The status of Pacific Rim 2 has been in debate ever since pre-production was halted on the sequel over studio squabbles and Universal removed the film from its 2017 release slate. Guillermo del Toro has remained adamant that the film would eventually happen, and today brings the bittersweet news that Pacific Rim 2 is indeed moving ahead, but without del Toro in the director’s chair. Deadline reports that Legendary Pictures has set Daredevil showrunner Steven S. DeKnight to take over at the helm in his feature film debut.
DeKnight has worked extensively in television over the decade, producing and directing Angel, Smallville, Dollhouse and Daredevil, and creating the Starz series Spartacus. DeKnight will direct the sequel to Del Toro and Travis Beacham’s epic monsters vs robots smackdown from a script by Doctor Strange scribe Jon Spaights. Plot details for Pacific Rim 2 are scarce for the time being, though del Toro previously stated that the film would pick up years after the first when Kaiju had been purged from the world, and when I spoke with him at the summer TCAs he stated that most everybody who survived the first film would be back for the sequel, naming Charlie Day and Charlie Hunnam specifically.
I absolutely adore Pacific Rim, so I’m thrilled that there’s forward movement on the sequel, but losing del Toro is quite a blow. It’s his vibrant eye and ebullient glee for the subject matter that made the first film such a pleasure to watch despite its flaws. That said, the first season of Daredevil was fantastic and the DeKnight-directed finale was one of the highlights thanks in no small part to the keen directing of Kingpin’s monologue to end all monologues. Plus, given how much love del Toro has for the project, it would be extremely surprising if he didn’t remain very involved in the sequel.
For his part, del Toro is, as ever, hard at work on countless projects including a Fantastic Voyage remake for James Cameron, a Trollhunters series for Netflix, and most recently, a film adaptation of your childhood nightmare Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
What say you? More excited that Pacific Rim 2 is definitely happening or sad that del Toro won’t return to direct? Think DeKnight is a good fit? Sound off in the comments below.