Guillermo del Toro may indeed be cancelling the apocalypse—as far as the Pacific Rim sequel goes, at least. It was reported yesterday that Universal Pictures had put Pacific Rim 2 on hold with the potential for scrapping the movie altogether. The development reportedly arose as an indirect result of tension between Universal and Legendary Pictures president Thomas Tull, although greenlighting the Pacific Rim sequel wasn’t necessarily an easy decision given the first film’s box office, which at $411 million worldwide was just enough to make a follow-up possible.
But now, speaking with EW, del Toro says Pacific Rim: Maelstrom is not cancelled altogether and he nevertheless remains committed to working on the film:
“We are still turning in a screenplay and a budget in three weeks. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not gone. We’re still on it.”
After months of pre-production, the follow-up was to begin filming this November in anticipation of an August 2017 release date, but whether the film is scrapped or not, that won’t be the case. Del Toro tells EW he may actually tackle a different movie first:
“It moved further. I may do another movie in the middle.”
For those that criticize del Toro for attaching himself to too many projects, this is why. In Hollywood, you never know what film is going to get the greenlight when, which is why filmmakers like del Toro, Martin Scorsese, and David Fincher develop multiple projects at the same time.
Rumors have swirled that del Toro is in line to make a smaller scale film for Fox Searchlight very soon so that could be this in-between picture he’s referring to, but that project has yet to be officially announced. With Crimson Peak marking del Toro’s first “adult drama” in the English language, however, it does feel like he’s keen on doing something different, so a smaller scale movie for Fox Searchlight would certainly fit that criteria.
Regardless, if del Toro had his druthers, all of his passion projects would have been made by now:
“I can tell you this, if I was a billionaire, I would definitely do Hellboy 3, Pacific Rim 2, and At the Mountains of Madness.” He laughs. “And I would quickly become a millionaire.”