John Boyega will co-produce and star in Pacific Rim 2, one of the first roles for the actor after his breakout performance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Boyega will play the son of Idris Elba's commanding officer from the first film. Elba's character had an adopted daughter, played by Oscar-nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Kumiko the Treasure Hunter), but Boyega is the only confirmed actor for the movie. The original film also starred Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. While the script is still in development, writer and producer, Guillermo del Toro, said the characters that Hunnam, Kikuchi, Day, and Burn Gorman play in the original film will return, according to Buzzfeed and Collider, but none of those actors have officially signed on to the project yet.
“I am very proud and happy to welcome John into a fantastic sandbox," del Toro said, "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."
The press release said filming is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of the year, according to ScreenRant.
Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, The Hobbit trilogy) wrote the script with Zak Penn (The Incredible Hulk, X-Men: The Last Stand). Stephen S. DeKnight (executive producer on Daredevil and Spartacus) replaces del Toro in the director's chair for his directorial debut.
Pacific Rim was released in July 2013 and debuted in third place at the domestic box office behind the second weekend of Despicable Me 2 and the first weekend of Grown Ups 2. The $190 million sci-fi action flick still managed to gross over $400 million worldwide by the end of its run.
Boyega starred in Attack the Block and 24: Live Another Day before getting a starring role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He'll next be seen in The Circle opposite Emma Watson and Tom Hanks as well as Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is currently filming.