Pacific Rim arrived in theaters back in 2013 with mostly positive reviews and earned a respectable $411 million at the worldwide box office. A sequel later followed, Pacific Rim: Uprising, though television director Stephen S. DeKnight (Daredevil) stepped in to replace the first movie's helmer, Guillermo del Toro.
Despite putting Star Wars actor John Boyega front and centre, the response to the movie wasn't anywhere near as good - 42% on Rotten Tomatoes compared to the first instalment's 72% - and it was something of a let-down at the box office.
Fans have long wondered why del Toro didn't return to helm the follow-up, particularly as building this world of kaiju and robots appeared to be a passion project. During a recent conversation with Collider (via SFFGazette.com), the filmmaker explained that, after a deposit wasn't put down on the Toronto soundstages he wanted to use, the delay meant he had to prioritise his eventual Oscar-winning movie The Shape of Water.
"We were getting ready to do it, it was different from the first, but it had a continuation of many of the things that I was trying to do. Then what happened is - I mean, this is why life’s crazy, right? - they had to give a deposit for the stages at 5pm or we would lose the stages in Toronto for many months."
"So, I said, 'Don't forget we're gonna lose the stages,' and five o'clock came and went, and we lost the stages. They said, 'Well, we can shoot it in China.' And I go, 'What do you mean we?' [Laughs] 'I’ve gotta go do Shape of Water.'"
As for why del Toro can't bring himself to watch Pacific Rim: Uprising (despite being credited as a producer), he explained, "I didn't see the final movie because that’s like watching home movies from your ex-wife. It is terrible if they're good and worse if they're bad, or the opposite. You don't wanna know. So, I didn't see it. I did read the final script, and it was very different. Some of the elements were the same but very different."
There have long been rumblings about a third Pacific Rim movie but we'd be shocked if it actually became a reality at this stage. It's been a decade since the first chapter was released and five years since the sequel; unfortunately, demand for any sort of follow-up appears to have largely fizzled out. Del Toro's return, however, could change things!
Take a look at the full interview with del Toro in the player below.