Here is some of what Guillermo del Toro had to say about the Pacific Rim animated series that will help fill the gap till the next movie.
“We are right now in the middle of talking and negotiating with a few Japanese companies for the animation. We are talking to a couple of showrunners that have a strong animation background, [we’re] casting the writers room. What’s great is it’s a great set-up and a link between the first movie and the second movie. It really enhances the mythology of the characters; we have cameos of characters from the first movie, but mostly it’s a new set of characters. New jaegers, except for one or two, [and] new kaijus. It’s really fun.”
“We’re going for a long arc, so the idea is to show a group of characters—we have pilots, functional jaegers, but we have all these younger characters. I really want to explore things that are complimentary to the things that I want to explore in the second movie: drift, what drifting does to you, what is needed to drift, a lot of stuff that I think is important, but also the jaeger technology, the kaijus being evolved, ideas about the precursors—the guys that control the kaijus. We have a lot of leeway in 13 episodes and I wanna make it sort of in the same spirit of Pacific Rim, which is the ideal audience for Pacific Rim was young—very young, 11-year-olds and so forth—but with really beautiful design and stories that make these characters interesting in a way that I found them interesting in, for example, Year Zero, the graphic novel that we did. And I think that’s the basic thrust of the thing.”
“If it connects we’ll go on [to more seasons], but the thing is I don’t want it to be weekly adventures. I don’t want it to be like Chapter One is a little action thing and it gets resolved in 40 minutes or an hour and then the next episode, [it’s like] nothing happened. My favorite anime series always have a long arc.”
“Legendary is talking to a few outlets so I’d rather not disclose myself. The way we set up The Strain was to talk to everyone, literally, on the map, and then find who’s response we sort of jibe with the most. I think in this series, it would be great to find a place that can give it a proper presentation and can advertise the creation of the series. So we’re open to being pleasantly surprised everywhere.”
“Right away, in February/March I should [start on] another very small movie, black and white, really, really bizarre before starting—we start pre-production on Pacific Rim 2 in August, and then I interrupt it briefly to go into the first of next year to do this strange little movie, and then I restart it and go all the way until we start shooting Pacific Rim 2 at the end of 2015 for release in 2017.”
From an interview from the WSJ's Speakeasy with Guillermo Del Toro.
Without spoiling anything, what can fans expect from “Pacific Rim 2″?
We are three years away, so to spoil anything would be fantastically silly of me. What I can tell you: [screenwriter Zak Penn] and I really went in, we started with [screenwriter Travis Beacham] about a year and a half ago, kicking ideas back and forth. And, admittedly, I said to Zak, let’s keep kicking ideas till we find one that really, really turns the first movie on its ear, so to speak. (…) It was hard to create a world that did not come from a comic book, that had its own mythology, so we had to sacrifice many aspects to be able to cram everything in the first movie. Namely, for example “the Drift” (editor’s note: the neural link between pilots of the giant robots, or jaegers), which was an interesting concept. [Then there was] this portal that ripped a hole into the fabric of our universe, what were the tools they were using? And we came up with a really, really interesting idea. I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.
What can you tell me about the animated “Pacific Rim” series? Do you know which network will carry it?
We are talking about all the possibilities in terms of networks. We’re formulating ideas that are, again, interesting and not the usual route, but the series tackles the stories that happened to pilots working in the Shatterdome (editor’s note: a building where jaegers are built and maintained and pilots train), but also cadets learning how to become pilots. All of this happens prior to the first movie, and it gives you a little more depth into the background of certain characters that will appear in the second movie. So it’s really expanding the material. I was incredibly happy with the comic book series that came about from a graphic novel called “Tales From Year Zero,” and we are continuing the tales for the next three years. So by the time the second movie comes out, you will have probably one year of the animation airing, and you will have three years of the comic book series ongoing, so we are trying for all these things to be canon, to be in the same universe, to not wing anything, so that if anyone … a lot of kids, for example, have discovered “Pacific Rim” through the toys. They come in through the toys, and then they watch the movie, and then they learn this, they learn that through the movie or the comic book series, so we’re trying to make it canon so we can expand the universe. And by the time we come into the second movie, you have a good feel for the world, and we can dedicate ourselves to character and ideas and spectacle.
What did you feel about Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla”? Do you feel like you have to top it?
Well, it’s a very different tone. What is great about Gareth is that he went for a really, an almost-Spielberg shock-and-awe tone that is very different from “Pacific Rim.” The thing is, when you deal with a world that has a single anomaly, meaning you have basically one monster or two battling each other, then you can take a darker tone and be metaphorical. Or when you have a single robot — namely, for example, Brad Bird’s “The Iron Giant” — you can, once again, be more reflective and build deeper into a theme than when you have to … this is a world where giant robots are possible, giant monsters are possible. So the tone has to be … I decided that it had to be more like an adventure movie. I used two analogies that were pretty invisible in the first movie: one was a sports movie, and the other was a western. I tried to bring characterization on the move. My main two characters, both [Charlie Hunnam] and [Rinko Kikuchi], play characters that have less lines than any other characters in the movie almost. They talk very little. You know them by the way they behave, the way they do and do not. In “Godzilla,” what was great is that you had this Spielbergian sense of scope and adventure, and a much darker tone. So, they don’t intersect tonally at all.
Do you plan on expanding the cast and adding new characters in “Pacific Rim 2″?
I’m hoping to bring the same idea I had in the first movie, that was to make it multicultural and humanistic as much as possible, to make characters from many nationalities or gender, to make them equal in the scope of the adventure, in the day-to-day of the adventure. So, we’re bringing a few characters that are new and hopefully doing good work managing those that survived the first movie. (laughs)
When do you expect production to start on “Pacific Rim 2″?
I start designing in six weeks. It takes me nine months to design a movie like that. People see the movie, and they have to see that we designed everything in the movie, from ID cards or patches, pamphlets, posters, signs, sets. I start with a core team for about six months designing the jaegers and the kaiju, you know, so we know how many kaiju, how many jaegers. We are creating some new jaegers and a lot of new kaiju. We start [designing the production] in August.
Read the full interview here.