Steven DeKnight on his leap from TV to Pacific Rim Uprising
Steven S. DeKnight’s entire career has been in television, but in a way, every aspect of it has been building toward where he finds himself now: directing a huge Hollywood movie. Not just any movie mind you, DeKnight has taken the reigns from none other than Guillermo del Toro and is bringing the long-awaited Pacific Rim sequel to the world next year.
“Thankfully the shows that I’ve directed on it’s kind of been the same ‘genre world,’” DeKnight told us on the Sydney set of the film earlier this year. DeKnight’s television directing credits include fan favorites like Angel, Dollhouse, Smallville, and Marvel’s Daredevil, all of which seem to have prepared him for this.
He adds, “I’m used to dealing with action and visual effects, it’s just on a much bigger scale.”
Directing action and visual effects aren’t the only thing from his television career that prepared him for Pacific Rim. The worldwide inclusive cast of the franchise was also something previously touched on in DeKnight’s career.
“What really drew me to this was something I loved about when I did ‘Spartacus,’ all these cultures that were together, and they were just together. For this movie it functions in that organic way, the way China and Japan and Russia and Latin America and all the countries came together to fight this threat, it was really baked into the story. So it never felt like, ‘Oh we’re reaching to jam in this Chinese character,’ it all just made sense.”
Though a lot of back story from the first film will certainly play into the sequel, DeKnight revealed to us that newcomers don’t have to feel like they need to do homework either before coming to see Pacific Rim Uprising. They can just show up to watch.
“We built it so if you want to just watch this movie, all the information you need is in there… We always wanted for the fans of the first movie, when they watch this, it will be a very rich experience. They’ll catch a bunch of stuff, but you don’t have to know about the first movie. Without giving anything away, the opening of this movie catches you up in a unique way.”
Whether it’s a blind lawyer pounding fists in the streets of Hell’s kitchen, a vampire detective wandering Los Angeles, or 50m-high robots punching giant monsters, DeKnight has found his element.
“I always say that I feel like I’m doing what I’ve been doing before, it’s just been expanded and I have a lot more toys. Literally. The support on a big movie is just incredible, you get so much support. It’s a long grueling shoot but the crew is fantastic, everybody working on it is great, and the actors have been wonderful. I feel I really lucked out for my first tiny, little movie.”
Pacific Rim Uprising will land in theaters on March 23, 2018.