While "Pacific Rim" wasn't a hit domestically, the 2013 sci-fi monster film did well enough oversea to earn a sequel. Unfortunately, the road to that follow-up was a bumpy one, with delay after delay a change in directors, and the loss of original star Charlie Hunnam. So what was it that led him to depart the series? According to the actor, there were multiple factors, but it all mainly came down to scheduling conflicts.
During an interview with Den of Geek about "The Lost City of Z," Hunnam was asked what led to his departure from "Pacific Rim: Uprising," despite his contractual obligation to appear in a sequel. As Hunnam explained, he was already attached to star in "Papillion," a project he was passionate about, when movement began on the long-awaited "Pacific Rim" sequel.
“There was a huge scheduling conflict,” he said. “I was already really, really invested in doing 'Papillion.'”
However, the actor has a great working relationship with Legendary Pictures, so the studio was willing to release him from his contract. The actor said he told former Legendary CEO Thomas Tull that although he was invested in the"Pacific Rim" sequel, his heart is in "Papillion." “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,’" Hunnam recalled, "which was ludicrously generous of him. But that's just the type of man he is.”
While the actor isn't involved with the sequel, the film does have quite an impressive cast, led by John Boyega.
Directed by Steven S. DeKnight and written by Guillermo del Toro, Zak Penn, Jon Spaihts, Derek Connolly, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder and T.S. Nowlin, “Pacific Rim: Uprising” opens Feb. 23, 2018.