Excitement is building for upcoming Pacific Rim sequel Pacific Rim: Maelstrom as the picture heads into production. Fans of the original Pacific Rim, which Guillermo del Toro directed and co-wrote, were ecstatic to finally hear confirmation that the film would get a sequel earlier this year. The original film centers on pilots Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Rinko Kikuchi (Mako Mori) as they work together with commanding officer Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) and some nutty scientists to take down deep-sea aliens in giant mechas called Jaegers.
Much about the sequel’s production is still under wraps, though we do know John Boyega will lead the film as the late Stacker Pentecost’s son, and Boyega recently spilled the movie’s official title. With Pacific Rim: Maelstrom slated for an early 2018 release, we’re sure to see it head into principal shooting within the next year, but, until then, we do have some exciting news about Maelstrom‘s developing cast.
According to a report from Variety, Nick Tarabay has been brought on to Pacific Rim: Maelstrom in an unspecified role. Fans may recognize Tarabay from his long-time role as Ashur in Starz’s Spartacus, as a Klingon patrol officer in Star Trek: Into Darkness, or as villain Digger Harkness in Arrow season 3.
Tarabay will join already-announced cast members Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad), Cailee Spaeny (The Shoes), Levi Meaden (The Killing, The 100), Jing Tian (The Great Wall), and Adria Arjona (True Detective, Emerald City). Tarabay has a connection to director Steven S. DeKnight, who worked as an executive producer on Spartacus from 2010-2013.
A Lebanese-American actor, Tarabay will round out this already diverse cast, which speaks to the cosmopolitan ethos of the original film. Del Toro, who will work on the sequel as a producer, has already expressed his excitement at Boyega’s casting, saying he “love[s] the idea of having a main character who is not a white Anglo-Saxon guy.” Much like its sequel’s cast, the actors behind the original Pacific Rim were largely television actors who saw their first hit-making roles in the sci-fi blockbuster. It looks like the producers behind Maelstrom are looking to recreate that success, which means wonderful things for fans of actors like Tarabay who have been looking to see their favorite artists in a bigger spotlight.
Though we’re itching to hear more about the characters these actors will play — especially Boyega’s lead role, since Pentecost appeared to have no biological children in the original film and had in fact somewhat adopted female protagonist Mako Mori — this casting news is still fun to hear. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on all Maelstrom production news as it develops.