John Boyega Cast as the Lead in Pacific Rim 2

Last we heard about Pacific Rim 2, it’d been presumably saved from it’s “indefinite hold” by bringing on a new director to take over the project.  Now, they don’t seem to be wasting any time in getting the project back on its feet by casting John Boyega in the lead.  He’ll be playing the son of Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba’s character in the original) to defend the world against Kaiju once again.  Here’s the announcement: 

John Boyega 3

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.

Despite my ambivalence towards Pacific Rim 2 in general, I can’t help but be excited at this casting.  Boyega can handle big franchises (obviously) and bring a certain charm to roles, which was desperately missing from Charlie Hunnam’s lead in the first film.  Hopefully they can pull the story together for the sequel and make it worthwhile.  What do you guys think of this casting?