Guillermo del Toro talks Pacific Rim 2 and why he didn’t return to direct

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Pacific Rim had many fans when it was released back in 2013 – a gigantic sci-fi blockbuster extravaganza, the film was directed by Guillermo del Toro and went on to gross over $411million across the globe. A sequel was just a matter of time and Pacific Rim: Uprising is production but is sans del Toro, who opted out and left the film under the guidance of Stephen S. DeKnight (Spartacus, Marvel’s Daredevil).

Del Toro had hoped to return for the film but speaking with Collider recently, the director said that a combination of timing and his desire to make passion project The Shape of Water was too much to squeeze in the sequel. He said:

“The timing started to suck. I had this little movie that I wanted to do, The Shape of Water, very, very much. At one point it was [between] Justice League Dark or Pacific Rim, I said, ‘Let’s go to Pacific Rim.’ The reality is they said, ‘We’re gonna need to postpone,’ because they were changing hands—Legendary was going to be sold to China, to a Chinese company [the Wanda Group]. They said, ‘We’ve gotta wait nine months’ and I said, ‘I’m not waiting nine months, I’m shooting a movie,’ and I went and shot [The Shape of Water] and we chose Steven DeKnight.”

While he isn’t on-board as director, del Toro is still producing the film (as well as writing the story for the film) and has been as involved as he can be with the sequel. On his producer role, del Toro continued:

It’s going great. I see dailies every day, I see early cuts, I see teasers. They’re doing great. It lets him have his style, lets him have his notion of the characters. I wrote a screenplay, developed two or three drafts of that screenplay—this is different than what I developed, and I’m OK. A producer is in the corner, the director is in the ring. The producer’s not getting the punches, the director is, so shut up, wait in the corner, refresh the towel and wait for the director to come to you.

Pacific Rim: Uprising stars John Boyega (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Scott Eastwood (The Fate of the Furious) and Jing Tian (Kong: Skull Island) with Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Burn Gorman among those reprising their roles from the original. The film is released on February 23rd, 2018.

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