If it's crap ... We'll tell you
When we receive news that a company like, say, Marvel is planning the next installment for one of their tentpole superhero characters before the latest has even been released, no one really bats an eye. The built-in audience and miles and miles of established story canon provides plenty of logic to this cart-before-the-horse approach. However, it's less common that a studio would put into motion a sequel to a massive standalone sci-fi epic before they've seen how audiences react to it. And yet such is the case with Guillermo del Toro's 'Pacific Rim.' Legendary Pictures has already tapped the grand-scale aliens-versus-robots flick for a sequel, hiring Travis Beacham, who penned 'Pacific Rim's treatment, to write the script for the next movie. Del Toro will co-write the sequel, but it is not known at the moment whether he will direct. 'Pacific Rim' won't hit theaters until July.
The thing about a story like this is that it's nearly impossible to know how to react. On the one hand, I suppose it's reassuring that Legendary has such faith in a Guillermo del Toro project. Many of us were monumentally disappointed when Universal pulled the plug on his 'At the Mountains of Madness,' so word getting out in the industry that his followup project is so delighting Legendary could on some level aid in his eventually getting Mountains off the ground. Also, the fact that a studio is trying to establish a franchise that's not based on comics, classic TV, or the fodder in our toy boxes is extremely encouraging. On the other hand, how can we possibly know if 'Pacific Rim' needs or deserves a sequel without having seen it? It's not unheard of that a studio would greenlight a sequel before the first film has been released, but again the lack of brand name recognition in 'Pacific Rim' makes this a particularly surprising gamble. Also, with all the projects he's lining up, it's almost a cinch that del Toro would not be available to direct the sequel anyway.
What do you guys think? Can you get excited for the proposed sequel to a film you haven't seen? Is concept alone enough to sustain your interest? Do you think Legendary is taking too great a risk?