The Pacific Rim sequel has encountered a few bumps on the road, on the way to its first day of filming. Pacific Rim co-writer/director Guillermo del Toro was originally lined up to return at the helm on the followup, but the movie’s production delays eventually prompted del Toro to step down as director – so that he could instead move ahead on a faster-developing project of his, in The Shape of Water. This opened the door for Daredevil season 1 showrunner Steven S. DeKnight to step in and take del Toro’s old spot as director on the sequel.
It’s been smoother sailing for the Pacific Rim sequel since then, with the script getting a rewrite from Derek Connolly (Jurassic World) and John Boyega (Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) signing up to play the son of Idris Elba’s character, Stacker Pentecost, from the first Pacific Rim installment. The trend continues with the latest update on the sequel, revealing that principal photography is now underway.
Boyega revealed the news by posting a picture of his script cover to his Instagram account (see the photo below), in the process confirming the long-rumored title for the sequel – Pacific Rim: Maelstrom.
First day on Pacific Rim today. Here’s to a great adventure ahead
Specific plot details for Maelstrom are under lock and key right now, so it’s unclear if DeKnight’s sequel will carry over any of del Toro’s old plans for the film; including, plans to have the Kaiju-obsessed Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) became an antagonist of sorts in the story. A good chunk of the Maelstrom cast will be newcomers to the Pacific Rim franchise too, seeing as Elba’s Stacker Pentecost died in the first movie and Charlie Hunnam has confirmed that he’s not returning as Raleigh Becket due to scheduling issues. Rinko Kikuchi’s return as Mako Mori is also up in the air at the moment, with no word yet either way.
Boyega, according to previous reports on the matter, is being joined in the Pacific Rim sequel by such actors as Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad), singer/popstar Cailee Spaeny, Jian Tian (who also costars in next year’s The Great Wall and Kong: Skull Island), Levi Meaden (Aftermath) and Adria Arjona (True Detective), among others. With a refreshingly diverse cast of fresh-faced talent onboard and a different director who has legitimate geek cred in the form of DeKnight (who also created the TV series Spartacus) calling the shots, the hope is that the Maelstrom will be a worthy sequel to its predecessor – one that also puts a creative and unique spin on the concept of giant robots (Jaegers) and monsters (Kaiju) beating the snot out of one another.