Here is the related statement about Jin’s casting in particular, from Wanda Group VP & CEO Jack Gao:
“We are very excited that we have such amazing Chinese talent joining us on PACIFIC RIM – our new story has a strong connection to China and this great Chinese cast will help us bring it to life.”
Given the original Pacific Rim‘s popularity in China – where it grossed $112 million of its $411 million worldwide box office take – and the fact that Wanda Group now owns Legendary, it come as less of a surprise to learn that Pacific Rim: Maelstrom has a “clear connection” to China. The Chinese market is a rapidly-growing one that Hollywood has been taking steps to tap into over the past few years; what with Legendary now working on multiple joint ventures with China and Captain America: Civil War directors Anthony and Joe Russo landing a major film deal with China, among other developments that have been announced over the past year specifically.
Most of the widely-praised elements in the first Pacific Rim – including, a talented international cast and a director with strong greek creed in the driver’s seat (in this case, DeKnight) – are accounted for in Maelstrom too, so it doesn’t seem as though the sequel’s artistic qualities are being sacrificed too much, in order to appeal more to its Chinese audience. We will just have to wait and see if the outlook towards the sequel changes (or does not change), as filming continues and more official details about the storyline/characters of the next Pacific Rim installment come to light.