Why The New 'Pacific Rim' Is So Different Than Guillermo Del Toro's Original

by Danielle Burgos

2013's Pacific Rim wasn't just Guillermo del Toro's love letter to the kaiju movies he loved as a kid. It was the director's big-budget blockbuster excuse to play Monsters vs. Robots on an unprecedented level. And now there's a sequel, Pacific Rim Uprising _ but before you dive into Round 2 of the battle, here's where to watch the first Pacific Rim right now.

Unfortunately Pacific Rim isn't currently streaming for free anywhere. It's available to rent, through, on Amazon, Fandango, Apple, and Playstation, among others, but you might want to spring for the full-feature blu-ray. Del Toro went out of his way to promote the disc, explaining in an interview with MTV that he'd taken pains to make sure fans got their money's worth by cramming on as much of his behind-the-scenes and pre-movie world building and preparation onto it as possible.

The world the director created is definitely worth checking out. Th detailed universe of Pacific Rim includes the Jaeger robot program and the deep-sea kaiju they're built to destroy, lifelong backstories for the humans who pilot the Jaegers, and in-depth monster anatomy and categorization. Most of the world-building didn't make it to the screen the first time around, but with the long-fought-for sequel Pacific Rim Uprising finally hitting theaters, del Toro gets to share a little more of his vision with the world.

Yet even after putting all that work in, the Academy-Award winning director had no ego when it came to getting the larger Pacific Rim universe out into the world. Del Toro was all set to direct the sequel, but due to timing (he was just starting work onThe Shape Of Water, which went on to win Best Picture at the 2017 Oscars),the filmmaker stepped back from the role. He opted to produce instead, and encouraged first-time film director Stephen DeKnight every step of the way.

In an interview with CinemaBlend, DeKnight said that working with del Toro was an absolute delight, and that despite del Toro's strong vision for the Pacific Rim universe, he actively pushed DeKnight to make the film his own. Said DeKnight, "One of the best words of advice he gave me was, 'Look, it's a marathon. It's a long haul. So just pace yourself, and if you ever need anything from me give me a shout. Otherwise I want to stay out of your hair. Make it your movie.' Which, to get that kind of blessing from him, was amazing."

Actor Charlie Day echoed DeKnight's sentiments, telling ScreenRant he learned an enormous amount working with both directors, and seeing how each tackled handing over a beloved world to another person. "It’s almost a thankless job to take, right? To follow in the footsteps of Guillermo del Toro, people are just gonna come after you," said Day. The actor went on to praise DeKnight for taking del Toro's world and pushing it in new directions, ultimately making Uprising distinctly his own. "There’s a huge risk in that because people will say, 'Well, you have to do exactly what Guillermo did or you have to honor it,' and [DeKnight] would not have been successful in doing that," said Day. "He was only able to make his version of this and he never wavered in that."

Fans of the franchise will certainly appreciate del Toro and DeKnight's different takes on the series. And with Pacific Rim Uprising about to hit theaters, and a third film apparently already plotted in del Toro's mind, hopefully the filmmaker will have plenty more chances to share with fans every minute detail of the universe he lovingly began all those years ago.