfully, the notion of a Pacific Rim 2 did eventually earn the green light at Universal Pictures, prompting curiosity about which of director and co-writer del Toro’s many proclamations (“A Jaeger merges with a Kaiju!” “A Kaiju merges with Charlie Day!” “Pacific Rim merges with Godzilla!”) might come to fruition. Given Legendary’s jump from WB to Universal, we were comfortable to rule out that last one.
But now we might have to rule out the whole ordeal. While it’s not uncommon for pictures to get the axe, there’s something particularly intriguing about the rocky road to (and back from) official development that Pacific Rim 2 has traveled. The yearlong purgatory that separated the original’s release and the sequel’s stamp of approval wasn't easy for the Legendary team. What’s more, the question of Pacific Rim’s merit was complicated enough to provoke a considerably uncommon inter-studio transfer. And yet, it has kept on going. Maybe because studios can’t pass up the opportunity for that ever-more-important overseas dollar, or maybe because fraternity with an influence like del Toro is worth taking a risk. Whatever the reason, it’s maintained Hollywood’s fostering of the Pacific Rim sequel…until, quite possibly, now.
We can speculate for ages about what finally broke the camel’s back and led to a half of production — rabid Kaiju running amok in L.A., perhaps? — but our musings would be for naught. Instead, our imaginations are best left to what kind of world del Toro set out to build with his second Pacific Rim endeavor. He promised new monsters, new robots, new corners of the oddball world we first met in 2013. In truth, none of this sounds like a particularly bad deal. Pacific Rim was something just a bit different from most of the films of its scale to be released these past few years. Maybe “just a bit different” is “too different” for Pacific Rim 2 and 2015. But, of course, all this speculation makes the mysteriously fated project all the more interesting.
Images: Warner Bros. (3)