When giant monsters clash with skyscraper tall mechanical creations in heavily populated areas, there are going to be casualties. Such is the case with Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim.This high body count mean a lot of characters aren’t coming back for Pacific Rim 2, also known as Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, but del Toro just said that we’ll see a number of familiar faces.

Del Toro was pumping his FX vampire drama The Strain at the Television Critics Association press tour, and Slashfilm was able to get in a question about who will return, to which he responded:
I think that everybody or most everybody that survived is back. The rest we killed. We killed half the cast.

If this holds, that means when Pacific Rim 2 stomps through theaters in 2017, we’ll likely see characters like Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) return as Jaeger pilots, the giant mechs created to battle the vicious Kaiju, the massive creatures that invade our world through an interdemensional rift at the bottom of the ocean. We’ll also get more from Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) and Gottlieb (Burn Gorman), the borderline mad scientists obsessed with the Kaiju. Hopefully we’ll also see more from Ron Perlman’s seedy black market merchant Hannibal Chau—we thought he was dead, but as it turns out in the post-credits stinger, he’s very much alive and kicking and wants his shoe back. Too bad, however, if you were hoping for more Stacker Pentacost (Idris Elba), he’s dead as hell.

This is, of course, assuming that the actors sign for another go round, which does seem likely, as many still have a working relationship with the director. Both Hunnam and Gorman appear in del Toro’s haunted house film, Crimson Peak, set to drop later this year. Hunnam has, however, expressed hopes that Pacific Rim 2 will focus more on storytelling and character development than mammoth CGI spectacle—those elements were not exactly the first film’s strong suits.



Del Toro has said that Geiszler and Gottlieb will be the main characters in Pacific Rim 2, which marks a substantial shift from the Jaeger pilots who were the heroes the first time around. He did say, however, that Charlie Hunnam also has a great character and that he’ll be given a fair shake.

What little we know about the plot is said to examine how the people of the world cope now that the threat of giant monster attacks doesn’t constantly loom over them. What becomes of the Jaegers? How do the pilots move forward now that they’re no longer needed? These are questions that need to be answered. You can also rest assured that the movie will find some way to get the Kaiju back, and if I was a betting man, I’d wager that Geiszler and Gottlieb play a part in that. Maybe they try to peek into the alternate dimension to see what the creatures are getting up to and things don’t go as planned. That’s just an idea.

However this all plays out, we have some time to wait. Pacific Rim 2: Maelstrom is scheduled to shoot later this year, but it isn’t scheduled for release until August 4, 2017. Unless it gets pushed back again, which has already happened several times.

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