In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, del Toro indicated that the upcoming sequel will address some of the concepts from the first film that couldn’t be fully explored at the time — namely, the nature of the “Drift” process that unites two pilots’ minds inside the film’s giant robots (called “Jaegers”).
“It was hard to create a world that did not come from a comic book, that had its own mythology, so we had to sacrifice many aspects to be able to cram everything in the first movie,” explained Del Toro. “For example, the Drift, which was an interesting concept. [Then there was] this portal that ripped a hole into the fabric of our universe, what were the tools they were using?”
“We came up with a really, really interesting idea,” he added. “I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.”
According to del Toro, design on the film should begin in August, with nine months of work conceptualizing the new additions to the film’s universe (“We are creating some new jaegers and a lot of new kaiju,” he teased) and coming up with plans for everything from the smallest props to the large-scale sets.
He also shared a few more details about the Pacific Rim animated series that was announced along with the sequel. Indicating that the series will follow new cadets and veteran pilots of jaegers in the Shatterdomes — the facilities that house the jaegers and their operators and train them to fight kaiju — Del Toro said the plan is to air a full season of the animated series and to have several volumes of the comic-book prequel series Tales From Year Zero on shelves ahead of the film’s premiere.
“The [animated] series tackles the stories that happened to pilots working in the Shatterdome, but also cadets learning how to become pilots,” he explained. “All of this happens prior to the first movie, and it gives you a little more depth into the background of certain characters that will appear in the second movie. So it’s really expanding the material.”
“I was incredibly happy with the comic book series that came about from a graphic novel called Tales From Year Zero, and we are continuing the tales for the next three years. So by the time the second movie comes out, you will have probably one year of the animation airing, and you will have three years of the comic book series ongoing,” he said. “So we are trying for all these things to be canon, to be in the same universe, to not wing anything. . . . A lot of kids, for example, have discovered Pacific Rim through the toys. They come in through the toys, and then they watch the movie, and then they learn this, they learn that through the movie or the comic book series, so we’re trying to make it canon so we can expand the universe. And by the time we come into the second movie, you have a good feel for the world, and we can dedicate ourselves to character and ideas and spectacle.”
Pacific Rim 2 is scheduled to hit theaters April 7, 2017.
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