Despite being a critical success, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim barely managed to make an impact on the domestic box office. Internationally, the film fared a bit better, especially in China, where it made $114 million. While talks of a sequel were always present, the film didn’t get green-lit until 2016. By then, Legendary Entertainment had been sold to Wanda, along with the rights to the franchise.
With the sequel fast-tracked by Wanda, Charlie Hunnam wasn’t able to participate in the sequel, and he stated why in an interview with Den of Geek during a press event for his new film, The Lost City of Z.
“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… I think 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?”
Hunnam was contractually obligated to appear in the sequel but Legendary chairman Thomas Tull released him from his contract.
“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.”
Well, it looks like the folks over at Legendary are just as sweet as one would expect by letting Hunnam void his contract. It’ll be interesting to see how the sequel tackles his character.
Pacific Rim: Uprising is directed by Steven S. DeKnight and stars John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Charlie Day, and Burn Gorman.
Pacific Rim: Uprising hits theaters on February 23, 2018.
Source: Den of Geek