One can only wonder whatever happened to Legendary Pictures' plans for a third Pacific Rim movie. The extravagant Kaiju film directed by Guillermo del Toro earned fairly at the box office worldwide and especially in China for the studio to greenlight a sequel. But a disappointing follow-up seems to have delayed further exploration of this universe.
Pacific Rim's screenwriter Travis Beachem was recently asked about his initial plans for the Kaiju film's sequel, during an interview with Slash Film. Surprisingly, there were ideas that never came to fruition due to a change in director.
Pacific Rim: Uprising had an entirely new different story from what was initially planned and ultimately, it could have been the issue. The Carnival Row series creator Partly hoped to explore the Kaiju side of the world where the creatures were being made. Moreover, Beachem also hoped that it could have further led the studio to greenlit a prequel.
I talked to Guillermo about it early on, because there were a ton of crazy ideas for where it could go." said Beachem. "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. 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 Jaegar and first fight with the Kaiju. I wanted to see what that would've looked like from the beginning.
The original Pacific Rim directed by Del Toro earned over $411 million globally. Whereas its sequel made only half at $290million earning worldwide and also received a lukewarm response from critics and fans alike.
Due to scheduling issues, Del Toro couldn't return to helm the sequel and it was instead directed by Steven S DeKnight. Del Toro later said that Pacific Rim: Uprising had a very different script from the one he co-wrote with Beachem.
The first Pacific Rim movie clearly opened a path for the studio to explore this franchise by digging deeper into the stories with Jaeger and Kaiju brawls. Though the third film is currently indefinitely delayed or cancelled-- fans will, fortunately, get to see a lot more of its world in Netflix's Pacific Rim anime series.