Guillermo Del Toro writing Pacific Rim 2 with Zak Penn

Guillermo Del Toro’s giant, monster-fighting robots of Pacific Rim could indeed be back for another brawl, according to the director.

During a promotional event for Del Toro’s upcoming television series The Strain, Del Toro told Buzzfeed that he was currently hard at work on a script for the sequel to 2013’s Pacific Rim, and that he was co-writing the screenplay with Zak Penn. While the in-progress sequel is news in and of itself, Del Toro’s collaboration with Penn is also noteworthy. In addition to writing all three of the first trilogy of X-Men movies, Penn also authored drafts of the screenplays for The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers.

The absence of the first film’s writer, Travis Beacham, is also worth noting — though Del Toro had an explanation for the change-up in writing teams, citing Beacham’s involvement in the upcoming television series Hieroglyph.

“We’ve been working for a few months now in secret,” revealed Del Toro. “We found a way to twist it around. Travis Beacham was involved in the storyline and now I’m writing with Zak because Travis has become a TV mogul.”

Del Toro explained that Pacific Rim 2 hasn’t been officially moved into Legendary Pictures’ production schedule, but he’s pushing forward with it under the assumption that it will indeed happen at some point. As for the story itself, he hinted at the return of characters Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), and shot down the rumors that any follow-up film would be a prequel story instead of a sequel to Pacific Rim

“Some people were wondering if we were going to do the prequel,” he said. “I was never interested in doing that first wave of invasion. I’m going for very new, very crazy ideas on the second one, which are very different from the first one — but you will get really great spectacle.”

Despite its somewhat underwhelming performance in U.S. theaters, Pacific Rim was an impressive success overseas, earning more than three times its domestic revenue in the international market. Currently, Pacific Rim has earned more than $411 million worldwide, making a sequel a very real possibility.

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