Guillermo Del Toro has claimed he isn't directing 'Pacific Rim Uprising' because of the lengthy wait between shoots.

The 53-year-old filmmaker helmed the first movie in the fantasy series back in 2013, and was all set to work on the project's sequel before he dropped out and was replaced by Steven S. DeKnight.

Now, Guillermo has claimed that he stepped away from the sequel after a six month wait between penning the script and shooting the movie meant that his other projects took over and he no longer had the time to dedicate to the feature.

He said: ''I prepped my version of 'Pacific Rim 2', which was I developed the screenplay, I storyboarded and designed the creatures and the robots and all that. And then that suspension of six months, I left and helped select the new director, Steven DeKnight, and that was about it.''

Guillermo instead worked on 'The Shape of Water', for which he is now receiving critical acclaim, but admits he only stepped away from 'Pacific Rim Uprising' because of a delay caused by another film taking up the studio space they were supposed to use to film the sequel.

Speaking to KCRW.com, he added: ''You have a thing called a hold on the stages. When you get a hold on Pinewood Studios, they hold the stages for you. But if somebody challenges you, which, in this instance, was 'xXx 3' - the one with Vin Diesel. They came in and challenged us. And Legendary [Pictures] said we're not going to challenge that, and that meant delaying the movie at least six or seven months.''

'Pacific Rim Uprising' is set to star John Boyega, who will play Jack, the son of Idris Elba's leading character from the first movie, Stacker Pentecost.

The movie is scheduled for release in March this year.