Pacific Rim 2 won’t star Charlie Hunnam but will bring back others

Pacific Rim star won’t be back for sequel but del Toro teases others’ return

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It was recently confirmed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ John Boyega would be leading the cast of Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, playing the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost in Steven S DeKnight’s sequel. At this point, we wondered what the situation was with the original cast.

Now, we’ve had one confirmation and one little teaser of information.

Speaking to Yahoo Movies at Comic-Con about Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword, Charlie Hunnam, who played the first film’s lead Raleigh Beckett, declared that he would not be back.

“I’m very excited about it!” he said. “I’m glad they’re making it. I think it’s going to be great. I read an early draft of what they’re doing. There was one incarnation of this sequel that involved me heavily, but I was unavailable.”

However, when THR asked Guillermo del Toro about the fact that Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi (who played the awesome Mako Mori) didn’t seem to be returning, the filmmaker answered very carefully.

“That’s not entirely true,” he said. “As a producer I learned not to declare anything about a movie I’m not directing. I can tell you this — a lot of the cast from the first movie is coming back. I leave those communications to Steven DeKnight. He’s not only a director, but he’s actually a guy I respect and admire and it’s his movie.”

He also weighed in on the casting of John Boyega, and is, unsurprisingly, a fan. “I admire him tremendously. The idea for me is that this is a continuation of the great leadership character that was Idris Elba. It’s a very different character but I love the idea of having a main character who is not a white Anglo-Saxon guy. Before the heated conversation about diversity in film started we were doing Pacific Rim. And I think that universe is a huge proponent of that.”

Finally, THR also asked about the proposed Pacific Rim animated series, and how that would tie in with the films.

“If and when the animated series happens, we are mixing them,” he answered. “In fact the sequel takes some ideas that we created for the animated series originally. I think we need to let the live-action lead. When we went with Steven we showed him everything we were developing and he said, ‘I like this from this universe, I like this from this element, I want to bring them into the movie.’ It’s easy to expand cause you have not only the Jaeger-human universe and the Kaiju-alien universe, but (also) the fact that you are now able to play in a very history-filled universe. We started the war with the Kaiju, we won the war with the Kaiju and now it’s a postwar of those two universes.”

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So, who could be back? The earliest reports of possible Pacific Rim sequels hinted that Charlie Day’s livewire scientist Newt Geiszler could have  a bigger role in a sequel, potentially as a villain, but that was back when del Toro was working on the script. Other potential returnees could include Burn Gorman as Newt’s rival/buddy Gottleib, Clifton Collins Jr as Ops Tendo Choi, Max Martini as Australian Jaeger pilot Herc Hansen and, of course, the great Ron Perlman as black market dealer and shoe fan Hannibal Chau.

We would like to see Kikuchi back, if at all possible. Fingers crossed.

Pacific Rim 2 will be released in cinemas on 23 February 2018. For more news about the latest movies, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.