Pacific Rim 3? Original Star Says He'd Return — On One Big Condition
The Pacific Rim star couldn’t appear in Uprising, but he’s down for more monster-fighting action.
Pacific Rim may have garnered a cult following in the decade since its theatrical release, but the struggles of its sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising, kept the fledgling franchise from reaching new heights.
Director Guillermo Del Toro was clearly passionate about building out his “giant robots fight giant kaiju” world, having planned a second and third Pacific Rim film just a year after the original’s unprecedented success abroad. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be: the director moved on to The Shape of Water and was replaced by Daredevil’s Steven DeKnight. A handful of cast members would return for Uprising, but OG star Charlie Hunnam wasn’t among them.
Hunnam played Jaeger pilot Raleigh Beckett in Del Toro’s 2013 film. He survives the events of Pacific Rim, along with co-pilot Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), but Mako reprises their role in Uprising while Raleigh scarcely gets a mention. The actor told Collider he’d been “part of the conversation” when Del Toro was still building out the films. “I think that his vision for it included me. But by the time they circled around and decided that they were gonna make it with a different director, we had a conversation about it, but I was booked up.”
Uprising didn’t exactly ruin the franchise — the battle between Jaeger and kaiju continued in the Netflix anime Pacific Rim: The Black — but it did, at least, seem to be the end for Hunnam. “When I didn’t do the sequel, I think that probably closed that chapter for me,” the actor said in 2020. Three years later, though, there’s still a slim chance for Hunnam’s return... but only if Del Toro is also on board for a sequel.
There aren’t any current plans for a Pacific Rim 3, but if the franchise’s original steward were to come back for it, then Hunnam would return without question. “I would do anything that Guillermo was doing,” the actor told Inverse while promoting Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon. “If Guillermo invites me to do Pacific Rim 3, I’ll be there. Or anything else he wants to do.”
Del Toro is currently working on his adaptation of Frankenstein, and hasn’t expressed much interest in revisiting the Pac-Rim world. He stated he had “no plans” to return in 2021, and still has yet to catch the sequel, likening it to the idea of “watching home movies from your ex-wife.” Of course, plans are always subject to change. Pacific Rim 3 could still technically happen one day, and if it does, we at least know its leading man is already locked in.