'Pacific Rim 2' Will Begin Filming In 2015, Will Tie Directly Into 'Pacific Rim 3'

With an April 7, 2017 release date already locked in, it's no surprise Guillermo del Toro is deep into work on Pacific Rim 2. What's a bit more intriguing is that he's planning the movie with an eye on the sequel, the not-yet-greenlit Pacific Rim 3.

Whereas Pacific Rim 2 is expected to differ quite a bit from Pacific Rim 1, it seems 2 and 3 may be more closely linked. Hit the jump for del Toro's updates on both Pacific Rim sequels. (Note: The above image is fan art and not an official release. But it sure looks cool, doesn't it?)

We got the first draft of the movie now, and we are going to spend another 4-5 months on the screenplay before we start pre-production. We start pre-production next year in August-September and start shooting November-December next year.

While Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim 2 are obviously connected, they're each expected to stand on their own. Del Toro has said the sequel will have a different tenor and mostly different characters. Indeed, they're so separate, del Toro is even working on an animated series to bridge the gap between the two.

However, it sounds like there will be a more direct tie between Pacific Rim 2 and Pacific Rim 3. The filmmaker teased:

The direction we're going is very different from the first. Some of your favorite characters come back, some others don't because we have decided that we're going to shoot ambitiously and say 'Let's hope we have three movies.' So some characters come in at the end of the second, hoping that it will ramp up on the third one.

Del Toro didn't offer any concrete plot details in this round, but he has previously hinted that the Pacific Rim animated series and sequel could explore the concept of the Drift, the tools used by kaiju to create the portal into our universe, the Precursors who control the kaiju, and more.