If you were a fan of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, you were likely rather chuffed when a sequel was eventually announced. Well, I hope you’re sitting comfortable and have access to something chocolate based as I’m afraid there is some bad news on Pacific Rim 2.
The long and short of the situation is that Pacific Rim 2 is officially on indefinite hiatus at Universal and is unlikely to get made. The specifics of how and why this has happened are vast and complex, for a detailed insight, please ready the Forbes article and the original THR bulletin. I will do my best to provide you with a brisk summarisation of the fact with a healthy plop of speculation.
The signs that all wasn’t well with Legendary Pictures and Universal emerged last week with news that Skull Island was moving to Warner Bros. IGN reported that the cause for the move was Legendary Pictures’ Thomas Tull requesting 25% of the production budget from Universal. Ordinarily, this is how co-financing deals are struck, but Universal were skeptical that the project was in good shape and passed. Other reports claim that Universal was concerned over the escalating budget, and Tull was unwilling to compromise. Thomas Tull has amassed a reputation for taking more credit that he has earned on blockbusters like The Dark Knight and Jurassic World.
Part of the reason Pacific Rim 2 has been shelved could very well be down to the record-breaking year Universal has had. Smash hits such as Minions, Furious 7, Jurassic World, Pitch Perfect 2 and even the Fifty Shades of Grey movies made money hand over fist. As such, a franchise starter that cost more than $200 million (with marketing) and only made $101 million domestically, suddenly doest seem like a smart move. The saving grace of Pacific Rim was a massive international box office of $311 million (a third of that from China). Pacific Rim 2 might just be a costly gamble the studio are unwilling to take as the first film very nearly wound up being a flop. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a Pacific Rim 2, but I’m more in favour of Del Toro finishing Hellboy or moving on to fresh ideas.
In case you needed reminding, Del Toro’s return to horror arrives in cinemas this October when the Crimson Peak is unleashed.