Back when original Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro was set to tackle Pacific Rim 2, the filmmaker stated that all of the surviving characters from the first movie would return for the sequel. A lot has changed between now and then, with the director stepping down from the director's chair, while remaining aboard as a producer. Steven S. DeKnight took over as the director, while it was confirmed this summer that Charlie Hunnam will not be returning as Jaeger pilot Raleigh Beckett. A set photo has now surfaced that suggests a number of other original Pacific Rim stars are coming back for this sequel.
The photo was released on Instagram by cinematographer Dan Mindel, which shows the Alexa XT camera that he was shooting with on that day. What many fans also noticed is that, attached to the camera, appears to be a cast list featuring Scott Eastwood and Cailee Spaeny, along with a number of actors who have not yet been announced or confirmed. These actors include original Pacific Rim stars Rinko Kikuchi (Mako Mori), Charlie Day (Newton Geisler) and Burn Gorman (Gottlieb) and a previously-unannounced new cast member Karl Urban. This is the first we've heard about any of these actors joining the cast.
Unfortunately, this image doesn't feature any of these actors actually working on the set, but it comes just a few days after another set photo featuring John Boyega surfaced. This project actually reunites John Boyega with Dan Mindel, since he served as the cinematographer on the 2015 blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which featured John Boyega in a breakout role as Finn. In Pacific Rim: Uprising, John Boyega is playing the son of Idris Elba's Stacker Pentecost from the original Pacific Rim, which hit theaters back in 2013. Very little is known about the plot at this time, but this sequel almost never moved forward in the first place.
Before Steven S. DeKnight signed on to direct in February 2016, the sequel was delayed indefinitely, but there was still hope that it may happen, thanks to a studio merger. Chinese investment group Dalian Wanda Group acquired a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment, which helped pave the way for this sequel. Pacific Rim only earned $101 million at the domestic box office, but it earned $411 million worldwide, with $111.9 million coming from China alone, which was by far the biggest gross from any country worldwide. It certainly remains to be seen whether or not the follow-up will be a huge hit in China once again, or if it will be more embraced by U.S. audiences this time around.
Legendary has issued a February 23, 2018 release date for Pacific Rim: Uprising, which was once believed to be titled Pacific Rim: Maelstrom. As of now, this sequel has the release date all to itself, but Pacific Rim: Uprising will still be sandwiched between a few highly-anticipated films. Opening a week before it will be Marvel's stand-alone superhero adventure Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman, and Universal's animated film Larrikins. On March 2, Warner Bros. will release the shark thriller Meg, while 20th Century Fox will unleash an untitled Marvel adaptation. Take a look at the Pacific Rim: Uprising set photo below.