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Guillermo Del Toro On Pacific Rim 2 And The Classic Show That Inspired The Strain

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PacRimDelToroGuillermo del Toro had a lot to talk about at Comic-Con this year. He’s returning to his horror roots with the upcoming Crimson Peak. He’s got The Strain trying to make vampires genuinely scary again on FX. And he’s still riding high on the triumphant announcement that Pacific Rim 2 is coming in 2017, which has got to feel great in light of all the people who shit on it when it under-performed at the domestic box office. And while he’s keeping Pacific Rim 2’s overall story under wraps, he did reveal a few hints about what’s in store for us during a new interview with Hero Complex.

Del Toro has said before that Pacific Rim 2 will raise the stakes and up the action of the original, but given how things wrapped up at the end of the first movie, it will be interesting to see how he continues from there. On a basic level, he says he’ll be mixing things up just so it doesn’t feel like he’s repeating the same sort of action beats we saw last time around. But he also says they’ll be exploring more of the mythology about the so-called “Anteverse,” the alternate universe that was lobbing monsters at our world through a dimensional rift at the bottom of the Pacific. So could that mean an expedition into the Anteverse for our heroes? If so, will that mean mankind figuring out how to create a rift of their own, or will the denizens of the Anteverse open up another one themselves, hoping to get some payback?

Del Toro told Hero Complex:

We are taking the characters into a completely different journey this time because Raleigh for me solved his problem the minute he was able to go full circle and save Mako by sacrificing himself, which is what he couldn’t do with his brother. He’s not on that journey anymore, he’s on a new journey.

If you’re craving a regular dose of del Toro without having to wait for his next movie, you need look no further than FX on Sunday nights, where his horror series The Strain is currently three episodes into its first season. The show was originally envisioned and pitched as a TV show years ago, but del Toro couldn’t find a network to take the bait. So he turned it into a trilogy of novels with writer Chuck Hogan…and now it’s come full circle and back to the small screen. But del Toro says The Strain’s origins were also rooted in his fondness for another classic TV show, one that also helped inspire Chris Carter’s The X-Files. If you’re a fan worth your salt, you should already know I’m talking about Dan Curtis’ cult classic series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Here’s del Toro:

I said to myself, ‘OK, I want to do a Dan Curtis, 1970s fun horror.’ Not all horror — I’ve done both types of horror — horror can be a deep meditation on the poetic whatever, you know. But horror can also be fun, and I wanted The Strain to go to places that were brutal and gory and this and that, but in a fun spirit. That was my intention. My favorite show ever was Kolchak: [The Night Stalker] and as a kid, I was always going, ‘Why is Kolchak going alone in the middle of the night completely unprepared to meet the zombie?’ And the answer was, ‘Who cares?’ Just get to the zombie.

Pacific Rim 2 is set to hit theaters on April 7, 2017. You can catch The Strain Sunday nights at 10/9c on FX.

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