Earlier this summer at San Diego Comic-Con, we got our first, brief glimpse of Pacific Rim Uprising, in the form of a viral recruitment video for the Jager Corps. At a panel during New York Comic Con today, the movie’s first trailer got its debut, showing off John Boyega’s new character and plenty of giant robot action.
The trailer features a slew of new Jaeger mechs, as well as returning cast members like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie Day (reprising his role as the uniquely enthusiastic Dr. Newton Geiszler). But the trailer also sets this up as a film that will hand things off from the last generation of heroes to the next one, with Boyega’s Jake Pentecost taking up the mantle of his father, played by Idris Elba in the previous film.
During the panel, director Steven S. DeKnight was joined by Boyega and fellow stars Scott Eastwood, Burn Gorman, and newcomer Cailee Spaeny. They explained that the film takes place 10 years after Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 original, and that the Pan Pacific Defense Corps has been redesigned from the ground up to work together as an international fighting force. Leading them is the Gipsy Avenger robot, the successor to Gipsy Danger (from the original movie, and not a stripper name generator). That’s the machine that Boyega’s character helps pilot, but there’s also an entire new fleet of Jaegers. Bracer Phoenix is a model which utilizes three pilots, the third who can operate vortex cannons. Saber Athena, the most advanced member of the fleet, wields a pair of plasma swords, with Titan Redeemer rounding out the group. (Clearly, Pacific Rim Uprising is embracing the unique flair the first film showed when it comes to names.)
There’s also a little Jaegar called Scrapper, as Uprising takes place in a future where people can pilfer together materials to put together their own fighting robots. In response to a fan question about the presence of any analog Jaegers that could withstand an EMP bomb from a Kaiju, DeKnight (who was dressed as an operating commander of the PPDC) responded there would be a Jaeger made of sticks. This may have been a joke, but if there’s any franchise that could pull it off, it would be Pacific Rim.
Along with Boyega’s character, the rest of the film’s heroes include a rival Jaeger pilot named Lambert (Eastwood), and a 15-year-old Jaeger hacker named Amara (Spaeny). As long as the film features more of Rinko Kikuchi’s character than we see in the new trailer, and the sequel respects the emotional core of the original story, Pacific Rim Uprising should be just as epic as it looks when it’s released in theaters on March 23rd of next year.