Pacific Rim Uprising introduced new characters portrayed by John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, and Cailee Spaeny to the franchise but was originally planning to return Charlie Hunnam to his role as the main protagonist.
Speaking to ComicBook.com about his directorial efforts on Pacific Rim Uprising, Steven DeKnight revealed how Hunnam was originally going to be featured in the sequel to Guillermo del Toro's film but a scheduling conflict ultimately got in the way. "The first draft of the script was all about Raleigh," DeKnight said.
"He was the star of it," DeKnight said. "Glancing story, me and Emily Carmichael and Kira Snyder, the other writers on the script at the time, then later TS Nolan came in... We finished the script, we turned into Legendary, they really loved it. And the next day I'm on Deadline Hollywood and I see Charlie Hunnam is doing a remake of Papillon and I looked at the production schedule and they're like, right in the middle of when we're shooting the movie. And that was the 'Uh-oh' moment. So we had to retool as the script and take his character out."
Should the Pacific Rim franchise spawn a third film, DeKnight is hopeful to see Hunnam and his Raleigh character return. "There was a version where he was in it and I would love to see him return for the third movie," DeKnight said. "I love Charlie Hunnam. He's a fantastic guy. I was really sorry he couldn't join us on this one."
Of course, a third Pacific Rim film is uncertain, at the moment. Neither or the first two films crushed the box office, though the first film broke out as a cult hit to much acclaim from critics and fans.
"Whether or not there's a third one or cooking or they're thinking about it is a bit above my pay grade," DeKnight said. "I haven't heard anything. But with or without me, I certainly hope they do a third movie. I think it's a franchise that deserves to be finished but we'll have to wait and see."
DeKnight's Pacific Rim Uprising is available on DigitalHD now and releases on blu-ray and DVD on June 19, 2018.