Charlie Hunnam Shirtless in Pacific Rim

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Funding, LLC

Even though it was a domestic box office disappointment and many critics weren’t in love with it (including myself), Pacific Rim fever is too powerful to keep the property down. Guillermo del Toro has announced that while he’s in the middle of post-production on next year’s haunted house flick Crimson Peak, plans are already underway for Pacific Rim 2, which will arrive on April 7, 2017. And that’s not all. Over the next three years leading to the sequel, there’s going to be a Pacific Rim animated series and more Pacific Rim comic books.

Initial report came from Legendary Pictures, which is apparently happy to move ahead on both this and the Godzilla franchise with equal love — yet that’s not the case for distributor Warner Bros, which will keep hold of Legendary’s King of the Monsters while letting new Legendary partner Universal put out the one with monsters and robots. Additional details include original co-writer Travis Beacham returning to pen the script with del Toro and Zak Penn (The Avengers) and all the main characters are set to return.

“Raleigh, Mako, Newt, Gottlieb and who knows, maybe even Hannibal Chau,” del Toro told Buzzfeed. “But we are taking them into a fresh territory that will display amazing sights and battles. The first film set the stage and now we’re ready to have a blast.” The actors who played all those characters are also expected to be back.

Watch a video of del Toro talking about Pacific Rim 2 after the jump.

The first Pacific Rim received an ‘A’ grade in our review last year, via head honcho Neil Miller. Later it made the top five lists of a few of FSR’s other writers, and in doing so came in on our collective best of 2013 list, as well. But it’s a divisive movie, and in addition to not making the cut for my picks for the year’s best sci-fi and fantasy films, it was also the subject of a contentious piece on how del Toro got kaiju all wrong. Maybe part 2 will get them right. Or more right? Whichever group you side with, I think we can all hope that the sequel is better (that’d be even better for the fans).

In other Pacific Rim coverage from a year ago, I wrote about what we might expect from the sequel, which was already being conceived before the first even came out. Del Toro’s comments in the video reiterate that he’s looking for a new direction, yet we still don’t know what that direction will be. As I noted then, he was talking about humans “drifting” with kaiju, while others speculated that there could be some role reversal as far as which was good and which was bad, the jaegers and the kaiju. Sadly, he didn’t include Stacker in the names of returning characters, so maybe Rinku Kikuchi was just dreaming about Idris Elba being back.

And as for my suggestion that it be titled Atlantic Rim? Unfortunately The Asylum used that for their direct-to-video knockoff of Pacific Rim.

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