Guillermo del Toro’s Jaegers are in danger of rusting before Pacific Rim 2 ever steps its giant mecha feet into theaters, since Legendary has halted production indefinitely. Though the sequel was previously set for an August 4, 2017 release, that date will now be pushed back, at best; at worst, the project will be scrapped entirely.
A new report on the State of the Union between Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures reveals that all is not well between the two studios. Universal, who currently sits atop the box office total for the 2015 calendar year, is in the catbird seat and can use their considerable warchest to make bold financial decisions. Legendary, the Thomas Tull-led studio, is taking the news in stride by financing their own films and leaning on their distribution deal with Warner Bros. for support. One such project caught up in this mess is, of course, Pacific Rim 2.
Here’s the relevant part of THR’s write-up on the fallout between Universal and Legendary, and where Warner Bros. comes in:
Legendary wanted to produce a sequel to del Toro’s Pacific Rim, which was made under the Warners deal and turned into one of those films that grosses a lot ($411 million worldwide) while being so costly that a follow-up isn’t a sure thing. Sources say Legendary liked that the original performed exceptionally well in China, where the company is heavily invested, but for now the project — which had been ramping up to make a release date in August 2017 — has been halted indefinitely and will be pushed back (if it gets made at all).
Unfortunately, that’s all we have to go on at the moment. Pacific Rim’s budget was rumored to be around $190 million, with a $411 million box office take, three-quarters of which came from international markets. Certainly not a bad performance, but the studio doesn’t seem keen on following a model of a big budget up front with no guaranteed return on investment. A recent chat with del Toro confirmed that the story for the Jaeger vs Kaiju follow-up film was set, but the production now seems to have snagged indefinitely. It sounds like Legendary is counting their coins and deciding where to focus their resources, which is sadly not in the direction of giant mecha battles.
If you’re interested in what the studio fallout is all about, you should read up on THR’s rundown to get the full picture. Also, be sure to check back with us for more on Legendary’s upcoming slate of films and how production problems may plague more than one of them, like the following:
- ‘Kong: Skull Island’, ‘Godzilla 2′ to Eventually Form Trilogy at Warner Bros.
- Universal Wanted PG-13 ‘Crimson Peak’; Considers ‘Warcraft’ a “Problem Movie” [Updated]