Charlie Hunnam is the lead in Guy Ritchie's King Arthur, but he won't be returning to the franchise that made him a movie star. Pacific Rim 2 is moving on without Raleigh Becket. It looks like Mako will have to find someone else to become drift compatible with...

Pacific Rim 2 has a release date of February 23, 2018 but isn't being directed by Guillermo del Toro either if you recall. Steven S. DeKnight is taking over duties with del Toro's blessing and guidance. Speaking to Yahoo at Comic-Con over the weekend Hunnam broke the news officially:

“I’m very excited about it. I’m glad they’re making it. I think it's going to be great. I read an early draft of what they're doing. There was one incarnation of this sequel that involved me heavily but I was unavailable. They have a very definite schedule that they have to film because of the politics and business surrounding filmmaking sometimes non-creative decisions will dictate how something unfolds which seems bass-ackwards [sic] in fact that we're making art, or at least aspiring to make art. But yeah, it just ended up being unfortunately something that we couldn't remedy because by the time they got their schedule fully realized then I wasn't available. But I think they're onto something very exciting. I think it's a serious...a significant progression from...which you always home it will be, right? That you don't just rest on your laurels and do what you've already done again. It feels like they're really aspiring to push this thing forward and do something original with the sequel."

Without Hunnam that could mean two people of color will lead the cast - Rinko Kikuchi as Mako (though she's yet to be added to the cast) and the recently announced John Boyega playing the son of Idris Elba's character Stacker Pentecost.

Del Toro spoke about his appreciation for a diverse cast recently telling The Hollywood Reporter:

The idea for me is that [Boyega] is a continuation of the great leadership character that was Idris Elba. It’s a very different character but I love the idea of having a main character who is not a white Anglo-Saxon guy. Before the heated conversation about diversity in film started we were doing Pacific Rim. And I think that universe is a huge proponent of that.

As for specifics of who will return from the first film, he said, "As a producer, I learned not to declare anything about a movie I’m not directing. I can tell you this — a lot of the cast from the first movie is coming back. I leave those communications to Steven DeKnight."

Jill Pantozzi is a pop culture writer and host who reports on all things nerdy and beyond! Her blog was recently relaunched with Patreon support and she’s formerly Editor in Chief of The Mary Sue. She’s written for MTV, Tor, Playboy, Publishers Weekly, IGN & more. You can keep up with Jill, and her cats, on Twitter at @JillPantozzi.