When the sequel Pacific Rim Uprising rolls around next spring, it sounds like it’s going to be a shorter affair than its predecessor. Collider’s own Steve Weintraub recently spoke with Uprising director and co-writer Steven S. DeKnight at New York Comic-Con about the follow-up, and the filmmaker revealed that the current runtime of the movie is right around two hours. Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim ran two hours and 12 minutes, so if that Uprising runtime holds, the sequel will end up being a bit shorter than the original movie.
As DeKnight explains, he sees two hours as the ideal runtime for any feature film:
“It’s resting right around two hours. I always shoot for two hours. If I was doing Lawrence of Arabia it would be a little longer, but otherwise I think the two-hour mark—this is just for me as somebody that loves movies and watches movies, two hours is always right around the sweet spot. If it’s much less than two hours then I start to get a little suspicious, if it’s much more longer sometimes a movie will support that but sometimes you just get a little worn out.”
I think the old Roger Ebert adage “No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough” is apt, but I see DeKnight’s point. Moreover, the filmmaker reveals that his first cut of the film was significantly longer, but after stepping back he saw which portions of the movie could be nipped and tucked.
“I think my director’s cut was 2 hours 18 minutes, around there. It was in the ballpark, and then I got a chance to step back, look at the movie, talk with the producers, really kick the tires and it’s kind of like the last rewrite of the script. There are things that suddenly became very clear that you don’t need this, you don’t need that, you can move this over here, the story is much cleaner and much more exciting that way.”
The sequel takes place 10 years after the events of Pacific Rim and shifts the protagonist role to John Boyega’s Jake Pentecost, the son of Idris Elba’s character. After skirting responsibility his whole life, he joins up with the jaegar program to fight the renewed kaiju threat alongside both new and familiar faces.
If Uprising is a success, DeKnight says Legendary has discussed a potential crossover with its Monster Universe that includes Godzilla and King Kong—but it won’t happen before Pacific Rim 3. But first, Pacific Rim Uprising hits theaters on March 23, 2018.
Look for Steve’s full interview with DeKnight on Collider soon.