On Friday, Pacific Rim Uprising conquered the stage at Madison Square Garden's theater during New York Comic Con. The panel kicked off just after noon eastern time.
SyFy Wire editor at large Aaron Sagers introduces director Steven DeKnight.
"It's amazing. I grew up watching Ultra Man...Godzilla movies... To get a chance to play in this world and to get a chance to play in a world that Guillermo del Toro so beautifully executed the first time around has been wonderful," DeKnight said. "The action takes place 10 years after the first movie which really gave us a chance to explore where humanity is at this point and to show that there is a new generation of Jaeger pilots who have known nothing but chaos."
"It doesn't matter where you're from, it doesn't matter who your parents are...you can make a difference...It is the human inside the Jaeger."
"Since it's been 10 years, they've had a chance to redesign the Jaegers from the ground up...It's not longer the Russian Jager or the Australian Jaeger. It's all of humanity working together. Leading the force is Gypsy Avenger."
Gypsy Avengers has a cool new weapon called the gravity swing which will allow it to send buildings, cars, and more flying towards to Kaiju.
"Bracer Phoenix." It's a three pilot rig and the third pilot can operate a massive pair of guns called the vortex cannon. "Saber Athena" is the most advanced Jaeger in the fleet. Exerimental and incredibly swift, equipped with a pair of plasma swords. "Titan Redeemer" uses the "ball of death" at the end of its arm. "Guardian Bravo" is a brute force Jaeger, equipped with a graphine arc whip. There's also a "little guy" called "scrapper." Scrapped is basically a homemade Jaeger made of old parts.
The cast of Pacific Rim Uprising take the stage, including Burn Gorman, Scott Eastwood, Caily Spaeny, and John Boyega.
"The vision of this movie was not to repeat what GDT did but to build upon and expand this universe," Boyega said. "Going in, I had the same creative passion as Steve...we went through the robots and the specific Jaeger abilities."
"I loved the first movie and one of the biggest reasons is because of Idris Elba," Boyega said. He is excited to play Elba's character's son. "It was definitely something I hadn't imagined," Boyega said. "I saw myself in a Jaeger suit and I was like 'Oh, crap! This is what you brought me in for!'"
Boyega jokes that his character can't try to live up to his father's legendary status. "We find him at the beginning of the movie in a circumstance quite different from his dad." Boyega said. He's a criminal on the streets in the beginning who is brought back through a connection to Katie's "Mara" character.
"He is nothing without his best friend Jake," Eastwood says of his character. "They've got some issues to work out from the past."
"We're 10 years in the future, this has got some cool stuff," Eastwood said. "There's action but the story is great."
Spaeny says her family was killed by the Kaiju. "She'll be ready to fight," she said. "She's very independent and has a lot of the same qualities [as Jake]." It's her first film, ever, but she dove right in with stunts and action. "I really wanted to know all the things they went behind all the Jaegers and it's whole world that's been created."
Gorman opens up about his character who has now become the top ranking member of the PPDC and now has a large scientific budget. "Where we find [him] as a man is very much affected by the events of the first movie," Gorman said. Drifting with the Kaiju made an impact on the character.
Gorman says it was "effortless" to work with Charlie Day again. "We had good fun," he said. "There are great differences in their relationship from the first film but it was just like being back in the playground really and we had a lot of fun."
Saagers introduces the trailer for Pacific Rim Uprising.
The trailer plays to a standing ovation from the crowd.
Gorman is asked by a fan why he came back by a fan.
"He's got access to a lot more funding and I think it's okay to say that Newt and Herman, it's not that they don't work together anymore it's that Newt is working in the private sector no and I'm not and I felt that he has got all these resources and Steven has this great vision for what happens and I was just really excited to be back in that sandbox," Gorman said. "When Steven offers you the opportunity to come back and reprise Herman Gottlieb, you don't say no."
How did DeKnight make it to satisfy original fans?
"Guillermo set the table," DeKnight said. "We wanted to make sure we honored what he created and also expanded the universe. This is hopefully the first step in a bigger Pacific Rim franchise that we really wanted to explore the universe and look at the first movie and expand on it. There are references to the first movie and what happened in the first movie. As our people try to understand why the Kaiju attack, why the aliens sent the kaiju... We really wanted to honor the first movie and go forward and moving 10 years in the future gave us the chance to do that."
Did the new cast members feel intimidation stepping into this huge world?
"Super intimidating," Spaeny said. "I had heard of the film but I didn't watch it until I got the audition so I really had to put on my research hat and really dive in."
Boyega says he wanted behind-the-scenes input because fans are so hopeful for the Pacific Rim film. "This is sacred ground," he said. "The best way to do that is to make sure we explain exactly what happens in this movie and how it connects to the first...moving forward, we can't go back and ignore what del Toro's done."
For Boyega, what's it like to be a sci-fi icon?
"I don't feel like a sci-fi icon, yet," Boyega said. "I think, so far, I've been able to work with the best people and the best cast and anything you see me do it's based on a whole team of people who are behind me. At the same time, it's great to be able to jump into various different elements of sci-fi that I've loved growing up...Do I have the mission to be a part of every single thing? Pretty much, yeah!"
A question is sent from "Pacific Rim" super fan Charlie Day. He asks, via video, what the music will be like in the film.
He starts singing, "Do you know you have a sword?!" to the tune of Pacific Rim's guitar tune. "Make sure you use your sword! Use it early in the movie."
The song then turns to complimenting his and Gorman's characters.
"Ocean Lizard, go back to the beach!" he starts singing with the audience clapping along. "Giant lizard, you're not welcome here! We're gonna have giant robots that fight you when you show up." He notes, they're all works in progress.
His last idea is a song singing, "Charlie Day! Charlie Day! And the rest of the cast!"
Pacific Rim Uprising opens in theaters in March of 2018.