Guillermo del Toro on why he quit Pacific Rim: Uprising

Guillermo del Toro was geared up to direct the Pacific Rim sequel but had to bow out after locations weren’t secured.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023

Guillermo del Toro Pacific Rim

With a global box office haul of over $400 million, Pacific Rim was bound for a sequel – we did get one, just not with Guillermo del Toro as director. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying but rather a lack of a paycheck – not to del Toro but sound stages.

As Guillermo del Toro explained to Collider, a missed payment and an obligation to another film caused the director to bow out of helming a Pacific Rim sequel. “We were getting ready to do it, it was different from the first, but it had a continuation of many of the things that I was trying to do. Then what happened is—I mean, this is why life’s crazy, right?—they had to give a deposit for the stages at 5pm or we would lose the stages in Toronto for many months. So, I said, “Don’t forget we’re gonna lose the stages,” and five o’clock came and went, and we lost the stages. They said, “Well, we can shoot it in China.” And I go, “What do you mean we?” [Laughs] “I’ve gotta go do Shape of Water.”

Instead of del Toro directing Pacific Rim: Uprising, we got former Spartacus and Angel writer Steven S. DeKnight. While the sequel still took in nearly $300 million worldwide, there’s no denying it just didn’t hit what the original did. And as del Toro planned it, it most certainly would have been quite different than the movie we got.

To this day, Guillermo del Toro has yet to see the Pacific Rim sequel, saying, “I didn’t see the final movie because that’s like watching home movies from your ex-wife. It is terrible if they’re good and worse if they’re bad, or the opposite. You don’t wanna know. So, I didn’t see it. I did read the final script, and it was very different. Some of the elements were the same but very different.”

While Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim sequel would have been worth a watch, he did just fine without it, as The Shape of Water went on to earn 13 Academy Award nominations with four wins, including Best Picture and the Best Director honor for del Toro. But maybe we’ll one day see a giant monster showdown between his kaiju and Godzilla/Kong…?

What did you think of Pacific Rim: Uprising? Would you have preferred to see del Toro’s version? Let us know below!

Source: Collider

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.