Guillermo del Toro has unveiled that Pacific Rim‘s sequel would have been entirely different under his helm. Pacific Rim, released in 2013, was del Toro’s wildly fun spin on the “human ingenuity in the face of annihilation” disaster epic. Humans synced body and mind with monstrous mechs to equally combat monstrous kaiju.
Such a film in the hands of a critically acclaimed genre auteur like del Toro was met with a mixed response, but those who loved it, sing its praises to this day. However, they do not carry the same candle for its sequel.
Initially, del Toro was formally attached to direct the sequel and had started to construct its narrative. One which would never come to fruition, due to the whiplash-inducing relationship changes between Warner Brothers, Universal, and Legendary at the time — also known as show business.
According to del Toro, Universal took “some elements” from his original ideas, but with the rundown of the story he gave The Wrap, it sounds mighty different. In Pacific Rim, the antagonists are the kaiju, massive monsters being controlled by beings from another dimension called the Precursors. As a continuation of that, del Toro’s sequel would have explored just who the Precursors were and why they were wreaking havoc.
“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. And so little by little, they started putting together this and they said, ‘Oh, he got them from the precursors.’ The guys that control the kaiju. And then we found out that the precursors are us thousands of years in the future,” del Toro explained. “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.”
Del Toro also wanted to see Mako Mori in an expanded role. “To me, the hero was Mako Mori. I wanted her not only to live, I wanted her to be one of the main characters in the second movie,” the director stated. However, Mori had a minimal role in Pacific Rim: Uprising.