How John Boyega’s Pacific Rim Uprising Performance Was Influenced By Idris Elba

Pacific Rim Uprising

John Boyega stars as an entirely new character in Steven DeKnight's upcoming Pacific Rim Uprising -- but one very important element of the part is how he connects to one of the heroes in the first film. If you couldn't tell from the last name, Jake Pentecost is the son of Idris Elba's Stacker Pentecost, the leader of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps in the 2013 blockbuster. And while the new movie picks up 10 years after the events of the last movie, in which Stacker died, Boyega recently told me how the performance was used as a reference point:

Jake is obviously significantly different because of the way he was written, and the stuff that he's gone through. I think we all are, to a certain extent, basically shaped by our experiences. Jake's experiences have been kind of rough, and it's taught him this independence that's kind of selfish. So to embody that, but also have transitioned to someone who is like his dad. I wanted him to feel like, 'You're your daddy's boy! That is your dad.' I wanted that to come out as well, so Idris Elba's performance was very, very important.

Pacific Rim Uprising does some notable things very differently than the original, but it does have its tie-backs -- one specifically being the impact that Stacker Pentecost had on his adult son. I had the chance to sit down with John Boyega at the new movie's Los Angeles press day earlier this month, and one thing we had the chance to discuss was the influence of Idris Elba's performance in the last movie. I asked the young actor about looking back at the first film and studying Elba's performance for his own, and he explained how he decided to go about it.

As noted by John Boyega, when we first meet Jake Pentecost in Pacific Rim Uprising, he really couldn't be more different than his father. Confident that the breach that was spewing giant monsters into our world has been closed permanently, he has dedicated himself to a life of luxury -- living in abandoned houses on the coast, scrapping and stealing anything he needs, and generally not caring about anything in the world. That all changes when he is brought back into the fold of the PPDC following a run-in with the law, and is put in charge of training new recruits. It is here where Jake really begins to find himself, and also, in Boyega's words, become his "daddy's boy."

You can watch John Boyega discuss the impact of Idris Elba's Pacific Rim performance on his own in Pacific Rim Uprising by clicking play on the video below!

After years of waiting, Pacific Rim fans are finally about to see the follow-up on the big screen, and watch the film expand the franchise far beyond where it began. Starring John Boyega, Cailee Spaney, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Rinko Kikuchi, and more, Pacific Rim Uprising will arrive in theaters this weekend, March 23rd.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.