John Boyega has announced that he is set to star in the sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s 2013 kaiju monster movie Pacific Rim.
The film will see Del Toro, who yesterday teased a Pacific Rim related announcement was imminent, stay on board as a producer, but Steven S. DeKnight take over in the director chair in what will be his feature film directorial debut, after a successful stint as show runner on the Netflix and Marvel series Daredevil.
Pacific Rim 2 has had a turbulent path to production, having been “halted indefinitely” and taking off the Universal Pictures roster, as well as Del Toro’s desired Pacific Rim and Godzilla crossover being dismissed even though it was initially hinted as happening. Universal Studios, who collaborate with Legendary Pictures on the film, had confirmed after halting film that they would still proceed with the films development, and would use the indefinite delays to make sure it was as good as can be.
The first film, though well received by audiences and critics alike, was only a lukewarm success; the film was a big success in China and did well internationally, but failed to cross the 100 million dollar mark domestically in America. The film earned just over 400 million on an almost 200 million dollar budget.
Boyega is no stranger to Sci-Fi franchises; his big break came in the form of Brit Comedy based around aliens Attack The Block, and his career and fame were launched to stratospheric heights with a starring role in the record breaking return to the Star Wars Universe, last years Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in he portrayed co-lead Finn, alongside Daisy Ridley’s Rey, and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, who returned to the franchise after 32 years.
Aside from starring in the film, Boyega announced that his recently founded production company UpperRoom Productions will co-produce Pacific Rim 2 alongside Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures. He follows in the footsteps of Star Wars co-star and fellow Star Wars newcomer Daisy Ridley, who made the leap from behind the camera to serve as executive producer on the documentary film Eagle Huntress.
Guillermo Del Toro has also previously confirmed that the characters portrayed in the first film by Charlie Day and Burn Gorman will return, although it is not known if any of the films previous cast (Charlie Hunman, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi and Robert Kazinsky) will return for the sequel. Del Toro also said that he was a fan of Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, and expressed interest in working with her on the Pacific Rim sequel, though nothing has come of that yet.
Though there is still no release date or date to mark the start of production from Universal Studios, the official hiring of a director and lead actor, especially one as talked about as John Boyega is right now, is a strong sign of faith from the studio, and should surely give hope to fans of the original film that the sequel is indeed coming!
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