In an interview with film news website Collider last week, director Guillermo del Toro explained why he is not directing the Pacific Rim: Uprising (formerly Pacific Rim: Maelstrom) sequel film. The director stated that “the timing started to suck.” When asked to choose between directing Justice League Dark and the Pacific Rim sequel, he chose the latter. However, he found out that he would have to wait nine months due to the Dalian Wanda Group’s acquisition of Legendary Entertainment. He chose to direct a new film titled The Shape of Water instead.
Steven S. DeKnight, showrunner and director on Netflix‘s Daredevil series, is directing Pacific Rim: Uprising, while del Toro is the producer. Regarding DeKnight, del Toro commented that he “love[s] what he does, I think he’s really brilliant. He’s making it his own. I’m not breathing over his shoulder saying, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’ He’s doing things differently and I like that.”
John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Finn) is playing the lead role in the film as the son of Idris Elba’s character Stacker Pentecost from the first Pacific Rim film. Actress and singer Cailee Spaeny (Counting to 1,000) is playing the lead female role in the film. Suicide Squad’s Scott Eastwood, The Great Wall’s Jing Tian, The Belko Experiment’s Adria Arjona, and Japanese actor Mackenyu are also cast in the film. Shyrley Rodriguez (The Get Down) and Chinese actors Zhang Jin (The Grandmaster), Wesley Wong, Lily Ji, Chen Zitong, Lan Yingying, and Qian Yongchen have also joined the cast. The film will feature cameos by Xiao Yang and Korean actor Kim Jeong-Hoon.
The film will open on February 23, 2018. Filming took place in Australia and China and ended on March 30. Dr. Jack Gao, an executive at Beijing Wanda Cultural Industry Group, which owns Legendary Entertainment, stated that the sequel’s story “has a strong connection to China.”