Early last year, Legendary and Universal announced that Steven S. DeKnight, a former showrunner for “Daredevil,” was onboard to direct “Pacific Rim: Uprising” — a project many believed was dead. Now, in an interview with Collider, Guillermo del Toro revealed why he ended up not directing the sequel to his 2013 sci-fi monster movie.
“The timing started to suck,” the filmmaker said. “I had this little movie that I wanted to do — ‘The Shape of Water’ — very, very much. At one point it was ‘Justice League Dark’ or ‘Pacific Rim,’ I said, ‘Let’s go to Pacific Rim.’ The reality is they said, ‘We’re gonna need to postpone,’ because they were changing hands — [‘Pacific Rim’ studio] Legendary was going to be sold to China, to a Chinese company [called the Wanda Group]. They said, ‘We’ve gotta wait nine months,’ and I said, ‘I’m not waiting nine months, I’m shooting a movie,’ and I went and shot [‘The Shape of Water’] and we chose Steven DeKnight.”
The “Pacific Rim” sequel was originally set for release in August 2017. However, the studios put the production on hold indefinitely, and asked del Toro and his co-writer, Travis Beacham, to submit a new budget and script.
Del Toro, who stayed as a producer for the film, praised DeKnight.
“It was such a great choice. I mean, I love [DeKnight], love what he does, I think he’s really brilliant,” he said. “He’s making it his own. I’m not breathing over his shoulder saying, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’ He’s doing things differently and I like that. When I produce I try to produce the way I would like to be produced. I say to everyone I produce, ‘If you need me I will be there 100% all the time. If you don’t need me, I’m not there. You show me the cut then we’ll start interacting.”
Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” is currently in post-production. “Pacific Rim: Uprising” will hit theaters in 2018.