Pacific Rim Uprising (2018)
|Pacific Rim Films|
Pacific Rim Uprising is the sequel to the 2013 Legendary Pictures kaiju film Pacific Rim. It was produced by Legendary Pictures and distributed by Universal Pictures, and was released to theaters on March 23, 2018.
The globe-spanning conflict between otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and the human-piloted super-machines built to vanquish them was only a prelude to the all-out assault on humanity in Pacific Rim Uprising.
John Boyega stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous "Kaiju." Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori — who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction.
Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara, as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.
Ten years ago, Marshall Stacker Pentecost of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps gave his life in a mission to seal the interdimensional portal allowing Kaiju to invade Earth. Since then, the PPDC has amassed influence and much of the world has recovered from the war. One notable exception is Santa Monica, California, where Stacker’s son Jake makes a living as a thief. A washout from the Jaeger program, he now uses his insider knowledge of the giant mechs to liberate valuable parts from the local scrapyard.
One such operation falls apart when a mysterious figure snatches a Jaeger power core just before he can reach it. After evading the hostile gang who accompanied him to the scrapyard, he tracks the thief to an abandoned warehouse. She is Amara Namani, a teenager building her own miniature, single-pilot Jaeger for when the Kaiju return. When the PPDC arrives on the scene, Jake and Amara escape in her Jaeger, Scrapper, only to be confronted by November Ajax. They manage to outmaneuver it for a time, even briefly disabling it by ejecting an ion cell, but are ultimately felled by the Jaeger’s Taser Fists.
While in prison, Jake is visited by his adoptive sister, Mako Mori, via hologram. Now the secretary-general of the PPDC, she offers him a way out: reenlist in the Jaeger program and train the next generation of pilots. He accepts with great reluctance. Amara also joins the organization as a cadet, and they both travel to the Moyulan Shatterdome. There they receive a chilly reception from Ranger Nathan Lambert, Jake’s former copilot.
Amara struggles to Drift with the other cadets in simulations. Liwen Shao, head of Shao Industries, arrives at the Shatterdome to give a presentation on the Jaeger drones she’s developing. While she’s there, her head of research and development, Newt Geiszler, reconnects with his old friend and lab partner, Hermann Gottlieb. Newt assures Hermann that his wild plans for rocket-powered Jaeger deployment will be unnecessary once the PPDC approves Liwen’s drones. Meanwhile, Mako shares with Jake her concerns about the drones: they could potentially be hacked or otherwise compromised.
The PPDC convenes in Sydney to vote on the new program. Mako requests Jake and Nathan as honor guards, piloting Gipsy Avenger. As she arrives via helicopter, a unregistered Jaeger emerges from the harbor and begins wreaking havoc. She is killed by a stray missile as it battles an outmatched Gipsy Avenger.
After Mako’s funeral, Jake Drifts with Amara to help her practice and learns that her family was killed in a Kaiju attack on Santa Monica. The PPDC approves the drone program, ordering full deployment within 48 hours. At his apartment, Newt complains about his workload to a pulsating Kaiju brain before Drifting with it. Hermann analyzes Mako’s last transmission and realizes it’s a map of a location in Siberia that once housed a facility producing Jaeger parts. Jake and Nathan investigate in Gipsy and detect activity in the facility before it is destroyed by the rogue Jaeger, now codenamed Obsidian Fury. After a fierce battle, they manage to rip out its power core and tear off its face, revealing a Kaiju brain where its pilots should have been.
Studying the brain, Hermann concludes that it was genetically engineered by someone from Earth. Amara convinces her fellow cadets to sneak inside Obsidian Fury’s remains. One is burned by dripping Kaiju blood as she cuts into one of the cables, leading to her expulsion from the Jaeger program. She warns Jake that the rogue Jaeger has parts in it that were manufactured by Shao Industries. Hermann offers to visit Newt and see what he knows.
As the drones arrive at Shatterdomes around the globe, they begin to malfunction—and mutate. Sprouting Kaiju-like spikes and claws, they attack everything that moves. Hermann and Newt fight off several Shao Industries guards to reach his lab. There, Newt reveals himself to be under the influence of the Kaiju’s alien masters, the Precursors, and activates another of the drones’ hidden capabilities. Each group of drones combines their chest lasers to open Breaches at each Shatterdome. Liwen manages to shut them down, but Newt escapes and three Kaiju make it out of the Breaches: Shrikethorn, Hakuja, and Raijin.
Following a disastrous PPDC counteroffensive, only four Jaegers are left operational: Gipsy Avenger, Saber Athena, Bracer Phoenix, and Guardian Bravo. Shao and Hermann arrive at the Moyulan Shatterdome to help the survivors there plan their own offensive. They discover that all three Kaiju are converging on Tokyo in the hopes of reaching Mt. Fuji. By combining their blood with the rare earth elements there, they would be able to cause an explosive reaction sufficient to ignite the Pacific Rim’s Ring of Fire and wipe out humanity.
Aside from Jake and Nate, all of the Rangers are dead or injured. With no other options, the cadets, including Amara, pilot the remaining Jaegers. Hermann and Shao work to make his rocket-deployment concept a reality, allowing the Jaegers to intercept the Kaiju in Tokyo. Newt, watching the battle atop a skyscraper, launches a swarm of smaller drones from a nearby Shao facility. Surrounding the Kaiju, they fuse them into a single Mega-Kaiju. The amalgamation easily destroys Saber, Bracer, and Guardian, then drives a spike through Gipsy’s head, injuring Nate. Amara, having ejected from Bracer, takes his place. Liwen remotely pilots Scrapper and welds one of the rockets to their arm. Flying into the atmosphere, they drop Gipsy down on the Mega-Kaiju as a gigantic missile, slaying it just before it can throw itself into Mt. Fuji. Jake and Amara escape in Scrapper.
Back in Tokyo, Nate knocks out Newt and brings him to the Shatterdome. As he rants about the Precursors’ next plot, Jake promises to take the fight to them.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Steven S. DeKnight
- Written by Steven S. DeKnight, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, T.S. Nowlin
- Produced by John Boyega, Thomas Tull, Mary Parent, Jon Jashni, Guillermo del Toro, Femi Oguns
- Executive Producing by Angarag Davaasuren and Eric McLeod
- Music by Lorne Balfe
- Cinematography by Daniel Mindel
- Edited by Zach Staenberg
- Production Design by Stefan Dechant
- Assistant Directing by Thomas Robinson Harper, Nick Satriano
- Story by Guillermo del Toro
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
In July 2012, director Guillermo del Toro discussed the possibility of making a Pacific Rim sequel. "We always leave ideas that were in the first draft as you go along. You know, either a set piece that was great but too expensive, an idea that was really bright, but it couldn't quite fit the structure... so we have a little stash of stuff we wanted to do that we didn't get to do. So if that's a possibility, A) I would be very happy to do a sequel, but B) a lot of these ideas, set pieces and all that, actually have in them a really good seed for a sequel." On December 4, Legendary Pictures announced that it had selected Pacific Rim co-writer Travis Beacham to write the sequel, along with del Toro, though there was no comment as to whether del Toro would return to direct the second film. At WonderCon 2013, del Toro expressed enthusiasm for a potential crossover between Pacific Rim and Godzilla—another Legendary Pictures kaiju film—but stressed that no such plans were in place. In July 2013, shortly before the release of Pacific Rim, Del Toro discussed the sequel, stating: "The main idea that we're bouncing off is the fact that Newt drifted with a Kaiju brain, and all Kaiju brains are connected. We say that. They are like a hive mentality. So, you know, draw your own conclusions." The director has also stated the sequel will feature "Gipsy 2.0," as well as a "merging of Kaiju and Jaeger." In October 2013, Del Toro revealed that he and Beacham would return to write the sequel, despite the film not yet being greenlit at the time.
In June 2014, when the sequel was still unconfirmed, Del Toro stated that he had secretly been working on the script with Zak Penn for several months and confirmed that Raleigh and Mako would return. Beacham initially developed the storyline with del Toro, but dropped out to work on the TV series Hieroglyph. Later in June 2014, del Toro confirmed that he would direct the sequel, and that it would be released by Universal Pictures on April 7, 2017. A non-episodic animated series connecting both films and a second graphic novel were also announced. On July 9, del Toro announced that pre-production for Pacific Rim 2 would start in August 2014, with principal photography commencing in late 2015. The film was later given the working title Maelstrom.
On September 17, 2015, the film was indefinitely delayed due to the rights shuffling on Legendary's Kong: Skull Island and rumored preparations for a Godzilla and King Kong crossover. Guillermo del Toro made a statement the next day confirming the news, but also assuring the public that the film was not cancelled and that he and the studio were still actively working on it. On January 7, 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Legendary had taken Pacific Rim 2 "off the table indefinitely," and that Guillermo Del Toro was now in talks to direct Twentieth Century Fox's upcoming remake of the 1966 sci-fi classic, Fantastic Voyage instead. However, the source stated that the film could still potentially be revived in the future, given Del Toro's enthusiasm for the project and the fact that Legendary had recently been acquired by Chinese conglomerate Wanda, since Pacific Rim made more profit in China than anywhere else. On January 11, Guillermo del Toro made a statement on Twitter saying that Pacific Rim 2 was not cancelled and "still going," and that he would "remain w(ith) it in one way or another."
Steven S. DeKnight, director of Spartacus and several episodes of Marvel's Daredevil, was announced as the film's director on February 23, 2016. Production of the film was scheduled to finally begin in late 2016. Del Toro remained on the project as a producer, joined by Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, and Mary Parent. By the time DeKnight joined the project, it had three distinct scripts: one script by Beacham and Del Toro, Penn and Del Toro's 2014 draft, and one by Jon Spaihts. DeKnight assembled a writers' room, picked the elements from each story he most liked, and penned a new script revolving around Charlie Hunnam's character Raleigh Becket with two of the writers, Emily Carmichael and Kira Snyder. The morning after they finished the draft, Hunnam announced that he would be working on a remake of Papillion, making his starring in the film impossible. They reworked the plot to revolve around a brother and sister, but no one was satisfied with it. Del Toro and Parent had the breakthrough idea, suggesting that the previously-unmentioned son of Marshall Stacker Pentecost could be the main character. Legendary hired T.S. Nowlin to revise the script accordingly. Jurassic World writer Derek Connolly joined the project in May 2016, though his contributions went uncredited.
On June 6, Deadline reported that John Boyega, star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, had been cast as the lead in the film. Boyega also served as a producer of the film, along with Femi Oguns, under their production company Upper Room Productions. On June 30, ComingSoon.net reported that Universal had officially announced Pacific Rim 2's new release date for February 23, 2018.
On December 14, 2016, in a press release announcing the hiring of new production executives, Legendary revealed the official titles for both Godzilla 2 and the Pacific Rim sequel: Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Pacific Rim: Uprising. On August 2, 2017, Universal moved the film's release date forward a month to March 23, 2018.
Principal photography on Pacific Rim Uprising lasted from November 2016 to March 2017, beginning in Australia and concluding at Wanda Studios Qingdao in China. Locations in Australia included Sydney, Brisbane (doubling as Tokyo), and the Gold Coast. Reshoots were conducted in mid-2017 to add comedy and backstory for certain characters.
The first official image from Pacific Rim Uprising appeared in the magazine License! Global on February 9, 2017, showing three Jaegers (later identified as Gipsy Avenger, Saber Athena, and Bracer Phoenix). A diagram showcasing Gipsy Avenger's various capabilities was displayed at a Tamashii Nations event on April 29, 2017; diagrams for Saber Athena and Bracer followed at Japan Expo on July 7, 2017, along with a Bandai figure of Avenger.
On July 20, 2017, direct Steven S. DeKnight introduced figures of Bracer Phoenix, Saber Athena, Titan Redeemer, and Guardian Bravo at San Diego Comic Con. Two drive suits were on display at the event as well. On the same day, Legendary launched GoJaeger.com, a viral marketing site for the film, and an accompanying video with John Boyega as Jake Pentecost.
New York Comic Con posted its schedule online on September 5, 2016, revealing that Pacific Rim Uprising's first trailer would debut at a panel on October 6 at Madison Square Garden. Director Steven DeKnight and actors John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Burn Gorman and Cailee Spaeny were in attendance. The first three posters were released on September 26. A synopsis followed on October 4th.
On November 20, Legendary unveiled a second website, JaegerAcademy.com, in tandem with a contest to win a cameo in the film. The site gradually hosted various challenges (building a Jaeger, answering trivia questions, target practice, and a personality test) that fans could complete to become credited as Pan Pacific Defense Corps Rangers. The film's second trailer was released on January 24.
- Main article: Pacific Rim Uprising/Gallery.
Domestically, Pacific Rim Uprising opened in first place with $28.1 million, ending Black Panther's five-week streak. However, this figure was significantly lower than the $37.3 million opening weekend of Pacific Rim. The film fared much better overseas, particularly in China, where it opened at $63.5 million. It dropped to fifth place in the U.S. in its second weekend, and finished with $288 million internationally. On April 4, Variety reported that Legendary had "no plans for a third installment."
Pacific Rim Uprising currently has a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 200 reviews. The site's Critical Consensus reads, "Pacific Rim Uprising won't win any points for subtlety or originality, but it delivers enough of the rock 'em-sock 'em robots-vs.-kaiju thrills that fans of the original will be looking for."
Universal DVD / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital copy / Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital copy / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital copy (2018)
- Region: Various
- Discs: 2
- Audio: English (Dolby Atmos on 4K and Blu-ray, 5.1 Surround on DVD, 2.0 Stereo on Blu-ray and DVD), Latin Spanish (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 on 4K and Blu-ray, 5.1 Surround on DVD), Canadian French (5.1 Surround)
- Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
- Special Features: Audio commentary by director Steven S. DeKnight; deleted scenes with commentary by DeKnight (7 minutes); featurettes on the Jaegers' capabilities (3 minutes), the connections between the film and its predecessor (5 minutes), the criminal underworld (4 minutes), the cadets (6 minutes), Newt Geiszler and Hermann Gottlieb (6 minutes), Jaeger development and VFX (5 minutes), Scrapper (3 minutes), the Kaiju (3 minutes), Liwen Shao (3 minutes), and Mako Mori (2 minutes)
- The skulls of Guiron, Battra, Zigra, Clover, Gigan, Gamera, Varan, Jiger, Yonggary, Baragon, Muto, and Gyaos appear on a computer screen in the scene where Hermann Gottlieb examines PPDC records in search of a match for the image Mako Mori transmitted.
- Main article: Pacific Rim Uprising/Videos.
- GoJaeger.com, viral marketing site
- JaegerAcademy.com, second viral marketing site
- Official Twitter account
- Official Japanese Twitter account
- Official Facebook page
- Official Instagram account
- Production notes
- Pacific Rim: Breach Wars Instagram account
- Pacific Rim Uprising on Pacific Rim Wiki
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