Legendary Pictures and Universal are in the midst of some behind-the-scenes squabbles, and the drama has unfortunately claimed its first casualty: Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim 2, which was scheduled to begin shooting before the end of the year, has been “halted indefinitely.”
The news comes from THR, who dropped a ton of information today regarding the trouble brewing between the two companies. Apparently, Universal had previously declined to co-finance del Toro’s upcoming horror flick Crimson Peak because they thought it was too costly for an R-rated film, so Legendary was stuck with the bill – and now it seems like they’re having second thoughts about ponying up the cash for Pacific Rim 2.
For now the project — which had been ramping up to make a release date in August 2017 — has been halted indefinitely and will be pushed back (if it gets made at all).
The first film was produced alongside Warner Bros., and while it didn’t make a strong impact at the domestic box office, overseas business – particularly in China – helped propel Pacific Rim to a $411 million worldwide gross. That’s an impressive number, but when you take the original film’s reported $190 million budget into account, those aren’t the kind of numbers that get studio accountants excited.
Pacific Rim 2 was greenlit more than a year ago, and to have the plug pulled this close to the start of production must be heartbreaking for del Toro. The guy can’t seem to catch a break – he’s no longer doing the Justice League Dark film, he can’t get Hellboy 3 off the ground, and now Pacific Rim 2 might be dead in the water. But at least Crimson Peak looks like it’ll be great.
Despite the flaws of the first film, it’s hard to deny that the “robots vs kaiju” premise was a ton of fun. And with Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kincuchi, and Charlie Day all expected back for the follow-up, there are certainly enough elements to get fans excited. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that Legendary and Universal can come to some kind of resolution on the behind-the-scenes conflict, and maybe Pacific Rim 2 can still happen somewhere down the road.