9:44am PT by Rebecca Ford
John Boyega to Star in 'Pacific Rim' Sequel
Off the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, John Boyega has been cast in Legendary's Pacific Rim sequel.
He will star in the lead role, the son of Idris Elba's character from the original film. The plot for the sequel has been kept under wraps, but the casting of Boyega for the part means that the film will follow the events of the first pic, set in a world where monster-fighting robot suits known as Jaegers are created to battle fearsome sea creatures.
The project will be directed by Steven S. DeKnight based on the world created by Guillermo del Toro and Travis Beacham. Thomas Tull, Mary Parent, Jon Jashni and del Toro will produce the action-adventure film along with Boyega and Femi Oguns under their Upper Room Productions shingle. Cale Boyter will serve as the pic’s executive producer. Universal Pictures is distributing the movie around the world with the exception of China.
“It is undeniable that with all his talent and natural charm, John stands out amongst today's generation of young leading men,” said Legendary vice chairman of worldwide production Mary Parent.
The first Pacific Rim, directed by del Toro, hit theaters in July 2013. The film, starring Elba and Charlie Hunnam, earned $411 million worldwide.
"I am very proud and happy to welcome John into a fantastic sandbox," said del Toro. "The Pacific Rim universe will be reinforced with him as a leading man as it continues to be a multicultural, multi-layered world. ‘The World saving the world’ was our goal and I couldn't think of a better man for the job."
Boyega, who previously starred in 2011's Attack the Block, plays Finn in the next Star Wars installment, Star Wars: Episode VIII. Other upcoming projects include the Dave Eggers adaptation The Circle with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson; Imperial Dreams; and Watership Down, alongside James McAvoy and Sir Ben Kingsley.
Boyega is repped by WME, Identity Agency Group in the U.K. and Hansen Jacobson.