Having spent a good chunk of the past few years in development limbo, Pacific Rim: Maelstrom – the sequel to writer/director Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 film – has finally begun filming. Contrary to the initial plans, however, del Toro is not directing the sequel and is instead handing the reigns over to former Daredevil showrunner, Steven S. DeKnight; who after spending multiple years establishing himself in the television world, is set to make his feature directorial debut with the blockbuster project. Much to DeKnight’s credit as well, he’s managed to wrangle quite an impressive cast together for the anticipated sequel.
John Boyega is set to lead the cast, as well as executive produce the film, and will be playing the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost, following his breakout role in last year’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Now, we’ve finally gotten our first look at Boyega in the character from the film too.
The images come from a new set of photos taken by Daily Telegraph of the film’s Sydney production, showing Boyega sporting a ragged set of clothes and running through what looks to be a possible den of makeshift shelters for the homeless. He’s even sporting a few cuts and bruises for good measure. Take a look at the photos for yourself below:
Not much is known currently about the plot of Maelstrom, or if any of del Toro’s original plans still remain in the film, after DeKnight having taken over as director and Jurassic World co-writer Derek Connolly performing a rewrite of the script. We do know that Charlie Hunnam isn’t returning as Raleigh Bracket (due to scheduling conflicts), but Rinko Kikuchi’s return as Mako Mori is still up in the air. Boyega will for sure be joined by Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jian Tian, Levi Meaden, Adria Arjona, and Nick Tarabay in the sequel, giving the film a nice diverse ensemble, filled with several talented up-and-comers.
Despite underwhelming domestic box office numbers upon its release, Pacific Rim has amassed a dedicated fanbase both in the U.S. and international markets – which, coupled with the new blood in the sequel, gives Maelstrom a better shot at making a larger impact upon its own release in early 2018. DeKnight has more than his fair share of credentials in the fan community through his work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Smallville, Spartacus, and the previously-mentioned first season of Marvel’s Daredevil, making him more of an acceptable replacement for del Toro with fans. Casting one of the lead stars of the new Star Wars trilogy isn’t a bad first step in ensuring that kind of success, either.