John Boyega is branching out from one sci-fi franchise to another.  After becoming a household name for playing Finn in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, Boyega has signed on to headline ‘Pacific Rim: Maelstrom’, the sequel to 2013’s acclaimed Jaegers vs. Kaiju action flick.  Boyega will play the son of Stacker Pentecost, who was portrayed by Idris Elba in the first installment.

Mary Parent, vice chairman of worldwide production for Legendary Pictures, sang Boyega’s praises:

“It is undeniable that with all his talent and natural charm, John stands out amongst today’s generation of young leading men.”

Guillermo del Toro, the director of the first film, and creator of the concept, added:

“I am very proud and happy to welcome John into a fantastic sandbox.  The Pacific Rim universe will be reinforced with him as a leading man as it continues to be a multicultural, multi-layered world. ‘The World saving the world’ was our goal and I couldn’t think of a better man for the job.”

Unfortunately, del Toro won’t direct the sequel.  Steven S. DeKnight will take over those duties.  Del Toro did provide the screenplay, based on a story by Travis Beacham, Derek Connolly, Zak Penn and Jon Spaihts, and will also be on hand as a producer, with Thomas Tull, Mary Parent and Jon Jashni.  (It was recently announced that Connolly would re-work the script.)

Elba’s character, Stacker Pentecost, was killed in the first movie, so he shouldn’t appear except maybe in flashbacks.  The other major star of the first film, Charlie Hunnam was expected to return, but back in February, word emerged that the actor was sick of the sequel constantly getting pushed back and was walking away.  It appears the only actor confirmed to be returning is Max Martini reprising his role as Herc Hansen.

The first ‘Pacific Rim’ bombed in the US, but managed to make $411M worldwide on a budget of $190M, justifying another installment.  And despite not doing well at the domestic box office, the film became a cult favorite, as the film goers who saw it, tended to love it.

‘Pacific Rim: Maelstrom’ was originally slated to be released in April 2017, but was then pushed back to August and now has no assigned release date.  But Boyega’s casting would seemingly indicate that things are now moving forward.

Are you excited to see another ‘Pacific Rim’ movie?  What do you think of Boyega’s casting?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter