Pacific Rim Uprising is coming whether we want it or not, and the Kaiju are looking up the ante in the fight. Like most sequels, Uprising is looking to find ways to go bigger and better than its predecessor, meaning bigger monsters and badder Jaegers.
In an interview with Empire, visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang has laid out how exactly they’ve updated the Kaiju’s new destructive powers for the sequel. While the monsters in the original were superbly massive, Chiang and his team had to get creative with how to make the Kaiju more dangerous for new opponents by introducing new abilities and new creature designs. Most notable are the new creatures Raijin, Hakuja and Shrikethorn. “Raijin is bi-pedal, more T-Rex-like. He’s almost got a Venus-flytrap head that enables him to close up in defense mode. He has the ability to absorb energy from any attack and then use it to power his body to use it as a weapon.” Raijin is a “category 5 Kaiju”, the most powerful of the new group, which sounds pretty serious. Hakuja and Shrikethorn are both “category 4 Kaiju”, but they are not any less dangerous than Raijin. Hakuja is a “praying-mantis/mole/alligator-type thing that burrows,” while Shrikethorn “has plasma spears he can fire”. But more than anything, the Kaiju are more dangerous for their ability to strategize. “They are more connected,” Chiang said, hinting a sort of Kaiju team that we didn’t see in the last film.
Related: Pacific Rim Uprising Japanese Poster Highlights New Jaeger
Steven S. DeKnight took over the sequel from Guillermo del Toro, but the original film holds a lot of significance in the sequel. “(We want) to take the first movie and expand upon it,” he said. “Most specifically, look at the first movie and really talk about if you want to wipe out humanity and your throwing giant monsters at them — which is a little tough to wipe everyone out — so was that the full plan? Was there another component to it? That was our big jumping off point of focus.” This is refreshing to hear, as many sequels quickly abandon what makes the original so great. While the main component of Pacific Rim (i.e. giant robots pummeling giant monsters) is still intact, it’s a relief to know that what happened in the original will carry over to Uprising.
It’s truly a shame that Guillermo del Toro won’t be returning for the sequel, but he’s still working as one of the producers. Legendary, the production company, was changing hands at the time which left del Toro with the difficult decision to either wait for production to pick back up, or take another job. He talked about the process to Collider in an interview, “‘We’ve [Legendary] gotta wait nine months’ and I said, ‘I’m not waiting nine months, I’m shooting a movie,’ and I went and shot and we chose Steven DeKnight.’” Thankfully for everyone del Toro passed on it, because we wouldn’t have gotten The Shape of Water otherwise. His confidence in DeKnight should give us all hope.
Pacific Rim Uprising picks up ten years after the original, as Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) is leading a charge of new Jaeger pilots against a new Kaiju threat. Scott Eastwood and Tian Jing are some of the fresh faces we’ll be seeing, while Rinku Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Burn Gorman are reprising their roles from the first film.
Related: Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim 2 Originally Destroyed San Francisco
Source: Empire (via ComicBook)