According to The Hollywood Reporter, Pacific Rim: Maelstrom has been “delayed indefinitely” after the creature feature faced a threat worse than any Kaiju in history: Hollywood red tape.
Reports first surfaced early last week when outlets claimed that Guillermo del Toro’s creature feature had been pushed from its original 2017 release window, though today’s scathing report appears much more damaging, with THR indicating that the sequel may be canned altogether. In an exhaustive piece, the outlet details the minutia of Legendary’s fraught partnership with both Warner Bros. and del Toro, which has seemingly been the colossal roadblock preventing Earth’s mightiest Jaegers from cancelling another apocalypse.
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Despite winning over the Comic-Con audience by confirming a sequel, not to mention Legendary making room for a 2017 release date, Pacific Rim: Maelstrom was never a sure thing. Neither commercial juggernaut or out-and-out flop, del Toro’s monster mash didn’t carve out enough of a profit margin to light up the box office in 2013.
In the end, it’s the financial reality that has led every studio involved to get cold feet on the possibility of a sequel. A shame, really, considering that Pacific Rim: Maelstrom had been making genuine progress in recent times, with Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and Rinko Kikuchi all on the verge of reprising their roles. Del Toro was also said to be working on an early version of the script alongside Travis Beacham and Zak Penn – a script that would not only establish Pacific Rim 2, but tee up the framework for a threequel.
For now, Pacific Rim: Maelstrom has been placed on the shelf with the threat of cancellation looming large. Suddenly that tentative August 4, 2017 release date doesn’t look as secure as it once did.