'Shape Of Water' Director Guillermo Del Toro's Monster Franchise Could Get Even Bigger

by Danielle Burgos

Picking up 10 years after Pacific Rim's epic Battle Of The Breach, the new movie Pacific Rim: Uprising wastes no time diving right back into the world of mecha Jaegers and mega kaiju. For a moment it looked like the sequel might not happen, as issues with the production companies halted filming back in 2015. But director Guillermo del Toro kept pushing, even having first-time filmmaker Steven S. DeKnight take over directing duties when he himself was unavailable. Now the sequel is about to take theaters by storm, but eager fans already want to know if there will be a third Pacific Rim movie coming soon.

If it isn't clear by now to even the most casual viewer, The Shape of Water director del Toro is (to put it mildly) a big fan of monsters old and new, gory and silly — he loves them all. He even set up a touring exhibit called "At Home With Monsters" that was jam-packed with memorabilia, props, costumes, and models from every era of horror history, enough to fill several rooms... and all taken from the director's own home. The exhibit began in L.A. before hitting the midwest, but in an interview with ScreenRant, del Toro said it would stop after Mexico “because it’s my home country. But then after that, I want my s**t back! ...It’s been horrible to go home (without them there).”

It shouldn't surprise anyone then that the director had, and has, big plans for the monster-packed Pacific Rim franchise. Before the first movie even came out, del Toro told BuzzFeed that he and screenwriter Zak Penn had been secretly working on a sequel script for months. "I don't have the money," he said, "but I'm proceeding like it is happening!" Even then the filmmaker was looking only to the future, noting when fans asked if there would be a Pacific Rim prequel that "I was never interested in doing that first wave of invasion. I'm going for very new, very crazy ideas on the second one, which are very different from the first one — but you will get really great spectacle."

Now that Pacific Rim: Uprising is a reality, del Toro's letting history (and his enthusiasm) repeat itself. During interviews for the second film, the director revealed unprompted details about his plans for a third, and maybe even more. Speaking with Collider, del Toro (who remains a producer on Uprising) explained why some fan-favorite characters hadn't returned to the sequel. "We have decided that we’re going to shoot ambitiously and say, ‘Let’s hope we have three movies,’ so some characters come in at the end of the second, hoping that it will ramp up on the third one," said del Toro. That makes it sounds like the tail end of Uprising will be a cliffhanger, promising to lead right into the next film.

That is, if there is a next film. Nothing's been confirmed or announced about a third Pacific Rim, aside from del Toro's grand vision for another robots vs. monsters battle royale, and a lot might depend on how the sequel does in theaters when it's released on March 23. As such, del Toro and his crew's plan to act like a third film is inevitable is an interesting gambit, dangling hope in front of audiences and passing pressure on to studios to feel like they have to deliver.

But history's shown that when the strategy doesn't work, it backfires big time. Mental Floss notes just some of the movies that went out of their way to set up a sequel, including The Golden Compass, Super Mario Brothers, and 1998's Godzilla, only to have the possibility remain an empty promise after the films crashed and burned at the box office.

But never say never; the struggle it took to get Uprising going seemed doomed but ultimately ended happily. Whether or not a third Pacific Rim ever materializes, fans will know it always existed in del Toro's heart.