Though the original Pacific Rim struggled to make much of a dent at the domestic box office, its $411 million global haul was enough to warrant the production of a sequel. That followup, Pacific Rim: Uprising, is currently on track for a 2018 premiere and is in the middle of principal photography. Plot details are unknown at this juncture, but viewers can expect more of the monster-on-robot action that made the first movie a favorite amongst some circles, delivering plenty of big screen spectacle next year.
One of the biggest selling points for Uprising is the presence of star John Boyega, who broke out in a major way in 2015 with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The actor is portraying Jake Pentecost, son of Idris Elba’s character Stacker (who died heroically in the original). Unsurprisingly, Boyega’s role has been of much interest in the early going, as several Uprising set photos have confirmed he plays a Jaeger pilot and offered new looks of his costume. Now, Boyega is helping drum up anticipation himself through social media with an illustration of a Jaeger in action.
Taking to Instagram, Boyega posted a black-and-white drawing featuring a Jaeger standing in the rain, staring off into the distance (presumably before fighting an unseen enemy). Whoever is commanding the Jaeger seems to have some backup, as a helicopter is also pictured. You can check it out below:
The storytelling merits of the first Pacific Rim remain debatable to this day, but just about all are in agreement that it was successful in serving up visually-stunning set pieces tailor made for the theater. If this picture is any indication, then Uprising will follow suit and have some standout moments of its own. Granted, this is only a drawing (and not an official production still, for instance), but it’s clear that Boyega is trying to give his followers any tease he can to get fans excited. It pretty much goes without saying that the Pacific Rim sequel will be a showcase for more epic fight sequences that will hopefully leave moviegoers in awe.
Having said that, the key for director Steven S. DeKnight (who also co-wrote the screenplay) is finding a way to connect with the audience beyond the style. The novelty of seeing the Jaegers go head-to-head with the Kaiju has worn off, and if Uprising is simply more of the same, then it could be perceived as a disappointment. Fortunately, the creative team is passionate about the material and there’s potential for something that further explores an already interesting mythology. After Star Wars, Boyega could have chosen any project he wanted, so it says something about Uprising‘s quality that he decided to sign on and continue Elba’s legacy. Ideally, Pacific Rim 2 can deliver a compelling experience in more ways than one.