John Boyega has played a Stormtrooper, a member of the Resistance, and now, in Pacific Rim Uprising, a Jaeger pilot, but what he really, really wants to play is a Titan in a live-action Attack on Titan movie, based on the wildly popular anime.
He's even willing to throw his hat in the ring as a producer on the project, after having received his first producing credit on Pacific Rim Uprising — and he has ideas. "I'd definitely cast a whole bunch of Japanese actors to play the part, but it would look epic. It would be pretty darn cool," he told MTV News at a junket for his upcoming film.
Boyega would pay homage to the original anime by mimicking the style of Hajime Isayama, the Manga artist who created the series, in the camera shots. "I love them swinging into action and you have a panning shot just following them, cruising on by as they cut off the napes. That would be real cool!"
If his work on Pacific Rim Uprising is any indication, his Attack on Titan live-action would be pretty dope. Playing the bacchanal son of Pacific Rim’s fallen hero Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), Boyega’s Jake Pentecost finds himself at a crossroads: prison or training the Pan Pacific Defense Corps’s newest crop of cadets. He chooses the latter and heads to the Shatterdome alongside his young, unintentional partner-in-crime, Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny), where he bestows his Jaeger piloting wisdom unto the youth — wisdom that, it turns out, is crucial.
As a producer, Boyega saw the sequel as "an expansion of what's been created already" in Guillermo del Toro’s introduction to the futuristic Kaiju-threatened world. "The unity with the Jaegers was something that we saw for a snippet in Pacific Rim 1, and now we get to expand on actual group combat in terms of these Jaegers," he said. "We’re now seeing that we can find Jaeger-on-Jaeger violence in this movie, which is something that we didn’t see in the first film, but we thought it was a potential because of Raleigh’s conflict with some of the pilots in the Shatterdome."
Even though del Toro passed his writing and directing duties on to Steven S. DeKnight for the sequel, Boyega said the Oscar winner, who stayed on as a producer, was "available to give feedback" throughout filming to ensure that the movie would stay true to the world he created and fans loved.
And for those fans who may be concerned about the transition, returning cast members Charlie Day and Burn Gorman gave their stamp of approval. "It felt like the baton was passed from Guillermo to Steven, and it felt like the momentum was still there," Gorman said.
The only major difference, aside from it taking place 10 years after the original, was the prominent addition of adolescents. Spaeny hopes the age range will give younger audiences "someone on screen that they can relate to" (you know, beyond that offered by the ethnically diverse cast), welcoming a new generation to enjoy the monsters versus mecha trope.
Pacific Rim Uprising hits theaters Friday, March 23.