In an alternate universe, Godzilla could have shown up in the Pacific Rim franchise. Ah, what could have been. This, according to director Steven DeKnight, who revealed that his original idea was to have Pacific Rim 3 connect to the Monsterverse, which contains movies like the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong. That never came to pass and, in all likelihood, never will.
Steven DeKnight took over the franchise from Guillermo del Toro with Pacific Rim: Uprising. The sequel didn't do as well as its predecessor critically or commercially. As such, Legendary Pictures never moved forward with a third installment. So the idea to connect these two universes never came to pass. But, responding to a fan question on Twitter recently, DeKnight explained that Pacific Rim 3 would have ended by joining up with the MonsterVerse. Here's what he had to say about it.
"That was actually my long term plan. PR3 was structured to end in a way that married the two universes."
Unfortunately, the filmmaker did not elaborate. So it remains unclear how, precisely, Pacific Rim 3 would have led to a world in which Godzilla and King Kong could have appeared alongside the Jaegers. Interestingly, this is something that Guillermo del Toro also signed off on recently. The filmmaker, reacting to the Godzilla vs. Kong trailer, posted the following on Twitter.
"I personally love seeing the Neon, Sea battles, building demolition, etc because secretly -maybe- the PAC RIM Universe co-exists in the Legendary Kaijuverse and, perhaps, one day they can rumble!"
Del Toro clarified in a follow-up tweet adding, "Talking only as a fan BTW, no plans to return." So it seems this is, or at least was, a popular idea. And it makes sense. Legendary co-financed and produced both franchises with Warner Bros. They both involve gigantic monsters on Earth. Presumably different versions of Earth, or so we thought. Point being, with cinematic universes being all the rage, all of the pieces were right there. Someone just needed to put them together. Steven DeKnight intended to. The world had other plans. Fate did not will a big screen continuation of the franchise, given the diminishing financial returns.
The original Pacific Rim, released in 2013, grossed $411 million globally. The sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising, released five years in 2018, didn't fare as well, taking in just $290 million. While that didn't make it the biggest flop in the world, it also was far from a hit. Especially considering its reported $150 million production budget. The franchise will continue one elsewhere though. Netflix is gearing up to release a new anime series title Pacific Rim: The Black later this year. Who knows? Maybe since Netflix also produces Godzilla anime the two universes can collide in animated form down the road. But seeing it in live-action would be something else entirely. Godzilla Vs Kong arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on March 31. You can check out the original post from Steven DeKnight's Twitter account.