Here’s How Involved Guillermo del Toro Was in ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’

The first full trailer for Pacific Rim Uprising has just been released. The visual style of this sequel looks to be a lot different than the original, which might be in part because Guillermo del Toro did not return as director. But his name is still on the movie, so exactly how involved was del Toro in the production of Pacific Rim Uprising?

Guillermo del Toro is credited as being a producer on Pacific Rim Uprising. He’s only one of seven producers, though, and he had no involvement in the movie’s screenplay at all, not even getting a story credit. In an interview earlier this year, del Toro made it sound like he really isn’t involved in the movie that much at all, instead letting the new director, Steven S. DeKnight, do his own thing.

“He’s making it his own,” del Toro told Collider. “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.'”

Guillermo Del Toro | Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images

Del Toro clearly approves of what’s being done on Uprising, though, telling Collider that he loves DeKnight and thinks he’s a brilliant director. Del Toro added that he sees dailies every day, and he has seen some of the early cuts. At one point, Del Toro was going to write the screenplay, but DeKnight has gone with something new, and Del Toro makes it sound like it’s a lot different than the original.

“It lets him have his style, lets him have his notion of the characters,” Del Toro said. “I wrote a screenplay, developed two or three drafts of that screenplay—this is different than what I developed, and I’m OK. A producer is in the corner, the director is in the ring. The producer’s not getting the punches, the director is, so shut up, wait in the corner, refresh the towel and wait for the director to come to you.”

So why didn’t Del Toro direct this movie? He has said that it mainly came down to a scheduling issue, as he wanted to direct his own movie, The Shape of Water, and he had to pick between that or the Pacific Rim sequel. He made a good choice there, as The Shape of Water has received overwhelming praise from critics and is being discussed as a contender for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. But the result is a Pacific Rim sequel that seems like it will be a lot different from the first one if only in visual style. Steven S. DeKnight has never directed a movie before, having previously worked in television on shows like Spartacus and Daredevil.

Pacific Rim Uprising will hit theaters on Mar. 23, 2018.