Why Guillermo del Toro Decided Not To Direct Pacific Rim 2

A Jaeger fighting several Kaiju in Pacific Rim

Guillermo del Toro has had his hands in many notable blockbusters over the years, one of those being 2013's Pacific Rim. The sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising, will be released early next year, and although del Toro is involved with this movie as well, he wasn't able to direct it like he did its predecessor. According to the filmmaker, this was mainly due to bad timing between Pacific Rim: Uprising and one of his other projects. He explained:

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 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 [called 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.

In the immediate years after Pacific Rim was released, the plan was for Guillermo del Toro to remain in the director's chair. Even when Universal delayed the movie, del Toro was determined to see it be made, and by early 2016, the sequel was back on after he presented the studio with a script and budget. However, eventually he reached a point where the shooting schedule for Pacific Rim: Uprising conflicted with his plans for working on The Shape of Water. So while del Toro is still attached to the sequel as a producer, he decided to hand off directing duties to Steven DeKnight, the man behind Spartacus and Daredevil Season 1. As for the Justice League Dark movie, a.k.a. Dark Universe, that now has The Bourne Identity's Doug Liman attached to direct.

Even though the Pacific Rim: Uprising people will see in theaters is different than the one Guillermo del Toro originally conceived, he told Collider that he's glad that Steven DeKnight was chosen to take over, calling him "really brilliant." Del Toro also noted that he's taken a "hands-off" approach with his producing duties, and from what he's seen so far from early cuts and teasers, the sequel is "going great." No plot details for Pacific Rim: Uprising have been released yet aside from promising more Jaeger vs. Kaiju action, but the movie's cast includes John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman and Nick Tarabay.

With production having only just wrapped a week ago, Pacific Rim: Uprising will be released in theaters on February 23, 2018, and you can catch The Shape of Water sometime later this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.