With roles in just two indies under her belt, actress and pop singer Cailee Spaney has signed on to play the female lead role in Universal's upcoming Pacific Rim: Maelstrom. No details were given for what character she is playing, but the young actress joins a cast that includes John Boyega and Scott Eastwood. The news also comes a few days after director Steven S. DeKnight teased that someone who stars in The Belko Experiment, which recently had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, has landed a role in this sequel as well.

The cast of Pacific Rim: Maelstrom is also believed to include original Pacific Rim stars Ron Perlman (Hannibal Chau), Charlie Day (Dr. Newton Geiszler), Rinko Kikuchi (Mako Mori) and Burn Gorman (Gottleib), but they have not been confirmed yet. Back in July Charlie Hunnam confirmed that he will not be reprising his role as Raleigh Beckett, due to scheduling conflicts, but he added that he is still excited to see the sequel. No other cast members have been confirmed at this time.

There were plans for an animated series that would serve as a bridge between the original Pacific Rim and this sequel, but we haven't had any updates on that series in quite some time. We first heard about the series when Guillermo del Toro was still attached to direct, but now he is only serving as a producer. This new report from Variety reveals that production is scheduled to begin this November in Australia, with a portion of the sequel to be shot in China.

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The original Pacific Rim earned $101.8 million domestically and $411 million worldwide, from a massive $190 million budget. There had been numerous reports that Legendary canceled the sequel, but that all changed when Legendary merged with Chinese investment firm Dalian Wanda Group. Pacific Rim earned more in China ($111.9 million) than any other market in the world. No story details have been released for the sequel, but it has been confirmed that John Boyega is playing the son of Idris Elba's Stacker Pentecost, who died in the first film.

Stephen S. De Knight (Daredevil) is directing Pacific Rim: Maelstrom from a screenplay that has been worked on by Guillermo del Toro, Travis Beacham, Jon Spaihts, Emily Carmichael, Zak Penn, Kira Snyder and Derek Connolly. Universal has set a February 23, 2018 release date for Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, which falls between the release of 20th Century Fox's Larrikins and Warner Bros.' shark thriller Meg. Cailee Spaeny plays Erica in the indie Counting to 1000, which debuted in May, and she also has a small role in The Shoes, which is set for a Christmas Day release.