Pacific Rim

The Hollywood Reporter is claiming that Guillermo del Toro’s planned sequel to monster-punching masterpiece Pacific Rim has been “halted indefinitely”, possibly owing to fiscal disagreements between the studios responsible for its production and distribution. The outlet revealed the delay—which may or may not lead to an outright cancellation, to the despair of fans of science-minded city smashing and Ron Perlman’s opulently spangled shoes—as part of a longer piece about the squabbles currently afflicting the movie’s production company, Legendary Pictures.

The article sits a little on the arcane side—a lot of it has to do with the million-dollar dances happening between Legendary, Universal, and Warner Bros. around the upcoming Kong: Skull Island, as well as accusations that the company’s founder, Thomas Tull, has a tendency to take credit for films he merely financed, including blockbusters like Jurassic World and The Dark Knight Rises—but ultimately boils down to whether Pacific Rim was profitable enough to justify a sequel. While the film made money—racking up more than $400 million at the box office worldwide, including in China, where Legendary’s been making headway in recent years—it’s still considered a “bubble film,” i.e. one that sits on the bubble between “profitable” and “license to print money for a good couple decades or so.” (A similar problem is plaguing the Terminator franchise, after the shrugging success of this year’s Terminator: Genisys.)

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Del Toro was previously unfazed by the financial realities of Pacific Rim’s bubble status, cheerfully writing the sequel (and imagining a third film) regardless of studio backing. Of course, that kind of unfettered optimism is a lot easier when a film is still in its script stage, before the bills start coming due for kaiju CGI, and truckloads of solid-gold shoes are pulling up expectantly to your door.