Exclusive: Guillermo del Toro Talks PACIFIC RIM Animated Series; Says It’s Envisioned as a Long Arc That Connects to PACIFIC RIM 2, Not Episodic

     July 10, 2014


When Legendary Pictures and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro broke the news that Pacific Rim 2 was indeed moving forward with del Toro at the helm, fans were enthused to hear that they’d be returning to the rich, colorful world that del Toro had created in the first film.  However, Legendary and del Toro dropped another surprising nugget of information at the same time, revealing that they’re also moving forward on an animated series adaptation of Pacific Rim.  Details were scarce, but given how full del Toro’s Pacific Rim world seemed to be, an animated series iteration seemed like a perfect fit for the material.

Steve recently spoke with del Toro in anticipation of his upcoming FX series The Strain, and the filmmaker discussed the Pacific Rim animated series at length, revealing that it’s being envisioned as a long arc that bridges the gap between Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim 2 rather than an episodic series where adventures are wrapped up within the span of one episode.  He also talked about the kind of network they’re looking for, the show’s focus on new characters, and more.  Read on after the jump.

pacific-rim-2-guillermo-del-toroDel Toro moves into pre-production on Pacific Rim 2 this August in anticipation of the film’s release on April 7, 2017, but he said they’re already deep into development on the Pacific Rim animated series:

“We are right now in the middle of talking and negotiating with a few Japanese companies for the animation.  We are talking to a couple of showrunners that have a strong animation background, [we’re] casting the writers room.  What’s great is it’s a great set-up and a link between the first movie and the second movie.  It really enhances the mythology of the characters; we have cameos of characters from the first movie, but mostly it’s a new set of characters.  New jaegers, except for one or two, [and] new kaijus.  It’s really fun.”

Del Toro added that Neca and the other collector and toy lines have all been wildly successful for Pacific Rim, so the property is a lucrative one.  As for details regarding the animated TV show, del Toro said it will be very much in the spirit of the film:

“We’re going for a long arc, so the idea is to show a group of characters—we have pilots, functional jaegers, but we have all these younger characters.  I really want to explore things that are complimentary to the things that I want to explore in the second movie: drift, what drifting does to you, what is needed to drift, a lot of stuff that I think is important, but also the jaeger technology, the kaijus being evolved, ideas about the precursors—the guys that control the kaijus.  We have a lot of leeway in 13 episodes and I wanna make it sort of in the same spirit of Pacific Rim, which is the ideal audience for Pacific Rim was young—very young, 11-year-olds and so forth—but with really beautiful design and stories that make these characters interesting in a way that I found them interesting in, for example, Year Zero, the graphic novel that we did.  And I think that’s the basic thrust of the thing.”

pacific-rim-rinko-kikuchi-3The filmmaker said this initial run is planned for 13 episodes, and while the show will likely skew young, del Toro is adamant that it not turn into an episodic, “story of the week” series:

“If it connects we’ll go on [to more seasons], but the thing is I don’t want it to be weekly adventures.  I don’t want it to be like Chapter One is a little action thing and it gets resolved in 40 minutes or an hour and then the next episode, [it’s like] nothing happened.  My favorite anime series always have a long arc.”

As for exactly where this thing might air, negotiations are ongoing but del Toro and Legendary are open to any possibility:

“Legendary is talking to a few outlets so I’d rather not disclose myself.  The way we set up The Strain was to talk to everyone, literally, on the map, and then find who’s response we sort of jibe with the most.  I think in this series, it would be great to find a place that can give it a proper presentation and can advertise the creation of the series.  So we’re open to being pleasantly surprised everywhere.”

Since animation takes a while to produce, we’ll likely hear more firm word about the Pacific Rim series soon.  I, for one, am eager to dive back into the Pacific Rim world in animated form.  Look for more with del Toro soon and click here if you missed out story on how he’s making a small, black and white movie early next year before Pacific Rim 2.