by Andrew Crump The jury’s out on whether or not Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim will get the sequel treatment. As of October, he and Travis Beacham were still plugging away at the script, which is a definite check mark in the “yes” column, but they’ve yet to receive a green light from Legendary Pictures. While it’s debatable as to whether del Toro’s tale of mechas, monsters, and mayhem really warrants a sequel at all – it’s a very self-contained film – there’s no harm in making it happen if circumstances allowed.
But what if the next chapter in mankind’s struggle against the gargantuan Kaiju isn’t a sequel at all? Maybe we’ve all had the wrong idea about what Pacific Rim 2 might look like; maybe Beacham and del Toro want to tell the story of how the Kaiju conflict began in the first place, fleshed out from the recap provided at the beginning of Pacific Rim. Or maybe no one has any idea what’s happening, because del Toro is keeping as mum on the subject – but the suggestion, which comes straight from the mouth of Max Martini, is interesting nonetheless.
Speaking in a recent interview with Empire, Martini – who plays Aussie Jaeger pilot Herc Hansen in the film – responded to a query about his contractual obligations to a potential Rim sequel, stating that the relationship between Hansen and his son, Chuck (Robert Kazinsky), was central to his character’s story. That’s a compelling point to be sure, and given Chuck’s ultimate fate it raises questions about what might be in story for the senior Hansen in Pacific Rim 2, should it come to pass.
On that note, he had the following to say in the below direct quote:
“It’s funny, I fell in love with this character. The key component was this relationship I had with my son, exploring the dysfunction and the loss, so where does Herc go from here? I don’t know. It’ll be interesting to see where Guillermo (del Toro) and Travis Beacham take it. I don’t know if it’s a prequel or a sequel, but if it’s a prequel you’ll learn more about Herc’s family history. But Guillermo has such a vivid imagination, it could go anywhere.”
Obviously, his musings here shouldn’t be taken as confirmation of anything whatsoever. This is just an off-the-cuff comment that’s speculative in nature. Hansen likely knows about as much as Pacific Rim 2 as anyone else who isn’t Beacham or del Toro. But all the same, it’s an intriguing thought, regardless of how substantive it actually is.
Pacific Rim does a stellar job with worldbuilding and with bringing viewers up to current on the events that transpire in its fictional history, but be that as it may, there’s still a lot of room to explore the onset of the Kaiju war, in contrast to the tail end del Toro portrays within the film. Want to see a world where Hansen and Stacker Pentecost are the top dogs in the pantheon of Jaeger pilots? Curious to see humanity’s shift in attitude as all of our normal grievances become less important in the face of a neverending Kaiju onslaught? Then a prequel might be more up your alley than a straight-up sequel, particularly in light of how neatly del Toro wraps up his plot at the end of the first movie.
Of course, it’s best not to get hopes up just yet: Pacific Rim 2, in development even before its progenitor had arrived in theaters, has reportedly already been mapped out in del Toro’s head. He’s already pegged it as taking place several years after Pacific Rim, though as with all things, it’s best to take that detail with a grain of salt. Until we know what the next movie is about, we don’t really know what it’s about, and it’s entirely possible that Pacific Rim 2 would even make more sense as a prologue to the Pacific Rim. (Though that might go against del Toro’s promise to avoid hitting the same beats in the second film as in the original.)
So, in other words, sit tight and wait for official word on Pacific Rim 2 to come around, but in the meantime, have fun pondering what a prequel picture might look like. (If, that is, it happens at all.)