2013’s Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro, was a supercharged love letter to Japanese anime and Tokusatsu, featuring lavishly-rendered battles between kaiju and giant mecha, or Jaegers. While the film underperformed at the U.S. box office, it was well-received by critics and was highly successful at the global box office, especially in China.
For the sequel, Del Toro hands the directorial reins over to Steven S. DeKnight. The first trailer for Pacific Rim: Uprising was screened for New York Comic Con attendees during the movie’s panel last weekend. Director DeKnight took the stage dressed as a commander of the Pan-Pacific Defence Corps (PPDC) and was joined by stars John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Burn Gorman, and Cailee Spaeny.
Cailee Spaeny and John Boyega in Pacific Rim: Uprising
Pacific Rim: Uprising takes place ten years after the Battle of the Breach featured in the first film. The PPDC is now an international force, and the Jaegers are no longer designated by country. Jake Pentecost (Boyega), the son of the late Stacker Pentecost, was once a promising Jaeger pilot who turned his back on his calling by joining the criminal underworld. When a new wave of Kaiju attacks earth, Jake’s estranged adopted sister Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) ropes him back in to become a Jaeger pilot again. Jake teams up with talented rival pilot Nate Lambert (Eastwood) and teenage Jaeger hacker Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) to defeat the most fearsome kaiju the world has ever faced. Scientists Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) and Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) are also returning from the first film.
John Boyega and Scott Eastwood in Pacific Rim: Uprising
“It’s fun, it’s action, I think it’s everything you want Pacific Rim to be moving forward,” Boyega, who is also producing, told the crowd. “The vision was to expand on Del Toro’s universe,” Boyega said. “I love the first movie. One of the biggest reasons why I accepted the role was to get to play Idris Elba’s son.” Boyega promised that fans of the first film would not be disappointed, acknowledging the material as “sacred sci-fi ground”. “We’re here for the old fans, as well as the new. We’ve got all your backs,” Boyega declared.
Also acknowledging Del Toro, DeKnight said “Guillermo set the table and it was a fantastic visual feast. We wanted to honour the first movie while pushing it forward.” On the diverse cast, which also includes Jing Tian, Adria Arjona, Karan Brar, Zhang Jin and Mackenyu, DeKnight remarked “This film says that it doesn’t matter who you are — what your gender or race is — you can make a difference. It is the hero inside you.”
Pacific Rim: Uprising - Saber Athena
This new generation of Jaeger pilots has some awesome machinery at their disposal. The new Jaegers that will feature in the film include Gipsy Avenger, named in honour of Gipsy Danger from the first film. Gipsy Avenger is armed with a gravity sling, which can be used to pull in and hurl surrounding debris at oncoming kaiju. Bracer Phoenix is a three-pilot machine — the third pilot can drop down into the chest to control the vortex cannon. Saber Athena is an experimental Jaeger armed with twin plasma swords. Titan Redeemer has a flail-like weapon attached to its arm called the ‘ball of death’. Guardian Bravo wields a ‘graphine arc whip’. And last but not least, there’s the underdog Scrapper, cobbled together from salvaged PPDC parts by Amara.
Pacific Rim: Uprising - Titan Redeemer
Pacific Rim: Uprising is written by Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, T.S. Nowlin and DeKnight. The high-octane battle for humanity continues when the film hits theatres in March 2018.