When “Pacific Rim” was released in 2013, Guillermo del Toro made it clear that he envisioned the kaiju film as the beginning of a franchise. But while the monsters-vs-robots blockbuster brought in a respectable global box office haul and became profitable enough to justify a sequel, it never quite became the cultural phenomenon that many expected it to be. The “Pan’s Labyrinth” director eventually had to drop out of directing the second film, “Pacific Rim: Uprising,” to focus on making “The Shape of Water.”
In a new interview with Collider to commemorate the film’s 10th anniversary, del Toro reflected on his plans to direct a sequel that never materialized. He explained that a logistical error involving a producer failing to put down a deposit on soundstages led to a lengthy delay that forced him to exit the project.
“We were getting ready to do it, it was different from the first, but it had a continuation of many of the things that I was trying to do. Then what happened is — I mean, this is why life’s crazy, right? — they had to give a deposit for the stages at 5 p.m. or we would lose the stages in Toronto for many months,” del Toro said. “So, I said, ‘Don’t forget we’re gonna lose the stages,’ and five o’clock came and went, and we lost the stages. They said, ‘Well, we can shoot it in China.’ And I go, ‘What do you mean we? I’ve gotta go do ‘Shape of Water.””
The sequel, “Pacific Rim: Uprising,” was ultimately directed by Steven S. DeKnight. The film was released in 2018 to middling reviews, effectively killing any possibility of future “Pacific Rim” movies. While del Toro is credited as an executive producer on the sequel, he revealed that he never actually watched the finished product.
“I didn’t see the final movie because that’s like watching home movies from your ex-wife,” he said. “It is terrible if they’re good and worse if they’re bad, or the opposite. You don’t wanna know. So, I didn’t see it. I did read the final script, and it was very different. Some of the elements were the same but very different.”