While former Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam may be headlining a major studio tentpole next year as the main attraction in Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, there’s another blockbuster that he’ll be conspicuously absent from: Pacific Rim 2. Despite the fact that his character was the focal point of the original film, Hunnam won’t be reprising his role in the sequel, and it sounds like an aggressive production schedule it to blame.
Hunnam tells MTV:
“There was definitely an incarnation of this sequel that heavily involved me, but there was a changing of ownership, of the studio itself, Legendary, and I think that because they partnered up with a Chinese company — and the film was so successful there — there was a real agenda to get that film into production as soon as possible. And I was already booked up for a significant period of the time they were going to need.”
This will likely come as a disappointment to fans of the original film – including myself – who were looking forward to seeing Hunnam step back into the cockpit of a Jaeger. But to his credit, Hunnam does seem excited about the direction that Pacific Rim 2 is heading, as he told Yahoo:
“I’m very excited about it. I’m glad they’re making it, and I think it’s gonna be great. I read an early draft of what they’re doing. There was one incarnation of this sequel that involved me heavily, but I was unavailable. They have a very definite schedule that they have to film because of the politics and business surrounding filmmaking. Sometimes noncreative decisions will dictate how something unfolds, which seems bass ackwards in the fact that we’re making art, or at least aspiring to make art. It ended up being unfortunately something that we couldn’t remedy, because by the time they got their schedule fully realized then I wasn’t available. But I think they’re onto something very exciting. It’s a serious, significant progression. It feels like they’re really aspiring to push this thing forward and do something original with the sequel. So it’s cool.”
It’s worth pointing out that in both interviews, Hunnam uses the phrase “heavily involved,” which immediately begs the question: is it possible that he could still appear in the film, albeit in a much smaller role, or even just a cameo? It seems pretty clear that Hunnam won’t be the star of Pacific Rim 2, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of his connection to this franchise just yet.
Directed by Stephen S. DeKnight and starring John Boyega and Scott Eastwood, Pacific Rim 2 is currently set for release on February 23, 2018.
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