The underwater aliens of “Pacific Rim” will make landfall yet again.
Universal has announced that it has greenlit a sequel to the Guillermo del Toro 3-D movie and dated it for April 2017.
The move comes several weeks after Del Toro told Buzzfeed that he and screenwriter Zak Penn (“The Avengers”) were writing a sequel, but that neither financier Legendary Pictures nor studio Universal had given it the go-ahead
Plot details for “Pacific Rim 2” are scant thus far. Billed as the “next chapter of the epic action-adventure” by Universal, the film will see the return of characters Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) from the original, according to Del Toro. (Del Toro subsequently released a video in which he said he, Penn and the original "Pacific Rim" writer Travis Beacham would work on an animated TV series as well. "We are all very happy to be bringing you more Kaijus and more Jaegers kicking each others' butt," he said, referring to the property's mythic creatures.)
Though the original film was considered only a modest success when Warner Bros. released it last July — a $411-million global haul on a production budget approaching $200 million — Universal has been hungry for franchises, particularly with new partner Legendary, which controls rights to “Pacific Rim.”
The studio could also benefit from the new release date. Unlike “Pacific Rim,” which premiered alongside summer blockbusters in July 2013, the sequel will drop in the spring, when competition and expectations are lower.
The move also closes a circle of sorts between Del Toro and Universal. The Mexican auteur ended up directing “Pacific Rim” for Warners after he and Universal couldn’t see eye to eye on the scuttled “At the Mountains of Madness."
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