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When it came out, Guillermo del Toro’s mechs versus monsters spectacle Pacific Rim was big and brash and a lot of fun. It was, however, lacking somewhat in the story and characterization departments. Now that Pacific Rim 2 is gearing up to begin production later this year, star Charlie Hunnam hopes that the sequel will correct these issues instead of focusing on razzle dazzle.
Talking to EW about his upcoming role in Guy Richie’s medieval epic King Arthur, the conversation veered towards the pitfalls of working on a big, special effects-heavy film like Pacific Rim. The Sons of Anarchy veteran said:
I think world creation and monster creation and all of that stuff is exciting as a secondary element of storytelling. When it becomes more important than storytelling, I get very nervous, and you sort of lose me a little bit. Although we tried very hard on Pacific Rim to marry those two elements, I do feel like ultimately it got weighed heavier on the side of spectacle than storytelling
Instead of being able to really dig into characters, motivations, story arcs, and the narrative as a whole, this reliance on technology and created what he calls a "rigidity to the process," something that left little room to maneuver. Instead of the process of filming being about the actors, their craft, and their characters, they struggled to figure out where they fit into the overall picture when they’re used to being the center.
Despite his issues in these arenas, Hunnam does say that hey likes Pacific Rim, and is proud of the work they all did, though he’s not shy about expressing his wishes that they can do more in Pacific Rim 2. He adds:
I do feel like we could have maybe plumbed the depths of the character and the storytelling a little bit more.
The last we heard, which has been within just the past two weeks, is that Pacific Rim 2, after a couple of false starts and delays, will finally begin filming this November. The fact that it’s going to get a sequel at all wasn’t always a given. Ultimately, it wound up making more than $411 million globally during its theatrical run, but it was a slow burn. Just over $101 million of that total came from domestic showings, while the rest came from international markets (big action like this translates into any language, just look at the international grosses for the Transformers movies). But with a $190 million price tag and a hefty marketing campaign, it wasn’t as profitable as the studio hoped.
But none of that matters now, as Pacific Rim 2 is happening. The story reportedly picks up a few years after the first film, and focuses more on the Kaiju, the monstrous invaders from another dimension. Guillermo del Toro has also said it examines the world once the Kaiju are no longer a threat and looks at what happens to the Jaeger, the skyscraper tall mechs designed to combat the creatures, and their pilots when they are no longer needed. At this point we don’t know who from the original cast will come back, though listening to his words, it certainly sounds like Charlie Hunnam intends to return for more.
Even though it starts filming this year, we still have a while to wait before we see Pacific Rim 2, or Pacific Rim: Maelstrom as it may be knonw, which is scheduled to open August 4, 2017. However, it has already been moved around a couple of times, so don’t be shocked if this switches place again before all is said and done.