Will There Be A Pacific Rim 3? Here's What We Know

Guillermo del Toro did fans of giant monsters and robots a favor in 2013 by bringing "Pacific Rim" hit theaters. Rather than play in an established franchise sandbox, the filmmaker opted to craft a mega-budget love letter to the kaiju genre. The sci-fi blockbuster did just well enough at the box office to warrant a sequel, which del Toro only produced, in the form of 2018's "Pacific Rim: Uprising." But now fans of such epic spectacle have been wondering whether or not we're going to get a "Pacific Rim 3." Here's what we know, what plans have been revealed, and what fans can look forward to.

Guillermo del Toro Has No Plans to Return

Following the first movie's relatively modest success (given its massive budget), Warner Bros. and Legendary hatched plans for a sequel. Del Toro spent quite some time developing it and intended to direct his version of "Pacific Rim 2." Unfortunately, timing became an issue. As del Toro explained to Collider in 2017, he ultimately chose to shoot "The Shape of Water" instead, and that movie went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. The filmmaker said:

"The timing started to suck. I had this little movie that I wanted to do—The Shape of Water—very, very much. At one point it was Justice League Dark or Pacific Rim, I said, 'Let's go to Pacific Rim.' The reality is they said, 'We're gonna need to postpone,' because they were changing hands—Legendary was going to be sold to China, to a Chinese company [called the Wanda Group]. They said, 'We've gotta wait nine months' and I said, 'I'm not waiting nine months, I'm shooting a movie,' and I went and shot [The Shape of Water] and we chose Steven DeKnight."

Sometimes directors will circle back to franchises after taking a break. However, on Twitter, del Toro has made it clear he has no such plans, though he did tease (from the mind of a fan) that perhaps "Pacific Rim" and the MonsterVerse, which contains the current "Godzilla" and "King Kong" franchises, inhabit the same space. The director wrote:

"I personally love seeing the Neon, Sea battles, building demolition, etc because secretly -maybe- the PAC RIM Universe co-exists in the LEGENDARY Kaijuverse and, perhaps, one day they can rumble!"

However, in a tweet that followed, del Toro again clarified, "Talking only as a fan BTW – NO plans to return." So don't get your hopes up.

Pacific Rim 3 would have set up a massive crossover

Warner Bros. and Legendary have announced no plans for "Pacific Rim 3." That makes sense, given that "Uprising" did not perform particularly well critically or commercially. However, tentative plans had been put in place for something big, as was revealed by director Steven S. DeKnight. Taking to Twitter, he revealed that del Toro's proposition would have ultimately been proven correct:

"That was actually my long term plan. PR3 was structured to end in a way that married the two universes."

If DeKnight's proposed version of "Pacific Rim 3" would have happened, the end of the movie would have somehow joined its monsters and Jaegers with the likes of Godzilla and King Kong. How that would have happened remains to be seen, but that would have been huge, literally and figuratively. Unfortunately, this is something we're not likely ever going to see.

It doesn't make financial sense

The fact of the matter is that the movie business is, at the end of the day, a business. Movies need to make financial sense to exist, especially when you're talking about a very expensive blockbuster sequel. To that end, the "Pacific Rim" series trended downward with "Uprising," and it kind of squeaked by in the first place. From the studio's point of view, "Pacific Rim 3" would be a tough sell.

"Pacific Rim" grossed a very solid $411 million worldwide. However, its extremely costly $190 million production budget certainly got in the way of its profitability. But global returns like that were enough to warrant a follow-up. The problem is that "Pacific Rim: Uprising" fared far worse critically and also earned significantly less, taking in just $290 million worldwide. Even with its reduced $155 million budget, there was no reason to think a third movie would be enough of a course correction to justify another massive investment.

Having said that, at this stage, we have no reason to think "Pacific Rim 3" is going to happen. The good news is that the franchise is not entirely dead, and fans still have some stuff to look forward to.

Netflix to the rescue

The folks at Netflix released an anime series set in this universe titled "Pacific Rim: The Black" in 2021. The series was well-received by fans and raked in enough of an audience on the streaming service to warrant a renewal. So a second season of the show will be coming our way at some point. Plus, Legendary has published several comic bookss taking place in that universe, such as "Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero."

While a movie is out of the question (at least for now), it's clear that there is still some gas in the tank, and Legendary is interested in keeping the franchise alive in some fashion. So those who were hoping to see "Pacific Rim 3" are not totally out of luck, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Where can you watch the first two Pacific Rim movies?

For those who are looking to revisit the previous movies while we patiently await a possible third movie, or any other expansion of the franchise, there are plentiful options to do just that. The good news is that both "Pacific Rim" and "Pacific Rim: Uprising" are readily available to watch from the comfort of home. The bad news is that, as of this writing, they are not available through any major streaming service at this time. That said, the films are available to rent through just about every major digital retailer, including Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Apple TV, and many others. 

For those who are into physical media, both films are readily available on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD, and can be purchased through Amazon or any other online retailer of your choosing.