Director Guillermo del Toro’s giant-robots giant-robots-versus-giant-monsters sci-fi action epic Pacific Rim won’t stomp into theaters until July 12, but the film’s backers already see its franchise potential as, well, giant—so much so that a sequel was greenlit before the movie was finished. After the first screening, Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull immediately told del Toro to start writing a follow-up. “He said, ‘Do you think you can come up with a great idea?’ ” del Toro remembers. “I said, ‘F—, yeah!’ ! Because on the way to the finished screenplay, there were entire angles and ideas that we chopped off because they were too much.”
While Pacific Rim is a souped-up homage to classic monster movies like Godzilla, del Toro says the sequel won’t simply introduce a new oversize enemy. “[With the old movies] it was Godzilla versus so-and-so, and that was all you needed to know,” he says. “It was like a wrestling match.” Instead, del Toro and co-writer Travis Beacham plan to delve deeper into the alien forces behind the kaiju (Japanese for “giant monsters”), who in the first film invade Earth from their so-called “antiverse” through a breach at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, only to be met by a last stand of human defenders (including Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam). “They’re a race of blind consumers grabbing planets, consuming them, and moving to the next,” says del Toro. “The idea [with the sequel] is to explore a little bit of that. I won’t spoil it, but I don’t think we’ll repeat a single beat from the first movie.”
Del Toro—who already has a few projects lined up to direct, starting with the haunted-house horror movie Crimson Peak—says he’s open to directing the Pacific Rim follow-up as well. But don’t hold your breath for that next installment to be ready anytime soon. “It will take us a while to develop,” del Toro says. “I don’t think the screenplay will come out so quick. It took us a year and a half to do this script, and It’ll take us at least two years to develop the other script.” These summer tentpole movies are real monsters to put together, after all.
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