While Pacific Rim 2 has certainly been picking up steam recently as new director Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil Season 1) preps the film to finally start shooting, we’ve heard precious little about how the story will continue. Pacific Rim set up a number of relationships and characters that could be expanded upon in the sequel, and indeed director Guillermo del Toro previously teased that the follow-up would find Charlie Day’s character becoming a major figure in terms of plot.
However, since that time Universal wavered on whether to greenlight the project, and when DeKnight stepped in to direct, del Toro shifted to a producer role on the follow-up. We know that John Boyega is ostensibly the star of this sequel, playing the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost as well as producing the film, but what about Charlie Hunnam or Rinko Kikuchi’s characters? Is Pacific Rim 2 maintaining only the universe from the first film?
THR recently spoke with del Toro who, while respecting the fact that DeKnight is the film’s director, did tease that we can expect some returning cast members:
“As a producer I learned not to declare anything about a movie I’m not directing. I can tell you this — a lot of the cast from the first movie is coming back. I leave those communications to Steven DeKnight. He’s not only a director, but he’s actually a guy I respect and admire and it’s his movie.”
We recently heard that Scott Eastwood was in talks for a role in the picture, but it’ll be interesting to see who, exactly, comes back from the first film and what role they have to play in the follow-up. There’s no guarantee that Day also has the same significant role that del Toro initially intended, as the filmmaker tells THR that when DeKnight was hired to direct, he gave him control over the story he wanted to tell:
“The the sequel takes some ideas that we created for the animated series originally. I think we need to let the live-action lead. When we went with Steven we showed him everything we were developing and he said, ‘I like this from this universe, I like this from this element, I want to bring them into the movie.’”
The animated series del Toro is referring to is the in-development TV adaptation of Pacific Rim, but it sounds like that’s on hold a bit while everyone’s focused on the sequel. And in terms of story, del Toro noted that Pacific Rim 2 takes place in a postwar world, so they’ll be exploring that aspect of the universe:
“It’s easy to expand cause you have not only the Jaeger-human universe and the Kaiju-alien universe, but (also) the fact that you are now able to play in a very history-filled universe. We started the war with the Kaiju, we won the war with the Kaiju and now it’s a postwar of those two universes.”
I was a big fan of the world-building that went into Pacific Rim and was immediately eager to spend more time in the universe, so I’m excited to dive into Pacific Rim 2 even though it’s a tad disappointing that del Toro isn’t at the helm. Here’s hoping DeKnight has put together a worthwhile follow-up. Pacific Rim 2 is slated for release on February 23, 2018.