Shooting recently wrapped on the highly anticipated sequel to 2013’s Pacific Rim, Pacific Rim: Uprising. There are a number of stars not returning for the sequel, including the first film’s star Charlie Hunnam. In a recent interview Hunnam talks about his apprehension to leave the sequel, and his reasons for not returning.
In an interview with Den of Geek, Hunnam says that the film sat stagnant and then was rushed into production so quick, that he hit scheduling conflicts with a film that he considered his dream project, a remake of Papillion:
“There was a huge scheduling conflict. I was already really, really invested in doing Papillion. What happened was Legendary was sold to Wanda, which is the big Chinese corporation, and Pacific Rim, although it underperformed in other territories in the world, was an enormous success in China.
All of a sudden, it became their primary focus to make this and they wanted to do it very, very rapidly… Their schedule subsequently changed, and I might have been able to do both, but at that time, they were writing the script and they needed to know, was I in or was I out?
I have great relationships with everyone at Legendary, and they were incredibly generous to me and let me out of my contract. I had to do the film whether I liked it or not. When I spoke to (former Legendary chairman) Thomas Tull, who is a dear friend of mine, I said, ‘Listen, man. It’s not that my heart is not in this. I’m invested in this creatively, but my heart’s going to be broken because I already was going to do this other film.’
He was like, ‘Dude, you were going to do that other film and that’s where your heart is. I don’t want you being on set if you’re not going to be happy, so go do the other film,’ which was ludicrously generous of him. But that’s just the type of man he is.”
There was only a year between the time that Legendary Pictures sold, and Pacific Rim: Uprising began shooting. Hunnam isn’t the only notable actor not returning, Idris Elba will also not return for the sequel. Burn Gorman, Charlie Day, and Rinko Kikuchi are involved in the follow-up.
Pacific Rim: Uprising is eyeing an early 2018 theatrical release.
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