PACIFIC RIM 2 Script Underway by Guillermo del Toro and Zak Penn; Current Version Includes Raleigh Becket and Mako Mori

     June 8, 2014


While Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim didn’t exactly set the domestic box office on fire, its $400+ million worldwide earning made a sequel a strong possibility for Legendary Pictures.  As such, del Toro recently revealed that he and screenwriter Zak Penn have been working in secret on a script for a sequel, though he stresses that the studio has yet to formally agree to put it into production.  Dispelling rumors that the follow-up film to the mega-mecha feature will actually be a prequel, del Toro said that this picture would follow the events of the first.  Also, the current version of the script includes Raleigh Becket and Mako Mori, played by Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi in the first film.  Hit the jump for more from del Toro himself.

pacific-rim-2-script-guillermo-del-toroWhile doing promotional tours for his FX horror series The Strain, del Toro talked to Buzzfeed about his surprising progress on the Pacific Rim 2 script:

“I’m working very, very hard with Zak Penn.  We’ve been working for a few months now in secret. We found a way to twist it around. Travis Beacham [co-writer of the first film, now working on Fox’s Hieroglyph] was involved in the storyline and now I’m writing with Zak because Travis has become a TV mogul.”

Penn has a Jekyll-and-Hyde screenwriting career as he’s worked on scripts for X-Men 2, The Incredible Hulk, and The Avengers, but also Inspector Gadget, Elektra, and X-Men: The Last Stand.  There’s no telling which version of Penn we’ll get on this script, but what we do know is that it won’t be a prequel story:

“Some people were wondering if we were going to do the prequel. I was never interested in doing that first wave of invasion.  I’m going for very new, very crazy ideas on the second one, which are very different from the first one — but you will get really great spectacle.”

pacific-rim-2-script-guillermo-del-toroFor those of you wondering whether or not del Toro will be back at the helm, Legendary’s CEO Thomas Tull commented on that fact recently with I Am Rogue:

On another subject, there’s a rumor that Legendary is working on a Pacific Rim 2. Can you confirm or deny that?

Tull: Here’s the deal. We’re very close with Guillermo. He’s doing Crimson Peak for us right now. With the amount of money that we did on Pacific Rim, over $400 million, it didn’t quite hit our expectations, but it did better than a lot of other films. If there’s another great story to tell with Guillermo then we’re all over it because we think it’s really hard to create one of these things from scratch. The movie did really well on home video and merchandise, and it certainly has a big international following. We’re not just going to do Pacific Rim 2 just to do it. Right now we’re talking to Guillermo del Toro. If we can crack the story, we all think it’s great, and it’s him at the helm, then fantastic. But right now there’s nothing going on officially to proclaim.

For fans of Pacific Rim, myself included, this all bodes well for another installment of the robot-vs-monsters movie; as long as they don’t open against Grown Ups 3.


  • Jack le Critic

    Pacific Rim 2: Return to the Rimming…I’d actually welcome the sequel – as a brash popcorn movie with irritating characters (like all movies these days) it was perfectly good…not awesome, but decent.

  • Daniel O’Reilly

    The original is fun, if somewhat excessively melodramatic. Del Toro will hopefully bring out the best in Penn (at least more so than he did with Chuck Hogan and The Strain Trilogy).

    • Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño

      I don’t know if you mean that as compliment or if Chuck Hogan wasn’t on his best shape while writing The Strain…

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        Hogan generally does decent work, he’s just not very consistent (Thief of Thieves, the basis for The Town, is great up until the final few chapters). The Strain is by no means terrible, but the dialogue and characters are so generic at times they kill a lot of interest in a great premise. As a TV series, the books will probably work better. Del Toro is at his best when he can match his writing with his filmmaking and has good actors to take the edge off clunky dialogue.

      • randommale7

        I think Del Toro’s clunky dialogue comes from him starting with Spanish films. In his Spanish films the dialogue flows wonderfully but in his English films he does the same kind of dialogue but because it is in English it feels disjointed.

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        True. My favorite Del Toro films (The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth) are both in Spanish.

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        True. My favorite Del Toro films (The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth) are both in Spanish.

      • agent777

        Del Tero is at his best in Spanish.

      • Diego Fernando Salazar Proaño

        You know, I find interesting that the same thing happens in spanish when you use the english dialogue template (if you can call it that): it sounds great in Northamerican movies but when spoken by latin-american actors in Spanish it sounds like crap. I can’t really feel The Strain clunky dialogue because I read the books in spanish but I’ve seen most of Del Toro’s english movies in english and I couldn’t really tell it was clunky (not the best either though).

    • BigJimSlade

      Del Toro’s direction of the empty-gazed blonde protagonist makes Sam Worthington seem like the next Bruce Willis or Tom Cruise. And I know Idris Elba is hardly a great actor, but what happened with him in that?

      • Matt

        You really think Idris Elba is hardly a great actor? Which of his works have you seen and not liked?

  • Oliver Queen

    Pacific Rim was one of my favourite films of 2013 so i’m very much looking forward to this. Good article!

  • pedro

    I was the whole film thinking the guy was channing tatum

  • MJ

    I hope they use the same composer. That music was awesome.

    • agent777

      Same composer as Game of Thrones.

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        And Iron Man. Marvel would have done well to keep him around.

      • Liderc

        Yeah, Marvel is making great decisions like letting Edgar Wright go and hiring the guy who made Bring It On to direct Ant-Man lol.

    • Pk

      Yeah his name is Ramin djawadi

  • GrimReaper07

    After the disappointment that was Godzilla I’m more than ready for more Pacific Rim. People talk about “great” build up in the former but the latter did it far better. Every battle felt enormous and important.

    • agent777

      Your surly entitled to your own opinion, but Pacific Rim, as a kaiju film was pure garbage and contained not one spark of what makes kaiju films like Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra the classics that they are. Compared to the recent, amazing Gamera trilogy from the 90′s (all three combined cost a fraction of Pacific Rim) Pacific Rim is a nothing film. A stop gap until the real thing returned. I should say the only reason I paid to see PR was because of a interview with del Toro where he talks about how much he was influenced by the Japanese kaiju films. I only wish I saw where that influence was.

      Godzilla 2014 was firmly in the mold of the classics, was not gut shot with plot holes like Pacific Rim, and actually developed the enemy monsters, the MUTO, into creatures with motivation and pathos. The scene where they performed there mating ritual added more depth than any of the many monster scenes in Pacific Rim. Not to mention that the human story carried a lot more emotional weight, etc. Godzilla 2014 has “the old stuff” which of course will disappoint those looking for the “new stuff”, which is what Pacific Rim was.

      • Lint

        Dickhead! Quit with the Godzilla spoilers. Not everyone has seen it yet!

      • Brian James

        Godzilla ruled, agreed. PR was a travesty, an embarassment to Daikaiju Eiga, and I can never get that running time of my life back!

      • BigJimSlade

        “A kaiju film”?

        Come on… Before the marketing for Pacific Rim, people NEVER said “kaiju”. It was not used in the old movies’ subtitles, marketing, reviews, etc. Del Toro’s marketing group uses it like it’s going out of style and now every Michael Bay/Del Toro fan speaks Japanese?

      • agent777

        Yeah… the genera is called Kaiju Eiga. I watch thse films in Japanese, trust me that say kaiju, alot.

        Also I’m not a Michale Bay or Del Toro fan. I’m a Ishiro Honda and Akira Kurosawa fan.

      • GrimReaper07


        Pacific Rim knew what it was and did it perfectly: Power Rangers for adults. It didn’t have high pretensions and it didn’t need them. It was a popcorn monsters vs. robots films and it pulled it off amazingly. One of the most entertaining original action films in years. I don’t care about its aspirations. It draws from them, of course, but for my money, except for the original Godzilla most of them are terrible. I judged it on its own merits instead of how it compares to the rest of the genre. If anything it was better because of how it deviated from the rest.

        Godzilla 2014 is a mess. Its neither fun, engaging nor does it have much to say that hasn’t been said much better in the original film. I completely disagree with you on the human drama as well; while Pacific Rim’s wasn’t Shakespeare, it was more than enough to have us relate to the characters and root for them. The characters in Godzilla are shallow and with barely any personality except for Cranston (who not only appears for the first 20 mins or so, but also delivers one of his worst performances). I tend to like Taylor-Johnson and Olsen, but their characters are barely more than plot devices. The former in particular is the lead character and is so generic to the point of being unreleatable. Watanabe and Hawkins are two other amazing actors who are given barely anything to do (just stare and deliver expository dialogue). Pacific Rim’s plot holes can be easily forgiven because of how intentionally crazy the story is, but its harder to ignore Godzilla’s because it takes itself so seriously. Am I really supposed to believe the MUTO’s and Godzilla run into the Brody family anywhere they go? Just completely by accident? And why am I supposed to care about him if he doesn’t seem to care about entire cities being leveled? Godzilla’s little screen time would be easy to forgive if the human characters (who are far worse than any of Pacific Rim’s 3 leads) could carry the film, but they can’t. Instead we’re left with an hour and a half of poorly paced, badly written tedium. The final action scene redeemed the film for many but it still isn’t close to being better than any of Pacific Rim’s fights.

        Also – and this is a criticism to the Godzilla franchise as a whole – it doesn’t make sense for the movie to be an allegory of the dangers of the nuclear bomb if Godzilla (who was born from it) ends up being humanity’s savior. That’s what the original was about. In this one (and many other of its sequels) the nuclear bomb is both humanity’s destruction and solution. What exactly are they trying to say then? Again, wouldn’t be that big of a deal if the movie didn’t take itself so seriously.

        Also no, the MUTO’s mating didn’t add any depth to them anymore than Godzilla protecting its children in the previous American version did. They also looked pretty stupid.

        The only good things I can say about the new Godzilla are that its not embarrassingly bad, Godzilla’s design is badass, that final battle is pretty cool (though it doesn’t live up to the enormous expectations) and the final kill is excellent. It’s not as bad as the previous American Godzilla movie, but its not that far off. Cracked explained some things better than I did in this article too:

      • agent777

        It’s not the best Godzilla film, but it’s at lest on par with Casino Royale, and it’s the come back film for one of the greatest franchises ever.

        But your point seems to be that Pacific Rim aimed to be stupid, and succeed at being stupid entertainment.

        The monsters of the Godzilla-verse are forces of nature. They are caught in world that is not of there making. If you want to get into why Godzilla became a super hero in the 70′s, then you would have to get into the collapse of the Japanese film industry, but the first decades worth of Sci-Fi films that came out in the wake of the 1954 Godzilla are among the best sci-fi films every. Anything after that is icing on the cake, but it those later films that were shown the most in the U.S.. So your criticism of the series is founded in ignorance.

      • Batt Damon

        You did not just compare Godzilla to Casino Royale? Godzilla was atrociously written, the acting was flat and the dialogue was weak as piss. Godzilla stomped his way through plot holes. Casino Royale was a great film that reinvigorated a franchise. At best Godzilla entertained a few people for a few hours and filled up a release slot. Nothing more, nothing less. Sure, Gareth Edwards showed a lot of promise as a director, mostly by borrowing heavily from Spielberg, but the material wasn’t good enough to back it up. It was a movie made by committee.

      • agent777

        Have you read the book Casino Royale? There were some very weak points. It is the perfect comparison though. They both jump started a long running, beloved franchise that had gone of hiatus. Godzilla has been a franchise since 1954… Doctor No initiated Bond as a franchise in 1962.

        But Godzilla has another leg up on Bond, as Godzilla is a creature born of cinema. He is cinematic, pure and simple. Bond is a literary creation who has translated well to the screen.

        Least we forget Martin Campbell followed Bond with the flop Green Lantern and most fanboys (not me) picked on the Casino Royale follow-up Quantum of Solice mercilessly. If a franchise films is halfway good, and regenerates interest, than in my book, it’s a success, they may have flaws, but what do you expect from a 60 year old franchise?

      • GrimReaper07

        Yeah, those movies were some of the best sci-fi films of all time, but I’m definitely not including the Godzilla sequels with them. Not all of them are terrible, but those that aren’t are the exception. You’re making the claim that I don’t know about those sci-fi gems from the 50′s and 60′s without foundation too.

        There’s absolutely no chance the new Godzilla is on par with Casino Royale. The latter is not only a fantastic comeback film, its among the best James Bond films of all time. I have a problem even calling Godzilla mediocre, it’s just plain bad.

        Pacific Rim is dumb fun, but its dumb fun with a heart, which is much more than I can say about the new Godzilla. You can tell the amount of passion and effort that went into every aspect of making it, be it the jaw dropping art design, the fantastic cinematography, and a script that doesn’t forget how silly the premise is but takes itself with enough seriousness to give its characters the humanity to make us relate to them and excellent pacing. You can feel Del Toro’s passion emanating from every aspect of production in that movie. Godzilla, on the other hand, is a lifeless husk of a movie without soul or any character development. The movie just advances through one mediocre Godzilla-less action scene to another under the guise that they’re building up the final action scene. Not only is any goodwill lost in the way, but they do it wrong by cutting away from the fight in Hawaii where Ford (our POV character) sees Godzilla fight. We don’t. They cut away to a child seeing the fight on tv. It’s cute and I chuckled, but it was insulting and it hurt a film that up until the final minutes has absolutely nothing going for it.

      • agent777

        Maybe we saw different Godzilla movies… or maybe your doing to Godzilla what I’m doing to Pacific Rim? I know alot of people who saw both films, and everyone I know (a diverse lot of people and not people who go one movie websites) hated Pacific Rim.

        I am responding to some one who was slapping Godzilla in favor of Pacific Rim, so to make my argument I sortof have to address the flaws with Pacific Rim.

        Still, the best thing any one can say is that is succeeds as a stupid popcorn movie, and frankly most Godzilla sequels do better than that.

      • GrimReaper07

        The only good thing I’ve heard about the new Godzilla is the final fight, which IMO was still lackluster and didn’t live up to the painful build-up. Also, I never called Pacific Rim stupid, just fun. You forget that some of the greatest action movies of all time (Raiders of the Lost Arc, Die Hard, among them) aren’t known for their smarts. I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t liked Pacific Rim and know only a few who thought Godzilla was ok (and a whole lot who hated it and say its the biggest lost potential they’ve seen since Man of Steel).

      • pandapool

        I just had to chime in to say this:
        “Casino Royale” is 10x better than the new “Godzilla.”

        Seriously, let’s be honest with ourselves.

    • Liderc

      Seriously? I couldn’t ever see the fights in Pacific Rim, they were always so dark and rainy. I saw it in IMAX and then at home on my plasma, which shows blacks better than any other viewing experience and it was still impossible to see most of the fighting. The story was cheesy, which I can live with, but making your movie so dark and rainy that people can’t see it is kind of pointless.

      • GrimReaper07

        Dunno about your IMAX theatre but I could see just fine. I also recently rewatched it on a plane with their horrible little screens and I could follow the action all the time. The darkness and rain add an atmosphere and tension that elevate it beyond what Transformers or Godzilla did as well. Also, I felt the movie itself was intentionally cheesy. I’ve heard it being called “Power Rangers for adults”, which is fair enough, but I have trouble seeing how that is a bad thing cause it sounds amazing to me.

      • agent777

        It also makes it easier to do the VFX. If it’s raining all the time it covers up the flaws with the CGI.

      • GrimReaper07

        It’s actually the complete opposite. It’s much harder. Not only do they have to animate the jaegers and kaiju’s, they also have to animate each raindrop fall unto them, study how they’d reflect light, how they’d bounce off each individual surface, etc.

      • agent777

        So that’s why Peter Jackson said Helm’s Deep was easier to film than Pelenor Fields…………..

      • GrimReaper07

        Yes, I’m sure rain is the only thing that separates the two in terms of difficulty to make.

  • verasgunn

    This is almost certainly only happening because of how well the movie performed in China. 111m, which is more than it made in the United States. If they really want to make this movie they should probably approach DMG, or another chinese studio to work in conjunction with.

    • anders

      Or not let the Chinese crew die ten seconds into battle

  • Tom

    Pacific Rimmed: Kaiju Boogaloo.

  • Bailey

    My wish list: Daytime battle please.

    • Person

      Kaiju only come out when it’s dark and rainy, they work in tandem with their VFX artists.

  • Person

    I love Pacific Rim, but truth be told, the story is basically done. I wouldn’t be disappointed if we never got a sequel. Still, exciting news, hopefully we get it by 2017 if at all.

    • Frank

      Yeah, that’s my feeling as well. They wrapped everything up quite nicely in the first movie; I can’t say I’d be especially interested in a Terminator-esque franchise where it’s like “oh, they opened up ANOTHER rift.”

      My hope was that, instead of starting a franchise, it would open the door to new Kaijuu and/or giant robot movies.

    • verasgunn

      They could easily do a prequel showing the time shortly after the rift opens and the development of the Jaegers, which has already been easily outlined by the graphic novel.

      I recall Del Toro the sequel featuring Kaiju/Jaeger hybrids, which could work well for a sequel where the PPDC goes on the offensive instead of remaining defensive.

      • Person

        I remember that comment, too. The idea sounds interesting enough, but they’d need to build a solid story around it. The weakest aspect of PacRim, by far, was the script, so if they make a sequel I’d really like it to be stronger in that department.

        And it’d be nice if a rift opened at the top of a mountain or in a wide open field or something, so we could get some new variety in the fight scenes. Something in the daytime, nice and sunny, on a mountain or in a desert or something like that.

  • autokarma

    I really enjoyed Pacific Rim. It was a bit cheesy, but I’ve always been a big mecha fan.

    As much as I’d like to see a second installment, I don’t think they need it. The movie had a pretty good conclusion. I don’t know where they could go from there.

    I still dream of the day they make a Mech Warrior / Battletech movie. Now that we have the VFX tech capable of doing one justice.

  • eternalozzie

    I never saw Giant Robots Vs Generic Godzilla 1 … I better catch up or I’ll be lost at the sequel.

  • Brian James

    Please let this terrible idea die. Atrocious “film”.

    • The Flobbit

      Please let this terrible commenter die. Atrocious “human”.

      • Brian James

        Yes, death to all people who dislike shitty movies! And curse them to the seven hells for daring to post it publicly!

      • The Flobbit

        Yes, death to all people who have zero taste in movies. And curse them to the seven hells for daring to pretend to be smart.

      • Brian James

        As opposed to the really intelligent people with great taste who defend shit like Pacific Rim? Are you 13 years old? Perhaps you are just “special”. I apologize, if so. No matter what, you still have to wake up every single day and be you, perhaps it is bliss! What are the rest of us missing?!?

        Listen junior, piss off. I am far from the only person who adores films and thought PR was a fucking travesty. A terrible travesty. It made me fucking ill. I’m sorry to bust on your heroes, but LIVE WITH IT.


  • Liderc

    Awful movie, sequel talk should be killed. Edge of Tomorrow was a more engaging sci-fi film, and you could actually SEE the fights unlike in Pacific Rim.

    I should like Del toro, but i don’t. He’s just always overrated, everyone always speaks so highly of him but his films have always let me down. Not sure, maybe it’s just me.

    • agent777

      I really like his Spanish stuff. Devil’s Backbone is pretty darn good. But his English stuff is like a flat soda. Also pillaging ideas from Lovecraft instead of just doing an outright adaptation of one of his stories is getting old,

      • randommale7

        He was going to adapt at the mountains of madness but then financing fell through and Prometheus came out which is kind of similar in plot…

  • Pacula Allen

    “For fans of Pacific Rim, myself included, this all bodes well for another installment of the robot-vs-monsters movie; as long as they don’t open against Grown Ups 3.”

    Unfortunately, Sandler just had a flop in Blended, so he will try to regain his BO clout with Grown Ups 3 :(

    Btw, how will the dealings be ? Legendary will produce and Universal will distribute ? Or will Warner still distribute ?

  • Zenexo

    Zak Penn needs to stop being credited for films that were completely rewritten.

  • tarek

    If Jim Cameron is involved in this project, It will make a trillion $.

  • BigJimSlade

    Will the kids that liked this terrible movie even be young enough to enjoy the sequel by the time it’s released?

    How Del Toro keeps getting funding for his project, I’ll never understand. The good will from Pan’s Labyrinth can’t last forever. Guy isn’t much better than George Lucas on a bad day…

  • Jamie

    We need to keep giving them corage to get it done I really want to see PACIFIC RIM 2 because I’m a #1 fan of pacific rim!!!!!

  • Faptain America

    I’m pretty sure their big sequel idea is going to be “the underground aliens called for backup”. Spaceships land. More fights.
    Raleigh and Mako make a baby in a Jaeger and name it Slacker Bucket.
    Also the sequel adds Aaron Taylor-Johnson to see who can act less, him or Charlie Hunnam.

    • Jamie

      No I don’t think that’s going to happen

      • Faptain America

        Yeah? What’ll happen then?

      • Jamie

        Ummmm… married

      • Jamie

        They might have kid and he/she becomes a jäger pilot

      • Faptain America

        Wouldn’t it be great if one of them gets infected with kaiju blood and the resulting baby is…a little kaiju?
        In fact, what if this gives Mako the power to drift with the kaiju race, something like only she can save the world using this power….

      • Jamie

        I guess your right it would prolly be part human and part monster so the monster kid

      • Jamie

        My uncle thought it would be cool to have it were the jägers were battling in space because they did destroy the breach and how would water monsters come back would there be an Atlantic rim?

      • Faptain America

        If they’re fighting in space they can just WhatsApp Voltron for help.

      • Jamie

        If they were not fighting in space then were would the monsters come from? Space? Clouds? The breach got exploded with a nuclear bomb so were are the monsters going to come from?

      • Faptain America

        I have yet another idea. The kaiju wise up and hack the Jaegers, so now the last good jaeger piloted by Raleigh and Mako has to fight both space kaiju and bad jaegers.

      • Jamie

        That would probly not earn them much

  • Jamie

    I’m just confused…………..are they making new jägers? What is the deal for the robots?

  • Jamie

    I’m hope they have a jäger similar to Gipsy Danger!

  • Captain Ron

    Anyone who bought a ticket opening weekend to Grown Ups 2 over Pacific Rim should be buttfucked into a coma.

  • Tyler

    Pacific Rim was a really great underrated movie. One of the best films of 2013. I am very, very excited to see the second film!

  • Nemesis11

    Common man. just make At the Mountains of the Madness first. Then u can do whatever you want to do with your life.

  • Royale With Cheese

    I’m sure it was the studios idea to have Jax Teller in the first one but please, for the love of everything good in this world, do not bring him back.

    • Person

      The Aussie guy? Didn’t he… expire?

      • Royale With Cheese

        Charlie Hunnam? No, he’s alive and well, doing another season of Sons of Anarchy.

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  • Strong Enough

    yeah writing a script is one thing, making the movie is another.

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