Poor Guillermo del Toro. First, Universal mismarketed the crap out of his very beautiful, very Gothic love story Crimson Peak, forcing him to defend himself for making the movie he always wanted to make and not the crowdpleasing haunted-house frightener a less distinctive filmmaker might have gone for. And now, the studio is keeping him (and all of us) on tenterhooks about whether Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, the troubled sequel to his big-budget ode to kaiju cinema, is ever going to happen.
Today, the director revealed that he’s submitted a budget and script to executives, and he’s being kept in suspense about whether or not it will be approved and if the project is going to move forward:
PACIFIC RIM 2: Budget and script went in. No answers yet. If anything happens, I will post. If nothing happens, I will just keep rambling.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) October 29, 2015
Predictably, it’s come down to box office. Universal had a killer year with Jurassic World, and Pacific Rim 2 was only happening in the first place because it did gangbusters in China, so it may be that the studio decides not to take a chance on a sequel to a big-budget blockbuster that cost a ton to make ($190 million) and didn’t totally wow with its haul (though $411 million is by no means a figure to scoff at).
However, that Pacific Rim 2 is currently shelved but not directly canceled means that nothing has been set in stone quite yet. With a planned animated series, as well as solid merchandise sales and home-video sales for the first film, Pacific Rim would be a very high-profile property to just let go. And Universal certainly wants to stay in business with del Toro, widely seen as one of the most visually inventive storytellers out there today.
So, for now, let’s join del Toro in keeping our fingers crossed, and hope some smart executives figure out that there’s absolutely a big-enough appetite for more Jaeger-on-Kaiju action to make Pacific Rim: Maelstrom pan out for the studio.