Pacific Rim found visionary director and creature creator Guillermo del Toro bringing Japanese Kaiju to life on the big screen to do battle with giant robots called Jaegers. For some time, a sequel to the 2013 film was in development hell and the future of the franchise was in doubt. But Guillermo del Toro seemingly willed it into existence and Pacific Rim: Uprising continues the monster mayhem next year. Guillermo del Toro worked on the sequel and intended to direct, but due to scheduling conflicts, he had to step back into a producer role on the film. The story that will ultimately be on screen next year has changed since his original version. So many are left to wonder what the original Pacific Rim 2 looked like. Paul Austerberry, the production designer who worked with Guillermo del Toro during his time on the film, recently explained what the original ending would have been about:
And then of course I think we finished in the west coast, I think it was San Francisco that we were gonna end up in. San Francisco, where so many disaster movies take place. We were gonna destroy it with the great big battle between the kaiju and the big robots, so that was gonna be pretty exciting. So yeah, was I disappointed we didn't do that? Of course I was, that would have been a fun giant movie to work on.
Before moving with Guillermo del Toro to work on The Shape of Water, Paul Austerberry first spent about eight weeks working on Pacific Rim 2 in the summer of 2015. Pacific Rim: Uprising will obviously be a much different film than originally envisioned now that Steven S. DeKnight, who worked on the first season of Daredevil, is at the helm. However, I think it is probably a pretty safe bet that, although Pacific Rim: Uprising features Jaeger on Jaeger violence, this film will still end with a huge Kaiju versus Jaeger battle as originally planned.
While that battle probably won't take place in San Francisco, that city could use a break anyways. The opening to the original Pacific Rim showed the first emergence of the Kaiju happened in San Francisco. So that city could use a break and we could use a new venue for this film's climactic battle. As Paul Austerberry cited, San Francisco has seen its fair share of disastrous events, suffering many brutal, cinematic beatings. San Francisco has been destroyed by earthquakes, overrun by apes and had a militarist mutant wreck its bridge and that's not even the half of it. Perhaps that's why the cost of living there is so high.
Paul Austerberry also told Collider that plenty of plot points had been cemented regarding Pacific Rim 2 when he was still involved with the movie. He also noted that part of the original plan was to head to Shanghai, "using the river and the craziness of Shanghai" as the pulse of the flick. There was also a plan to include desert scenes, as well, so it'll be interesting to see if any of the ideas originally bandied about land in the film. You can check out what we've seen so far with the trailer for Pacific Rim: Uprising.
While Paul Austerberry may have been a little disappointed to miss out on working on such a big, fun action movie, given the critical and awards reception to The Shape of Water, he seemingly made the right decision. The Shape of Water may have been a brutal production process but Paul Austerberry and Guillermo del Toro, by all accounts crafted a magical film together. You can see Paul Austerberry's work in The Shape of Water, which is in select theaters now and To see how Pacific Rim: Uprising ends, see it in theaters on March 23, 2018. For all the biggest movies hitting theaters next year, check out our release schedule.