It’s kind of crazy a second Pacific Rim movie exists at all. The first, released in 2013 and directed by the now Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro, underperformed domestically, but then surged in international markets. This surge brought about a barrage of will there/won’t there questions regarding a sequel. After writing the initial script, del Toro went on to other projects as what would come to be known as Pacific Rim Uprising was held in limbo.
Steven S. DeKnight, whose resumé includes the Spartacus series for Starz and serving as showrunner for Netflix’s Daredevil, was hired to take over the project, for which he serves as director and co-screenwriter. Del Toro’s first script was largely rewritten. Then — just when he thought he had the script cracked, with the star of the first film, Charlie Hunnam, returning — DeKnight sees a story in the trades that Hunnam is off to make Papillon so it was back to the drawing board.
So, no, there’s no Charlie Hunnam in Pacific Rim Uprising. (DeKnight goes into a lot of detail about all that ahead.) He’s been replaced in the lead spot by John Boyega playing Jake, the son of Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba). Jake is not his father and spends most days at parties or ransacking junkyards looking for scraped Jaeger parts. After a run-in with the authorities, Jake has to return to military duty to save the planet from a new Kaiju threat.
Ahead, DeKnight, who is making his feature film debut with this massive movie, takes us through the painstaking process of getting this film made and gives us some details about the other scripts that weren’t used. The first thing I said to DeKnight was that I can’t believe this movie exists, and judging from DeKnight’s reaction, I suspect he can’t either. (Also, I’m not sure if it’s possible to spoil a Pacific Rim movie, but if this is something you are worried about there are probably a few plot details that are on the spoiler-ish side below.)
I’m actually amazed this movie exists.
You and me both.
After the first one, there was back and forth for so many years about if this was ever going to happen, and here it is.