52-year old director Guillermo del Toro surprised a number of people in Hollywood when he chose to walk away from his main role in Pacific Rim: Uprising. Taking the reigns for the surprisingly successful 2013 original, the Mexican director told Collider this week that he had two other offers on the table and would not wait until Legendary Pictures got their act together.
“The timing started to suck," he recalled. "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.”
Uprising Different From First Pacific Rim 2 Draft
Going behind the scenes as a producer for the next blockbuster, del Toro explained that the current production is doing as well as can expected.
“It’s going great. I see dailies every day, I see early cuts, I see teasers," he revealed. "They’re doing great. It lets him have his style, lets him have his notion of the characters. I wrote a screenplay, developed two or three drafts of that screenplay—this is different than what I developed, and I’m OK. A producer is in the corner, the director is in the ring. The producer’s not getting the punches, the director is, so shut up, wait in the corner, refresh the towel and wait for the director to come to you.”
Del Toro Hands Director's Keys Over To DeKnight
Although newcomer Steven S. DeKnight has limited experience, particularly when it comes to a movie of the scope of Pacific Rim: Uprising, del Toro argued that he is a star in the making.
“It was such a great choice. I mean I love (DeKnight), love what he does, I think he’s really brilliant," he said. "He’s making it his own. I’m not breathing over his shoulder saying, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’ He’s doing things differently and I like that. When I produce I try to produce the way I would like to be produced. I say to everyone I produce, ‘If you need me I will be there 100% all the time. If you don’t need me, I’m not there. You show me the cut then we’ll start interacting.”