How Ron Perlman Almost Returned For Pacific Rim Uprising

Ron Perlman as Hannibal Chau in Pacific Rim

It took a few years for Universal Studios to roll the dice on a Pacific Rim sequel. The original movie did OK at the box office (earning a chunk of its overall change at the international markets), and the clamor from the fan base was loud enough that Pacific Rim Uprising received its greenlight. Several threads connected the sequel to the original, from the return of Rinko Kikuchi to the elevated role of quirky scientist Charlie Day. But one memorable character from the first movie did not show up, though Uprising director Steven S. DeKnight tells CinemaBlend that he DID try to lure Ron Perlman back into the fold to play alien organ dealer Hannibal Chau, and even had a clever way of featuring him. DeKnight recently told us:

It didn't quite work out on this movie, but we had written an appearance by Hannibal Chau. Originally, there was a version of the opening where Sonny, played by Nick Tarabay, comes to Jake's mansion because Jake owes money because of a double cross. And Hannibal Chau was going to appear as a hologram. It was Hannibal Chau that Jake owed money to. But that didn't quite work out.

While a hologrammed cameo by Ron Perlman would have been a nice touch by Pacific Rim Uprising director Steven S. DeKnight, it also wouldn't have quite given us the Full Perlman, which is what made Chau's role in the original Pacific Rim so delicious. Chau trades in alien parts, and it's to Chau that Charlie Day goes in the first movie to acquire a fresh kaiju brain, to potentially drift with.

Seeing as how the idea of Charlie Day's character drifting with a kaiju brain plays a major role in Pacific Rim Uprising, I'm surprised that Steven S. DeKnight didn't fight harder to work Hannibal Chau into his narrative. However, he did tell me that if his plan of moving ahead with Pacific Rim 3 happens, he has a place for Chau, and more. DeKnight said:

I always in the back of my head thought it would be great to bring back Hannibal Chau in the next movie, along with Charlie Hunnam, if they're both available and willing.

Pacific Rim Uprising is available on digital as we speak. It will reach 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, and DVD on June 19, and is absolutely worth a pick up. We are really hoping that Universal finds a way to continue this series, as Steven S. DeKnight leaves Uprising off on a tease of where the story could go, and we really want to see the resolution, if only so it can finally take our Jaegar warriors to the land of the Precursors, and bring the battle to the aliens. Fingers crossed that this somehow works out in the future!

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Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.