Now that John Boyega has all but mastered the art of lightsaber combat, he’s ready to move onto a somewhat less elegant weapon from a decidedly uncivilized age: giant freakin’ militant robots. Boyega will apparently be adding Jaegers to his arsenal of space-aged weaponry, as he is revealed to be starring in the long uncertain, but now ostensibly on-track sequel to Pacific Rim.
The Force Awakens star has reportedly signed on to headline the follow-up to Guillermo del Toro‘s 2014 original Kaiju picture. Replacing Charlie Hunnam as the growing franchise’s new lead, Boyega will play the son of Idris Elba‘s character, who led the battalion of Earthlings in the war against invading extradimensional monsters.
Whereas Elba served as a no-nonsense father figure to his starring lineup of soldiers in PacRim—most notably to Rinko Kikuchi‘s character Mako Mori—series newcomer Boyega’s age and inherent pluck more than likely establish a part more closely familiar to Hunnam’s swaggering role in the original. Neither Elba, Hunnam, nor Kikuchi are presently confirmed to appear in the sequel.
I’ll be taking on the Pacific Rim franchise with Steven S.Deknight directing. Very excited!
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) June 6, 2016
Fans of Boyega’s name-making turn in The Force Awakens may preach concern about the shadow that the Star Wars universe may cast over a franchise like Pacific Rim. But the actor has an opportunity in this new endeavor that he simply doesn’t have in that galaxy far, far away.
No matter how great Boyega might be as Finn, Star Wars will never truly belong to his character. With director Stephen S. Knight and producer del Toro, Boyega has the chance to found a cinematic realm on his own accord, to build a franchise around his persona and talent. Boyega’s magnetic attitude has played more than a modest role in elevating each of his reputed sci-fi outings to date—before the series-reviving The Force Awakens, there was the surprise favorite Attack the Block. Think of how high he can raise a colossally budgeted, wholly original extraterrestrial warfare picture like this one.
(Editor’s note: Nerdist Industries is a subsidiary of Legendary Digital Networks.)
Featured Image: Disney/Lucasfilm
Image: Warner Bros.