Guillermo del Toro co-wrote the screenplay to the 2013 science fiction smash Pacific Rim, but by the time its sequel Pacific Rim: Uprising, hit theaters in 2016, he was no longer attached to the project. In a recent interview, the director revealed what Pacific Rim 2 would’ve looked like if he had the final say.
“The villain was this tech guy that had invented basically sort of the internet 2.0. And then they realized that all his patents came to him one morning,” del Toro told TheWrap. “And so little by little, they started putting together this and they said, ‘Oh, he got them from the precursors.’ The guys that control the kaiju.”
He continued, “And then we found out that the precursors are us thousands of years in the future. They’re trying to terraform, trying to re-harvest the earth to survive. Wow. And that we were in exo-bio-suits that looked alien, but they were not. We were inside. And it was a really interesting paradox.”
For context, Pacific Rim is set in the future, where the Earth is at war with Pacific sea monsters known as the Kaiju. It follows Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunman), the co-pilot of a humanoid robot known as a Jaeger, as he teams up with the young recruit Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) to take down the Kaiju.
The original film was released through Legendary Studios’ deal with Warner Bros, but by the time of the sequel, Legendary had struck a new deal with Universal and hired director Steven S. DeKnight to take del Toro’s place (the latter stuck around as a producer).
In the resulting Pacific Rim: Uprising, Mako Mori dies pretty unceremoniously. del Toro said in his version, the character — an orphan whose parents are killed in a Kaiju attack and who is raised by one of the leading jaeger pilots — would have lived.
“To me, the hero was Mako Mori. I wanted her not only to live, I wanted her to be one of the main characters in the second movie,” del Toro added. Maybe the sequel wouldn’t have flopped if del Toro had his way.
Del Toro recently jumped from science fiction to noir with Nightmare Alley. Check out our review of the film here.