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SYFY WIRE Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim writer says original sequel could've been 'on the other side of the rift'

By Jacob Oller
Rinko Kikuchi in Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim, like many of the myriad movies and TV shows associated with Guillermo del Toro, had a bit of a bumpy ride. It was unique in facing its scheduling bumps and bruises after it debuted, however, as its sequel fell victim to conflicts between studios after the first was a cult hit. That conflict led to plenty of roster changes, with original director del Toro replaced by Steven S. DeKnight while original writer Travis Beacham was left behind as scribe after scribe did a pass on the script. Pacific Rim: Uprising, the critically and financially disappointing sequel, took things a decade into the Kaiju-filled future — but now Beacham has revealed that the original plans were much weirder.

Speaking with Slashfilm, Beacham (now creator of Amazon’s Carnival Row) explained where the story was heading before the production woes sidelined the project. “I talked to Guillermo about it early on, because there were a ton of crazy ideas for where it could go,” Beacham said of the sequel, which was greenlit before the first film even hit theaters. 

“We definitely wanted to do a film that took place on the other side of the rift and see what that would be like,” said the writer. “I don’t know if you could just jump right in and do that, but maybe after a few movies. Personally, I always really wanted to see a prequel. I’m not big on prequels when it comes to other properties, but I thought it’d be fun to go back and see the first Jaeger and first fight with the Kaiju. I wanted to see what that would’ve looked like from the beginning.”

A prequel and a rift-crossing? Very different from the father-son, cloned-brain, Mega-Kaiju silliness of the sequel that actually happened. If anything it seems closer to what Uprising teases during its mid-credits scene, during which John Boyega’s character implies that humanity will be attacking the Kaiju-sending Precursors back across the breach. Corroborating this (kind of), del Toro has previously posted that the sequel was supposed to be “very different” from what actually came to pass:

That said, right before the film was iced, it was reported that the script (at the time by del Toro, Travis Beacham, and Zak Penn) was headed in Uprising’s direction, supposed to resume a few years after the original’s end. Until the script leaks, however, or the canon expands to more comic books like Beacham's Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero or Pacific Rim: Tales From The Drift — or the upcoming sibling-based Netflix anime for that matter — the expansive world of Pacific Rim’s potential will have to exist solely inside the heads of Beacham and del Toro.