For a long time, it didn’t seem like a sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 Kaiju vs Giant Robots movie Pacific Rim was going to happen due to its modest box office performance. And when a sequel finally did with last year’s Pacific Rim Uprising, it looked a lot different than originally intended. Guillermo del Toro was no longer directing and Charlie Hunnam was no longer returning as Raleigh Becket. Needless to say, that changed the original story idea for the film and what would become Pacific Rim Uprising.
What was that original story idea? According to Pacific Rim screenwriter Travis Beacham, he wanted the sequels to go to the other side of the rift, as he explained:
I talked to Guillermo about it early on, because there were a ton of crazy ideas for where it could go. We definitely wanted to do a film that took place on the other side of the rift and see what that would be like. I don’t know if you could just jump right in and do that, but maybe after a few movies.
The whole concept of the Pacific Rim films is that there is a breach between dimensions in the Pacific Ocean, a portal through which flow giant destructive creatures known as Kaiju. At the end of Pacific Rim, Charlie Hunnam’s Raleigh Becket closes this rift by exploding his Jaeger Gipsy Danger inside. Pacific Rim Uprising opens this breach back up, but Travis Beacham wanted to eventually see a story take place on the other side of the rift.
Apparently he and Guillermo del Toro were playing around with a lot of ideas for where the Pacific Rim sequels could go, and journeying to the other side of the rift with Raleigh Becket, Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako Mori and Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost was just one of them. However, as he told Slash Film, Travis Beacham isn’t sure that this idea would have been for Pacific Rim 2 and could have instead been something that in an ideal world the sequels could have built to.
That makes sense since going to fight the enemy on their home turf seems like a last resort kind of move that a franchise could save for its concluding chapter. There the heroes could have faced off with the Precursors that we learned more about in Pacific Rim Uprising. This race of aliens from the Anteverse created the Kaiju and opened the rift, and would make for great final bosses in the series.
It’s a fascinating idea and one definitely falls into that lamentable category of ‘what might have been.’ It would have been interesting to see Guillermo del Toro have some real fun by flexing his wild imagination with a movie that takes place in another dimension.
A sequel on the other side of the rift isn’t the only idea Travis Beacham had in mind though; he was also interested in a Pacific Rim prequel, as he explained:
Personally, I always really wanted to see a prequel. I’m not big on prequels when it comes to other properties, but I thought it’d be fun to go back and see the first Jaeger and first fight with the Kaiju. I wanted to see what that would’ve looked like from the beginning.
Although admittedly not a fierce advocate of prequels in general, Travis Beacham would be interested in going back to the beginning of the fight between the Kaiju and the Jaeger. In the first film, we learn that the first Kaiju first landed in San Francisco and how that was just the beginning of their attacks, which forced humanity to develop a new kind of weapon to fight them.
It would be fascinating to see the development of the Jaeger program and how that first battle played out, when the Jaeger was very much untested in the field. However, given that a lot of this was covered with Raleigh’s voiceover in the first movie, maybe it would be a story better suited to a comic.
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