Pacific Rim: Uprising is currently filming in Australia. While the film will be a sequel, we know that much both in front of and behind the camera has changed. However, maybe not quite as much as we thought. A new image would seem to imply that at least three members of the original Pacific Rim cast may be appearing in the sequel after all.
Dan Mindel is the Cinematographer for Pacific Rim: Uprising and as filming is now underway, he posted an image of one of his camera setups to Instagram. What is interesting about the image, which was pointed out by Slashfilm, is that on the right-hand side of the frame we see a piece of paper listing several cast members of the film. Thee's a name that looks like Scott Eastwood and another that is pretty clearly Cailee Spaeny. Since we already know that both of them will be appearing in Pacific Rim: Uprising, we can, with some confidence, believe that's the set this image comes from. However, there are three additional names that peak our interest even more.
Three of the names on this sheet are for actors that were in the first film, which would seem to imply they'll be reprising their roles. Two of the names absolutely belong together. The scientist pair of Newt and Gottlieb, played by Charlie Day and Burn Gorman. Only seeing one of these guys return would have been unfortunate as the pair worked so well off of each other. Day, played the radical, risk-taking member of the team while Gottelib was more of the proper Englishman who didn't have time for those sorts of actions. Both of them were key to the events in the fist film and it will be wonderful to see them both again.
However, it's the third returning name that has us really excited. At the bottom of the list we see the name of Rinko Kikuchi. She had a breakout role in the original Pacific Rim as Mako Mori. The character was so popular with fans that it would have seemed like a no-brainer to include her in the sequel. However, up to this point, there's been no evidence that she was returning.
However, there's something else here that has us wondering what's going on. While Rinko Kikuchi's character name is obscured in the image, the part of the name we see appears to end in the letters KKO. This could simply be a different spelling of the name Mako than we've seen before, who knows who created this list, or it could mean that the actress isn't actually playing Mako Mori. It would seem odd to have her doing anything else, so we're guessing it's the former situation, but who knows.
It's great to see that least a few more folks from the original Pacific Rim will be back for the new movie. Filming in underway in Australia as we speak and the movie is set for release on February 23, 2018.