Legendary Pictures has cast John Boyega as a lead character in the sequel to Pacific Rim. While the plot of the Pacific Rim sequel has not been revealed, the Hollywood Reporter says that Boyega will play the son of Stacker Pentecost. Pentecost was played by Idris Elba in the first film. It has not yet been confirmed whether Idris Elba will return and reclaim his role as Pentecost in the second Pacific Rim film.
The next film in the Pacific Rim franchise appears to be keeping true to the theme of multiculturalism originally brought forth by Guillermo del Toro. Stated by del Toro in a press release regarding the sequel, “The Pacific Rim universe will be reinforced with him as a leading man as it continues to be a multicultural, multi-layered world.” While no longer the director, del Toro still holds a producer and creator credit for Pacific Rim. The directing chair has been filled by Steven S. DeKnight. DeKnight is best known as the creator of the Starz series Spartacus. He was also the executive producer for 13 episodes of Daredevil.
Boyega is no stranger to the concept of multiculturalism and ethnicity in films. When he was cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there was backlash due to a black man playing a stormtrooper and playing a lead role. The hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII emerged due to the casting choice.
— Ann Kelly (@LadyAodh) December 15, 2015
This boycott was unsuccessful, with a worldwide gross of over $2 billion and a domestic gross of approximately $9.6 billion. Boyega succinctly replied to the criticisms by stating in a now deleted Instagram post, “Get used to it.”
With his lead role in the Pacific Rim sequel, people may have to get used Boyega becoming a household name. He originally broke into the scene with his role as Moses in the film Attack the Block, a science fiction horror comedy film. The film followed a group of teenagers defending themselves against alien invading their town. Boyega is set to continue his most popular role as the rebellious stormtrooper Finn in Star Wars: Episode VIII which is set to release on December 15, 2017.