Pacific Rim is all about sending giant robots out to fight giant monsters. Legendary’s Monsterverse is all about letting the giant monsters just fight each other. What else do they have in common? Aside from fairly boring human characters, that is. It’s possible that they may soon share a universe. Pacific Rim: Uprising‘s director, Steven S. DeKnight, is sure excited about the idea. But how plausible is it, exactly? He was quoted saying-
“Look, I think it would be fantastic to have the Pacific Rim universe join Legendary’s Monster Universe, it seems like a natural step. And part of the big overall plan after the third movie we’ve talked about is that could happen, it’s always a possibility. It’s by far not a certainty; it’s merely theoretical at this point, but as a fan myself, I would love to see that happen.”
Based on that, everything is up in the air. He even chalks it up to fan-driven speculation on his part. A possibility, but it may very well just be a pipe dream. And one could see why. There are a number of logistics concerns that arise from the mere mention of this. Even if we leave film rights out of the conversation (because it’d add a layer of complication far deeper than can be fully detailed in a brief article), the studios do still make this difficult.
Pacific Rim is a self-contained franchise. If ever there was a talk about making an expanded universe of it, we know nothing about it, as of yet. Meanwhile, Legendary is aiming to take their Monsterverse films the way of Marvel Studios. Suddenly introducing yet another franchise could muddy things or interfere with their plans. While Godzilla and Kong are the only ones with movies of their own, thus far, keep prior film history in mind. Rodan and Mothra (especially Mothra) are major staples of Toho’s own Monster Universe. It’s entirely possible that, should they survive Godzilla: King of the Monsters, they’ll spin off into their own films (please, Legendary? I want a Mothra movie).
And even that is ignoring the more glaring elephant in the room – lore. Now, a clever enough writer could easily write around that problem. If the Legendary Monsterverse does write every single kaiju as being a prehistoric animal, or a product of some freak radioactive accident, that would clash with what’s known of the Kaiju of Pacific Rim – which are otherworldly in nature.
Now, maybe Mothra really will be a giant magical savior. Maybe King Ghidorah really will be from space. Both are possibilities. And that out-there quality (the diversity of which is what makes a ton of Toho’s kaiju interesting) could mesh just fine with the Pacific Rim lore. Nothing would clash on that aspect. However, it would still terribly sunder the timeline we’ve been given of Pacific Rim, considering when it takes place and the known timeline of the Monsterverse.
In the same Collider interview, DeKnight later stated that while Pacific Rim: Uprising has a “definite ending, it’s very much open to the next chapter.” To anyone with basic critical thinking skills, that statement is a contradiction. Of course, he could simply mean that it would be the definite end for all the characters in that specific film, and any future sequels could follow new ones.
That said, the possibility has now been laid out there. From there it’s just a matter of how they could make such a thing work if they agreed to it. And let’s not even get into all the “who would win” arguments. We all know the answer to that. Mecha-Godzilla.
Pacific Rim: Uprising stomps into theaters March 23, 2018