In a brief video released by Legendary Pictures this evening, director Guillermo del Toro announced to the world that plans are going forward for a sequel to the 2013 sci-fi monster film Pacific Rim, as well as spinoffs in the form of a new animated series and more comics following up on Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, a prequel taking place 12 years before the events of the first movie. No details about the animated series are known at this time besides the fact of its existence, and the fact that it and the comic are being developed concurrently with the sequel between now and April 2017.
Pacific Rim tells the story of the latter days of humanity’s war against the monstrous Kaijus, massive creatures capable of accelerated evolution. Eventually they grow large and strong enough to tear down the immense walls that humanity elected to build in a desperate bid to keep them outside of our major cities, rather than rely on the humanoid two-pilot mecha known as Jaegers to fight them. In response a small team of elite Jaeger pilots are brought together to make a last stand and end the threat for good, including retired ace Raleigh Becket and unseasoned prodigy Mako Mori, who have to overcome their emotional scars from the war and come together as a Jaeger pilot team to help save the world.
The original Pacific Rim had a production budget of $190 million and only grossed nearly $102 million in the United States, but in the months since the film’s release it accumulated over $400 million at the box office worldwide and further success was found in merchandising and home video sales. Citing these facts in an interview with Collider this past March, Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull expressed openness to more Pacific Rim:
We love being in business with Guillermo and frankly that movie, if you look it up, did I think more business than the first X-Men, did more than Batman Begins, our first movie, did more than Superman Returns, The Fast and the Furious, Star Trek- so for a movie that was an original property that we made up it’s done really well. It did north of 400 million dollars globally and both the home video sales and the merchandise have way over-indexed, so it seems like fans really loved the world. So we’re going to sit down with Guillermo and as long as we think it’s authentic and there’s something to say, we’re certainly open to it.
Pacific Rim 2 will be distributed in the United States by Universal Pictures and has been dated for an April 7, 2017 release in theaters. In the video Mr. del Toro confirms that he is working on the film with Pacific Rim story creator and his co-screenwriter Travis Beachem as well as Zak Penn, whose writing credits include working with on Simon Kinberg on X-Men: The Last Stand, with Edward Harrison on The Incredible Hulk and story development with Joss Whedon for 2012’s The Avengers. In comments to BuzzFeed, del Toro promises that familiar characters will return: “…Raleigh, Mako, Newt, Gottlieb and who knows, maybe even Hannibal Chau – but we are taking them into a fresh territory that will display amazing sights and battles. The first film set the stage and now we’re ready to have a blast.”