He’s battled the First Order and gone one-on-one with a dark Jedi, but John Boyega will now be adding Pacific Rim’s kaiju monsters to his list, as the Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor has been cast in the leading role of Pacific Rim 2.
Boyega will reportedly play the son of Idris Elba’s character from the first movie, as revealed in a lengthy press release from Universal Pictures:
Legendary Pictures has tapped John Boyega, one of today’s most talented rising stars, the lead role for the second installment of its PACIFIC RIM franchise. The film, which is targeting a 4th Quarter start date is rapidly taking shape as a key project on Legendary’s upcoming slate with Boyega playing the son of Idris Elba’s character from the original film.
The project will be directed by Steven S. DeKnight based on the world created by Guillermo del Toro and Travis Beacham. Thomas Tull, Mary Parent, Jon Jashni, and del Toro will produce the action adventure film along with Boyega and Femi Oguns under their Upper Room Productions shingle. Cale Boyter will serve as the film’s executive producer.
“It is undeniable that with all his talent and natural charm, John stands out amongst today’s generation of young leading men,” said Mary Parent, Legendary’s Vice Chairman of Worldwide Production.
“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,” stated del Toro.
John Boyega’s previous credits include STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS and ATTACK THE BLOCK. His upcoming projects include STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII, THE CIRCLE opposite Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, IMPERIAL DREAMS, WATERSHIP DOWN alongside James McAvoy and Sir Ben Kingsley, and he will star on stage next year in WOYZECK at The Old Vic. He is represented by WME and Identity Agency Group in the UK and Hansen Jacobson.
The film will be distributed by Universal Pictures around the world with the exception of China.
For his part, Boyega also tweeted out his involvement with the project on his personal Twitter account:
I'll be taking on the Pacific Rim franchise with Steven S.Deknight directing. Very excited!
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) June 6, 2016
Pacific Rim 2 has been a troubled production for the start, but the news of Boyega’s casting is sure to give fans of the 2013 original some much-needed assurance that the project is still making progress. Boyega is one of the biggest rising stars in the world, so his presence in the film can only be a boon at this point. There’s no word yet on whether original stars Rinko Kikuchi or Charlie Hunnam will reprise their roles as a pair of heroic Jaeger mech pilots.
Currently, Pacific Rim 2 doesn’t have a release date, but it does have a director lined up in Steven S. Deknight, who worked on the Daredevil TV show.