Del Toro promises 'very different' Pacific Rim 2, teases animated series

Now that we’re officially getting a sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s awesome robots-vs.-monsters flick Pacific Rim, we’re keen to hear what he has to say about his plans for the followup.

The director chatted with the Wall Street Journal about several of his pending projects, including the nifty new Pacific Rim sequel and animated series. Del Toro had some very interesting things to say about the big-screen sequel, talking about the work that went into establishing the world and how they’re ready to finally get to play in it with part two:

“We are three years away, so to spoil anything would be fantastically silly of me. What I can tell you: [screenwriter Zak Penn] and I really went in, we started with [screenwriter Travis Beacham] about a year and a half ago, kicking ideas back and forth. And, admittedly, I said to Zak, let’s keep kicking ideas till we find one that really, really turns the first movie on its ear, so to speak. (…) It was hard to create a world that did not come from a comic book, that had its own mythology, so we had to sacrifice many aspects to be able to cram everything in the first movie. 

Namely, for example “the Drift” (editor’s note: the neural link between pilots of the giant robots, or jaegers), which was an interesting concept. [Then there was] this portal that ripped a hole into the fabric of our universe, what were the tools they were using? And we came up with a really, really interesting idea. I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.”

As for that pending animated series based on the film? It sounds like del Toro wants to use the change in medium to dig deeper into the world of Pacific Rim, and as huge fans of monster battles and giant robots, we’re glad to hear it. It could be interesting to delve into the training process and Drift tech, and moving things into animation should allow them to put together some even crazier battle scenes. Sounds good to us:

“We are talking about all the possibilities in terms of networks. We’re formulating ideas that are, again, interesting and not the usual route, but the series tackles the stories that happened to pilots working in the Shatterdome (editor’s note: a building where jaegers are built and maintained and pilots train), but also cadets learning how to become pilots. All of this happens prior to the first movie, and it gives you a little more depth into the background of certain characters that will appear in the second movie. So it’s really expanding the material. I was incredibly happy with the comic book series that came about from a graphic novel called ‘Tales From Year Zero,’ and we are continuing the tales for the next three years.

So by the time the second movie comes out, you will have probably one year of the animation airing, and you will have three years of the comic book series ongoing, so we are trying for all these things to be canon, to be in the same universe, to not wing anything, so that if anyone … a lot of kids, for example, have discovered Pacific Rim through the toys. They come in through the toys, and then they watch the movie, and then they learn this, they learn that through the movie or the comic book series, so we’re trying to make it canon so we can expand the universe. And by the time we come into the second movie, you have a good feel for the world, and we can dedicate ourselves to character and ideas and spectacle.”

Pacific Rim 2 is set for release in April 2017, and judging by the comments here, the animated series could debut a year earlier, in mid-2016. What’s your take on what del Toro’s pitching?

(Via Wall Street Journal)

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