In the past few years, original sci-fi films (i.e., projects unconnected to existing big-screen franchises) have continued to conquer the box office. Films like Gravity, The Martian, and Arrival have proven that serious science fiction can earn as much love from critics and awards groups as grounded stories that take place on Earth and don’t involve any extraterrestrial life.
While it’s an ode to giant monster movies of the past, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim still qualifies as a piece of original sci-fi in that has now kicked off a franchise of its own. Though the film hews more closely to B-movie than Oscar-worthy achievement, Pacific Rim did emerge as a solid box office hit. Earning $411 million worldwide, the film was particularly a smash internationally, where it made more than 75% of its grosses.
With a total like that and mostly positive reviews, it’s no wonder that we’re getting Pacific Rim 2 in early 2018. Although del Toro will not be returning to the director’s chair, television veteran Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus, Daredevil) has stepped in to make his feature directorial debut. Actors like John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Cailee Spaeny, and Scott Eastwood will headline Pacific Rim 2 in place of previous stars Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, and Rinko Kikuchi (who, to be fair, isn’t confirmed to be officially out of the project).
The new movie promises to be a very different adventure than the 2013 film that inspired it. Yet, as more and more details about the Pacific Rim sequel are released, there’s reason to believe that the film may be a worthy follow-up. Here is the latest news about the film.
1. The first teaser
While not a full-length trailer, a teaser for the upcoming sequel has already been released. Framed as a recruitment video for Jaeger pilots, the video features lots of close-up views of the giant robotic suits — known as Jaegers — that earth’s forces use to battle the Kaiju.
2. Lots of new supporting players
In addition to Boyega, Spaeny, and Eastwood, Pacific Rim Uprising has added several supporting players in recent weeks. This includes actress Jing Tian, who appears in Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall and Kong: Skull Island , both from Pacific Rim‘s production house, Legendary Pictures. Levi Meaden (Aftermath), Adria Arjona (True Detective), and Nick Tarabay — who played key roles in Spartacus for DeKnight — have all since joined the cast. While it’s a bit late in the game for major cast members to join the project, there’s still a chance that other recognizable faces could appear, as Ron Perlman is rumored to reprise his role as Hannibal Chau.
John Boyega recently shared an image of his character with a Jaeger looming behind him.
Up next! pic.twitter.com/YVROeCBUFu
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) September 26, 2017
3. Pacific Rim Uprising is the official title
Although the title of the movie was originally entered on IMDb as Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, it has since been updated to Pacific Rim Uprising. This new movie title was later confirmed by actor John Boyega, who tweeted an image of his character with the movie’s new title.
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) February 7, 2017
There’s no telling what the subtitle’s relevance is to the main story, but in any case, it certainly fits the ominous tone of the Jaegers’ perpetual battle against the Kaiju.
4. The sequel will honor Idris Elba’s character
In the third act of the original Pacific Rim, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) sacrificed himself in a bold last stand against the Kaiju. While Elba naturally won’t be returning to “(cancel) the apocalypse” once more, his legacy will live on in the form of actor John Boyega, who’s playing Stacker’s son in the sequel.
The Attack the Block star took to Instagram to pay tribute to Elba’s character and his memorable pre-battle speech. By the sounds of it, Boyega’s heretofore unnamed character may be inspired by his father’s death, to quell the rising threat of the Kaiju on his behalf. We’ll no doubt find out more as the months roll by.
5. Filming has officially begun
With a director, script, and leading cast in place, Pacific Rim Uprising has now launched full-on into production. This confirmation too comes directly from Boyega’s Instagram account, which appears to be a better source of updates regarding the project than even Universal Pictures itself. As filming progresses, we expect to hear more information regarding the enigmatic plot and supporting cast of Pacific Rim Uprising. Just keep a close eye on Boyega’s social media accounts for the latest.
Pacific Rim Uprising is scheduled to land in theaters on March 23, 2018.
Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable
Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!