The Oscar-winning Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro is most well-known for his gothic creature-feature dramas, including the likes of Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy and The Shape of Water, though in 2013 he bucked this trend with the passion project, Pacific Rim. An ode to the Kaiju films of old, Pacific Rim was a bombastic science fiction spectacle that didn’t capture the attention of critics, though certainly seized the imaginations of audiences.
So successful was the film that Warner Bros decided they wanted a sequel, and with Del Toro seemingly disinterested, they ploughed on regardless, making Pacific Rim Uprising in 2018 with director Steven S. DeKnight. Starring John Boyega, Scott Eastwood and Charlie Day, the film was a considerable flop, paling in comparison to Del Toro’s competently made, passionate original.
Three years after the release of the sequel, Guillermo Del Toro has revealed his initial plans for the sequel, with the director telling The Wrap that the film would have involved some pretty considerable time travel. As Del Toro told the publication, “The villain was this tech guy that had invented basically sort of the internet 2.0. And then they realized that all his patents came to him one morning”. Spiralling into complicated Pacific Rim lore, it turns out the Precursors, the tall, spindly creatures in the film, are actually humans thousands of years in the future.
So, it turns out humans were really the enemy, as Del Toro explains, “They’re trying to terraform, trying to re-harvest the earth to survive. Wow. And that we were in exo-bio-suits that looked alien, but they were not. We were inside. And it was a really interesting paradox”.
Sounding far more interesting than the sequel we eventually got, it’s a shame Guillermo Del Toro was never given the freedom to take the project where he wanted to.