Pacific Rim 2 On Indefinite Hold As Legendary and Universal Fight
The Lord giveth and Hollywood taketh away. Strange things have been going on in the Legendary-Universal-Warner Bros. world when Kong: Skull Island up and moved from Universal to Warner Bros., so that he can have a fight with Godzilla. And an obvious in-house fight between Legendary and Universal, Pacific Rim 2 is the victim in the fall out, and has been put on hold, and could be cancelled.
The reason all of this is strange is that Warner Bros. and Legendary, partners for many years, parted ways, as the latter teamed up with Universal
on a five-year deal. According to The Hollywood Reporter
, this is another strained point in an already abrasive relationship.
THR’s sources say that Universal was unhappy that Legendary began their association with the bombs that were Seventh Son and Michael Mann's Blackhat. Universal didn’t finance either one of those films, but was apparently unhappy to invest the time into releasing the pair of box office bombs.
But the biggest issue that Universal has is with Legendary’s chief Thomas Tull
himself, who allegedly has a habit for taking credit for projects he merely helped financed, such as this year’s monster hit, Jurassic World
. This was one of the issues that WB had with Tull
in the first place, as Warners thought he grabbed credit for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight
The 'deal' between Legendary and Warner Bros. right now via King Kong probably won’t lead to a larger deal between the two studios, as the studio is happy with its financing partnership with Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac Entertainment. That’s not even taking into account that Warners was happy to see Tull leave.
Meanwhile, Universal has invested in three Legendary projects: Krampus, Warcraft,
and the Matt Damon
sci-fi/action film The Great Wall,
directed by Zhang Yimou
. Both Warcraft
and The Great Wall
are considered problem films by Universal studio chief Donna Langley
director Duncan Jones tweeted
this about the 'troubled production' status of this film: "I wouldn't worry about that. Universal moved us to the same date as Jurassic World, so we must have done something right!
The fallout of this squabbling is that Pacific Rim‘s sequel has been “halted indefinitely and will be pushed back (if it gets made at all).” It seems that Pacific Rim 2’s fate is now tied into whether Warcraft and The Great Wall do well or not. The first Pacific Rim was released (and co-financed) by Warner Bros., who were willing to let the property go to Universal with Legednary.
It seems that Guillermo del Toro gets punished for things out of his control, as this isn’t the first time that Universal has opted out of one of his films. This year’s Crimson Peak is being fully financed by Legendary, because Langley refused to help fund it unless a PG-13 cut was delivered. Pacific Rim 2 was to go before cameras this November, 2 months from now, so there has most certainly been money spent on development and pre-production.
There are still a few years to go in the Universal/Legendary financing agreement, so maybe this rocky start will get smoothed over in the next few years. And for those of you who were hoping to get Hellboy 3, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the odds definitely look against that now.