This week, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures were rumored to have sent Pacific Rim 2, previously scheduled for August 2017, into the scrap heap.
But Director Guillermo del Toro says not all is lost: In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the filmmaker says his team “are still turning in a screenplay and a budget in three weeks” and that “it’s not gone” but it may miss its previously scheduled 2017 release.
“It moved further,” he said to EW. “I may do another movie in the middle.”
It just hasn’t been Del Toro’s summer: His anticipated entry into the Silent Hill franchise, Silent Hills — a collaboration between Metal Gear Solid auteur Hideo Kojima and The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus — was unceremoniously canceled in the midst of Kojima’s feud with publisher Konami earlier this year.
Around that same time, talk of Hellboy 3 turned south despite del Toro’s (and Hellboy fans’) passion for the franchise.
We live in the age of tentpole franchises. Pacific Rim, a.k.a. Better Transformers, seems like a no-brainer for the machine to gobble up and regurgitate onto lunchboxes and Halloween costumes. But for some reason, Del Toro’s dreamy, unearthly style just isn’t palatable for the wider audience.
During its summer release in 2013, Pacific Rim underperformed in the domestic box office, earning just over $100 million despite its total budget of an estimated $190 million. But the film performed extremely well overseas, particularly in China, putting its worldwide gross north of $400 million.
Still, earning a billion has become the new expectation for potential franchises to live to tomorrow. This year’s Jurassic World grossed up to a billion worldwide and its sequel was promptly greenlit, while Terminator: Genisys — sitting at about $440 million worldwide — has an uncertain future.
“I can tell you this, if I was a billionaire, I would definitely do Hellboy 3, Pacific Rim 2, and At the Mountains of Madness,” he joked with EW. “And I would quickly become a millionaire.”
Guillermo del Toro’s next film, Crimson Peak, is out October 16. Maybe fall will be kinder to the director.