In a sea of franchises adapted from western toy lines and comics, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro's 2013 movie Pacific Rim felt like a breath of fresh air. Borrowing heavily from anime culture, the film starred Charlie Hunnam in a leading role that had many projecting the actor as the next big movie star. In an interview with Collider, Hunnam explained how scheduling problems prevented him from joining the sequel, Pacific Rim Uprising.
"A lot of time went by between us doing [the sequel]. Certainly, when Guillermo was talking about it, then yeah, definitely, I was a part of that conversation and I think that his vision for it included me. But by the time they circled around and decided that they were gonna make it with a different director, we had a conversation about it but I was booked up. There were business elements of it that required them to go into production very quickly. Legendary had just been acquired by Wanda out of China, and they wanted that film made very quickly and I wasn't available. That's just what happens."
Despite its massive budget and del Toro's reputation as a gifted filmmaker, many were surprised by the breakout success of Pacific Rim. As Hollywood does with everything, the studio scrambled to milk the movie for all it was worth with a speedy sequel, even if it meant del Toro walking away from the director's chair, as well as the exit of the first movie's leading man. For his part, Charlie Hunnam prefers not to think about what might have been with regards to being a part of the sequel film.
"I didn't deeply lament it. I'd been working in long-form storytelling for a while and we'd already done one Pacific Rim, so I felt like, "Go with God. Go do your thing." I actually haven't seen the sequel, so I didn't ever give myself an opportunity to really think about whether I regret that decision or not."
The Pacific Rim series tells the story of an interdimensional rip at the bottom of the Pacific ocean, through which a series of giant monsters known as Kaiju enter Earth and embark on a destructive rampage. In order to fight the threat, humanity comes up with giant robots known as Jaegers operated by human pilots.
It is later revealed that the Kaiju are actually the shock troops of an alien species known as the Precursors, who aim to invade and conquer Earth after humanity has been wiped out by the Kaiju rampage. Most recently, Netflix announced an anime series based on the franchise titled Pacific Rim: The Black, which will explore a different facet of humanity's war against the Precursors.
According to the description for the anime, "Long ago, humanity defeated the Kaiju. Now, they're evacuating Australia. Join a pair of siblings and their battered, long-abandoned Jaegar as they battle across a continent of danger." The series is set to be released next year in 2021. This news first appeared at Collider.