Pacific Rim 2: Expectations for Guillermo del Toro’s Sequel
Pacific Rim, the pet project of Guillermo del Toro , released this past summer, has already been green lit for a sequel, despite only breaking even at the box office. Although the film cost $190 million to make and grossed about $400 million worldwide, including both domestic and foreign markets, half of the profit goes to advertising and another portion to the theaters. But in the game that is Hollywood, this means that audiences enjoyed it enough to green-light a sequel. Hence, Pacific Rim 2 is now in the pre-development/writing stage, and of course, this means that rumors and speculation are flying around the internet. Here I will compile some of the rumors and my own personal expectations for Pacific Rim 2.
5. We Will Get Glimpses of the Aftermath
Following the destructive attack at the end of the last film, the aftermath will probably be shown as a warning to future generations about not being prepared. In the first film, the Jaeger program was in the process of being shut down, leaving only four Jaegers to fight the increasing Kaiju attacks. With the destruction brought upon by the Kaiju, I imagine there to be an increased presence of the military to make the public feel more comfortable. In addition, we will see cities being rebuilt with a more defensive design.
This is very reminiscent of Neon Genesis Evangelion – the hit anime series that also dealt with giant robots in a post apocalyptic world that also fought out of this world monsters/angels. However, Evangelion delved more into ideas of humanity and philosphy rather than being just an action film/television show. And although del Toro claims to not have been inspired by Evangelion, there are definite similarities between the two.
This new defensive design will most likely be put to the test in the second film when the cities are again attacked by the Kaiju. On top of this, the future presented will probably be much darker than the previous film, as this world has lived through disaster and knows what waits on the other side. Prompting the public to look at everything unfamiliar with a questionable eye.
With this increased military presence, our favorite Kaiju Repo-Man, General Chau (Ron Pearlman) will be a little less flashy in his illegal trading activities, but that won’t stop him from dealing in Kaiju tidbits.
4. Charlie Day’s Newt Geiszler Will Be the Villain
Del Toro and his fellow writers have joked about Charlie Day’s character Newt Geiszler, the crazy scientist who forms a mental link with the Kaiju, being the villain in the next film. This is an amusing idea, as Day’s character was incredibly entertaining, with his quick comebacks and fascination with Kaiju; so giving him more screen time would be greatly appreciated. At the end of the film we see that there are side effects to Geiszler’s decision; much like how one human cannot link to a Jaeger because of serious health risks (Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost is a prime example), one can assume that linking with a Kaiju will have some serious effects down the line. I would predict that Day’s character begins, or is already, dealing with the effects at the beginning of Pacific Rim 2, and we see the link leading him to madness and then villainy.
This madness, could be linked to the idea that Geiszler, who still has this lingering connection, may begin to think like a Kaiju. Kaiju tendencies may start to entice him and eventually lead him to do their bidding. The possible solution to this is Geiszler being able to break the connection and help end the chaos he started, which in retrospect may be too similar to the first Pacific Rim but could be a viable possibility.
The other option is that Geiszler may begin to actually “transform” into a Kaiju, which would be interesting but seems much more unlikely. Whatever happens to Geiszler expect Burn Gorman’s Gottlieb to be at his side. The dynamic duo was a fan favorite and I expect them to again grace the big screen with their scientific banter.
3. Raleigh Becket and Mako Mori Will Be an Item
As clichéd as this may be, it seems that the two will probably be dating by the second film. Since the threat of Kaijus are gone, we can assume that the last remaining Jaeger pilots have retired and will be living together. In Pacific Rim, it was made very clear that the pair had a strong connection, so it would make sense if the two pilots ended up dating. After the stressful and death-defying events of the last film, they will most likely want to distant themselves from anything involving the Kaiju. So, we can expect the pair (and apparently last surviving Jaeger team) to face some difficulties when they have to return to their Jaeger. Speaking of…
2. New Jaeger Pilots
With a new threat rising, we can expect the Jaeger program to be reborn. And of course, with new Jaegers comes new pilots. These new pilots will all probably have been scarred somehow by a Kaiju and have their own personal reason for joining. Each Jaeger pilot will fulfill a character cliché that the former pilots did as well. These new pilots will possibly consist of: the meat-head, the intellectual, the tough gal, and the savant. In the first Pacific Rim, we only got surface views of the other pilots, making their inevitable demise relatively unemotional (but their deaths did not distract the audience from the amazing action sequences).
However, in Pacific Rim 2 we will get to know our pilots better than before. Raleigh and Mako will most likely act as mentors to the rookies, with some of the rookies looking up to the duo and others butting heads, believing that with a new enemy a new hero must arise. Their new role as mentors could create strain on Raleigh and Mako’s relationship, causing friction amongst the rookies who support and those who are actively against them.
In the end, if Pacific Rim 2 is as clichéd as Pacific Rim, then the rookies will have to step up during the final battle to save their mentors. Plus, to prove that the stakes are real, the writers will kill off one of the new teams (most likely the duo that is very likable) early on in battle. Del Toro knows how to pull at heartstrings (usually in less obvious ways, see Pan’s Labyrinth), and by letting the audience get to know this team and then killing them off, Del Toro is able to show that this is not just fun and games.
1. Jaeger-Kaiju Hybrid
This rumor was spread by Guillermo Del Toro himself, and seems very likely to happen. We see that the Kaiju’s main goal is to breed and take over worlds; evidenced in the fact Kaiju can rapidly evolve (ex. Kaiju near the end of the film could fly). In addition, Stacker’s Jaeger fell into the Kaiju world, so the surviving Kaijus now have something to base their new transformation on. This hybrid will most likely be the main threat for the protagonists, having the advantage of the Kaiju’s raw power and knowledge of the Jaeger. Combining both power houses leaves the protagonists with only one choice: upgrade their Jaegers and fight as a team.
In addition, the hybrid will probably gain access through Geiszler and his fractured mind, somehow opening a hole in between their two dimensions. The hybrid will band all the pilots together regardless of past differences and end the film with an epic fight sequence.
Another, but less likely scenario, is a prequel. The idea of a prequel is interesting, but I think it would be too much like the upcoming Godzilla film for its own good. And while I would love to see Idris Elba fight in a Jaeger, the likelihood is near zero.
While there is no official release date for the film, Del Toro has already started writing the script. He has gone on the record to say,
Legendary gave me the absolute go-ahead with writing the screenplay, so Travis Beacham and I are working on it…everybody is unwavering in their love for the movie. -Rolling Stones
You can tell that this project is near and dear to Del Toro because, even though he is working on several other projects now, he is still championing the continuation of this film. Pacific Rim may not have been a runaway success in the States, but its international appeal has solidified it and Del Toro in the world of giant fighting robots. Don’t expect to see this movie in the next two years but expect it to make a splash when it is finally released.
What do you think? Leave a comment.