There's been lots of speculation over the past few weeks, but director Guillermo del Toro has made it official, telling BuzzFeed that Legendary Pictures has agreed to make Pacific Rim 2 with a release date of April 7th, 2017. "The characters I love will return," the filmmaker said in a statement. "Raleigh, Mako, Newt, Gottlieb and who knows, maybe even Hannibal Chau — but we are taking them into a fresh territory that will display amazing sights and battles. The first film set the stage and now we're ready to have a blast."
The director also posted a video to YouTube announcing the news, saying that along with the sequel he is also working on a new animated series set in the Pacific Rim universe. He is working on the projects with screenwriters Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand) and Travis Beacham (the original Pacific Rim).
Pacific Rim was a highly anticipated summer movie last year, and while it was met with favorable reviews it underperformed at the US box office, barely crossing the $100 million threshold — even though it reportedly cost upwards of $190 million. It certainly performed better overseas, but Legendary had been holding off on greenlighting a sequel even though del Toro was bullish on the prospect. Gareth Edwards' Godzilla — another Legendary movie that just happened to feature giant monsters — made almost double that in the US, a fact that may have contributed to the company's decision to move forward. The director is currently working on the horror film Crimson Peak, which stars Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasikowska. It's scheduled for release in October of next year.