In 2013, director Guillermo del Toro unleashed his baby, Pacific Rim, onto the world. The tale of monsters vs robots did…modestly well for itself, hauling in $411 million worldwide. Not enough for the sequel to be green lit instantly, but also enough to ensure that it wasn’t ruled out altogether. Del Toro has been pushing for the sequel ever since, and though it was indefinitely put on hold last year, it’s now been confirmed that it will be forging ahead with a release. One small issue though: Guillermo del Toro won’t be returning to direct.
It almost seems inconceivable that he won’t be back for Pacific Rim 2. The first film was oozing with visual style, beautifully designed and bombastic in scale. It had Guillermo del Toro’s fingerprints all over it. Instead, an interesting choice has been made. Steven S. DeKnight, showrunner on Marvel’s Daredevil, and creator of the Spartacus TV series steps in as the new director. It’ll be his first directorial gig, so it’s difficult to judge what path he will lead the franchise down. A path to somewhere big though, it would seem.
There’s no doubting that the loss of Guillermo del Toro from any given project is going to hurt. Just imagine how differently The Hobbit films could have turned out if he’d been able to see them through as had initially been planned. But he’s also a busy man for sure. Just take a look at his long list of upcoming and ongoing projects as director, writer and producer on IMDb. He’s got a lot on his plate, so perhaps it was coming.
Pacific Rim was a film so much in del Toro’s wheelhouse that his involvement in any sequel was always going to be a big part of the appeal. He will produce the film, which is something, but for now we shall mourn his departure. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t go the way that the Monsters sequel Dark Continent went after Gareth Edwards handed over the reins.
We’ll find out before too long. In the meantime, dust of your Jaegers, because there are more Kaiju incoming!