'Pacific Rim' Sequel Already in the Works with Writer Travis Beacham (Exclusive)

Travis Beacham - P 2012
<p>Travis Beacham - P 2012</p>   |   Getty Images
Guillermo del Toro's monsters vs. robots tentpole won't be released until July, but Legendary already is prepping a follow-up.

Legendary is doubling down on Pacific Rim.

The company won’t release the Guillermo del Toro sci-fi tentpole until July 12, but it already is laying the groundwork for a sequel, tapping Travis Beacham to pen the script.

Beacham wrote the initial treatment for Pac Rim, as the project is affectionately known, as a spec script, which Legendary picked up in June 2010. Del Toro quickly became involved in its development, and when his passion project At the Mountains of Madness fell apart, he made it his next picture. Warner Bros. will distribute.

VIDEO: Guillermo del Toro's 'Pacific Rim' Unveils Giant Monster in New Footage

Rim centers on a defense force consisting of mechas, giant robots and their human pilots, who are fighting to save humanity from gigantic monsters invading from an other-worldly dimension.

Del Toro will co-write the sequel script, though it’s unclear at this stage whether he will direct. The filmmaker on Monday committed to helming the haunted-house story, Crimson Peak, which Legendary -- wanting to stay in the del Toro business -- picked up from Universal. A January 2014 production start is being eyed.

Starting to work on a sequel prior to the release of the original movie is becoming more common in an age when release dates often are set years in advance. Studios would prefer to wait until the first weekend’s opening grosses come in before throwing another installment into development, but in cases where test scores or buzz is high, it happens. Warner Bros., for example, famously started working on The Hangover Part II two months before the first installment hit theaters. Legendary clearly is feeling bullish that it has a franchise on its hands with Pacific Rim.

STORY: Comic-Con 2012: Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim' Wows With Giant Robots Vs. Monsters 

Beacham broke into Hollywood with his 2005 spec A Killing on Carnival Row, which del Toro was at one time attached to direct (the project remains in development at Kopelson Entertainment). He also worked on 2010’s Clash of the Titans and wrote drafts of Black Hole for Joe Kosinski at Disney and penned the initial draft of Bad Robot’s top-secret Zanbato project for J.J. Abrams.  

He is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Hansen Jacobson.

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