Legendary Pictures plans to be in the "Pacific Rim" business for a while, and I couldn't be happier to hear it.
In a special YouTube announcement video, director Guillermo Del Toro announced that there will be an animated series set in the world of "Pacific Rim" that will start soon, and that the comic book series set in that world will also continue to be published. More importantly, Del Toro has now set April 7, 2017 as the date for the release of the sequel to the film, which Universal will distribute in the U.S.
"Pacific Rim" is an important overall property for Legendary. It was developed completely in-house, and they own the rights to everything that was created for the film. They managed to make something like $400 million worldwide with it, and the way the film earned money overseas is one of the reasons it's getting a sequel even if it's not perceived domestically as a success. It's also been a merchandising beast, and Legendary knows full well that there is a fanbase they can use as a foundation when trying to develop a sequel.
I am excited to see what happens with this series and Guillermo. I've known him for a long time, and I've never seen him happier than he was when he was shooting the first film or when he got to show it to people. It delights him. The notion of being able to play with a world where there are kaiju and jaegers and the Drift and all of that is already established and now they can just tell stories that are about more than establishing the rules… it's ridiculous how much fun this is. I love that he has the chance now to build off of the ideas he established in the first film. The worst thing in the world is when Guillermo gets excited because he's sure he's going to make a film and then it doesn't happen. His "Hellboy 3" pitch is amazing, and I'm not sure we'll ever get to see it, which is just plain wrong.
I loved the ambition of "Pacific Rim," and I can't wait to see what story they choose to tell this time. The animated show sounds like an opportunity to really show us a bunch of different perspectives on this world, and I hope they get really daring with some of these various spin-offs.
"Crimson Peak," Guillermo's gothic haunted house movie, is in theaters October 16, 2015.