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The sequel to 2013's Pacific Rim underwent quite a few changes on the road to becoming the film you can see in theaters today. In addition to Steven DeKnight replacing director Guillermo del Toro and a new ending, the biggest pivot came when John Boyega's Jake Pentecost became the film's lead after Charlie Hunnam dropped out. Once aboard, John Boyega made some changes of his own too, altering the script in order to suit his natural British accent, which he finally gets to use in Pacific Rim Uprising. John Boyega spoke about why he made the changes, saying:
It's complicated when American writers write for British actors. They use words like 'awesome.' They just don't flow well with this accent. So I made a lot of changes to make it more naturalistic.
Yes, for those of you who have only seen him in Star Wars, John Boyega is in fact British. In the role of Jake Pentecost, the son of Idris Elba's Stacker Pentecost from the first movie, John Boyega will finally get to use his natural accent in a blockbuster film. It's kind of funny to think how maybe the writers weren't considering accents when writing the dialogue for Pacific Rim Uprising. The writers on this film, including Steven DeKnight, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder and T.S. Nowlin, were probably thinking in American accents and thought 'awesome' is an awesome word, and in a world with Jaegers and Kaiju, what word could be more appropriate. You write the words that sound best in your head and look right on the page, but hearing them spoken out loud is an entirely different thing.
It's also kind of ironic because Charlie Hunnam is also British, but his character, Raleigh Becket, was American and had an American accent in the original Pacific Rim. So it is possible that some of the dialogue in the script was still left over and originally meant for him. As John Boyega told The Hollywood Reporter, some words just don't flow well with his accent. Thankfully John Boyega was allowed to make some changes because that's the kind of thing that could have sounded weird to audiences. We Americans may say things like 'awesome' a lot, but hearing it come from someone with a different accent could be strange and take you out of the film. Kind of like how Americans sound weird saying 'wanker' or 'bollocks'. British actors are talented and some can do an American accent as well as those who naturally have one, but even they cannot overcome this funny aspect of language.
You can hear John Boyega in all his Britishness not saying the word 'awesome' in Pacific Rim Uprising, in theaters now. Check out everything you need to remember about the first movie before seeing the sequel, and come back and let us know what you thought. For all the latest in linguistics and how not to sound funny, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.