The Wall Street Journal interviewed del Toro about the sequel, and he revealed some details about what he’s planning:
We are three years away, so to spoil anything would be fantastically silly of me. What I can tell you: [screenwriter Zak Penn] and I really went in, we started with [screenwriter Travis Beacham] about a year and a half ago, kicking ideas back and forth. And, admittedly, I said to Zak, letâ€™s keep kicking ideas till we find one that really, really turns the first movie on its ear, so to speak. (â€¦) It was hard to create a world that did not come from a comic book, that had its own mythology, so we had to sacrifice many aspects to be able to cram everything in the first movie. Namely, for example â€œthe Driftâ€ (editorâ€™s note: the neural link between pilots of the giant robots, or jaegers), which was an interesting concept. [Then there was] this portal that ripped a hole into the fabric of our universe, what were the tools they were using? And we came up with a really, really interesting idea. I donâ€™t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. Theyâ€™re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.
He also talks about the cast:
Iâ€™m hoping to bring the same idea I had in the first movie, that was to make it multicultural and humanistic as much as possible, to make characters from many nationalities or gender, to make them equal in the scope of the adventure, in the day-to-day of the adventure. So, weâ€™re bringing a few characters that are new and hopefully doing good work managing those that survived the first movie. (laughs)
And they’re going to start designing new Jaegers and Kaiju next month:
I start designing in six weeks. It takes me nine months to design a movie like that. People see the movie, and they have to see that we designed everything in the movie, from ID cards or patches, pamphlets, posters, signs, sets. I start with a core team for about six months designing the jaegers and the kaiju, you know, so we know how many kaiju, how many jaegers. We are creating some new jaegers and a lot of new kaiju. We start [designing the production] in August.
Just knowing Pacific Rim 2 is underway should be good news to anyone who was worried this would be another one of those del Toro projects that are talked about, but never happen.