NYCC Exclusive: John Boyega Talks Pacific Rim Uprising

NYCC Exclusive: John Boyega Talks Pacific Rim Uprising

NYCC Exclusive: John Boyega talks Pacific Rim Uprising

Last week, Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures brought the new trailer for Pacific Rim Uprising to their New York Comic Con presentation, after which had the chance to sit down 1:1 with the film’s star and producer, John Boyega. The Star Wars actor plays Jake Pentecost, the son of Idris Elba’s character from the first film. Check out the interview below!

RELATED: The Pacific Rim Uprising Trailer from NYCC is Here!

John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju.” Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi)—who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction. Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (The Fate of the Furious‘ Scott Eastwood) and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

Pacific Rim Uprising is directed by Steven S. DeKnight (Netflix’s Daredevil, STARZ’s Spartacus) and opens in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D theaters on March 23, 2018. I guess my first question to you is… are people making a lot of “Adventure Time” jokes to you now that you’ve played both Finn and Jake?

John Boyega: (laughs) That’s so cool! No, but I welcome all of them. That is cool.

CS: Nobody’s pointing that out?

Boyega: No, nobody’s pointed that out. That is hilarious!

CS: Are you a fan of the show?

Boyega: I love “Adventure Time.” I think I might put up tweets that say, ”I’d really like to see some Finn and Jake concept art” now. That’s so crazy I never knew that, geez.


CS: So in this movie you are playing the son of Idris Elba’s character, and even though you are English, did you have to use a different regional dialect to match his?

Boyega: I use my natural one. I didn’t use my natural one for “Star Wars,” so that was completely different. I’m into characters. The great thing is there is a distinct difference between Jake and Finn, obviously. That was something I definitely integrated into the character-building. Also because I didn’t want to distract the “Star Wars” fans as they watch “Pacific Rim.” I wanted there to be a specific difference in demeanor and energy. And that’s something that went into it in terms of my voice. I use a low register most of the time, I just used my natural tone.

CS: I just know that there are different regions. I don’t know which regions Idris and you are from?

Boyega: I’m from South London but I did cater towards Idris’ kind of easy-sort of an East London accent.

CS: What do you think is the biggest non-cosmetic difference between Finn and Jake?

Boyega: I think obviously, circumstantially they are living in both worlds where Finn kind of had his freedom taken away from him. And Jake has had all the freedom he can get. Jake is definitely a lot cockier and has a lot more of a no-care attitude. Whereas Finn has a natural heart in him. And if they would meet, they would get along but they would be different for sure.

CS: So Jake has lived kind of more of a frivolous life.

Boyega: Yes, because we wanted to show the story in a different light. We are living in a world in which it is not going well in terms of unity and there is a lot of conflict. There are a lot of people who benefit from it not because they are wealthy, or because they have the best name, but because they are smart and witty, and we wanted to explore that part: the underground crime-lord kid. How does he survive within this world? Obviously he is more of a distinct contrast to his father. But this is not like a caricature of [Elba’s character] Stacker, he’s not just walking around with his demeanor, but he’s a lot more free.

CS: In the original movie, Idris seemed to take a lot of his performance cues from anime, almost like a cartoon character.

Boyega: It was fantastic! He was totally stern. Imagine having a man like that with a son that doesn’t quite live up to that. You probably understand why we probably didn’t see Jake, and that’s what we explored.

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CS: I understand there is also a little bit of friction between you and your sister, Mako.

Boyega: It is a troubling and interesting relationship. If there was a love that they both have for each other, she understood that when Jake was going away. It was his choice. It reminds my older sister and me. I love her, but I also love the ability to understand who she is as an individual regardless of how you feel about her. I think that is something that they both share.

CS: I’ve heard the movie compared a lot to “Top Gun” in the sense that it is not just about Jaegers vs. Kaijus, it is also about the competition between Jaeger pilots.

Boyega: There is big, massive competition between Jaeger pilots, but it’s like “Top Gun” in a sense. One question that nobody has asked is, “Where are all the adult Jaeger pilots?” The ones that are professional and the ones that matter. Where are they? We have the circumstance where the kids are the only hope, and they have to jump into tech. That resonates with me especially as a sci-fi reference to “The Goonies” and “E.T.” Kids having to learn and step up, “Attack the Block,” and go against an enemy that is far-fetched. But they have some good weapons, though.

CS: Guillermo del Toro worked on the project a bit before Steven DeKnight took over. What do you think changed the most between those two guys?

Boyega: I think it definitely changed just in terms of freedom and creative freedom also. I think Guillermo was right in wanting the franchise to take a different path and different route. What I like is it really does promote the change in tone in franchise films because that’s sort of the state of war and events. Each event feels different. But at the same time, we still have those things that we can relate to, and go back to the original. We haven’t gone far in changing the story. I still have to be Drift compatible, the robots are not acrobatic. At the same time after you still have to pilot these things, those are elements we had too.

CS: So by bringing in a new auteur you get the same sort of eclecticism that franchises like “Alien” or “Mission: Impossible” have.

Boyega: And with the distinct decision to expand the franchise and expanding universe to give the fans an interactive say is something that influenced this as well.

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CS: I guess there’s a huge difference between a 40-year-old franchise like “Star Wars” and a four-year-old one like “Pacific Rim.” Isn’t there a lot more wiggle room playing in this sandbox than in George Lucas’s?

Boyega: Definitely, in the other realm you are just part of the jigsaw puzzle. And to continue a legacy with it is fantastic, but also what drew me to this is it wasn’t just doing another franchise. It was about being involved behind the scenes: being a part of the creative team and the minds that would hopefully allow this franchise to expand.

CS: You are a big genre fan, but what was your specific role as a producer? What expertise did you bring in shepherding a big badass movie like this one?

Boyega: The greatest thing is I met with a fantastic production team, and the producers there are like the guardian angels of projects. And each angel does his own thing. Whether it be financial responsibility, time, which we all have our eye on because we cannot go over budget. But a big thing for me was creative collaboration of the project, working closely with visual effects teams was a massive thing for me. Most of the privisual CGI went to me, and I would then decide what would happen and the ways in which we can make this better. Pre-viz is something that is beautiful and something that I promoted a lot. We have to go in there with a plan, and if things would change, it would be up to me to discuss with the actors but with the producing hat on. That then affects the way they do action. But there were many notes that I came in with and many ideas. One thing that kind of was my pitch to the studio was, “what the fans really want to see,” and trust me, what they want to see is fights in the daylight and advanced tech taken to another level. They also want to see more character, more breakdown on the specifics of this franchise, to make the complicated uncomplicated. And just to have fun, and any time I could implement that into it, I would.

CS: That is very savvy of you to hone in on it because if you talk to a lot of the directors who work on big tentpole movies, especially in the big Marvel movies, the pre-visuals are already done on the big set pieces before they even come on.

Boyega: It was the case with this one, but I have a great working relationship and Universal was a fantastic studio. I’ve had a great opportunity to give my say, and even in terms of this trailer, it was a long process for this trailer as well in terms of developing it to the point where it can get everybody excited. We have so much content it really is about how much do we show? And when.

CS: Do you have your eye on directing someday? It sounds like it.

Boyega: I don’t know, maybe…

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Exclusive: Jason Blum Talks Todd McFarlane Directing Spawn

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Blum Talks Todd McFarlane Directing Spawn

Exclusive: Jason Blum Talks Todd McFarlane Directing Spawn

After years of anticipation, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane announced at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con that he his entertainment division (McFarlane Films) are partnering with Jason Blum and Blumhouse Productions (Get OutSplitThe Purge) to make a feature film of the Image Comics character. Now has spoken exclusively to producer Jason Blum about the prospect of McFarlane directing Spawn and how they plan to accomplish bringing the character back to the big screen. If you look at Todd McFarlane’s career, him becoming a movie director almost seems inevitable. He’s obviously worked in film and TV and music videos before, but how do you think he’s going to adapt his singular style to movies?

Jason Blum: I think he’s gonna do a great job. Being a director encompasses a lot of different skills, but one of the most important skills is you have to be a great manager. You’re kind of a General of this army that you have to lead into battle every day, and he does that in his life every day running McFarlane Enterprises. So I think that translates to directing in a lot of ways. We’ve had a great back-and-forth around developing the script. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think he could do a great job, but we’ll see. I have a good feeling about it.

CS: He’s said he sees this more as a down and dirty horror movie than a superhero film. Obviously demonic beings and hell are a big part of Spawn’s mythology, but how do you guys plan to translate Todd’s very dynamic form of storytelling onto a lower-scale budget?

Blum: (laughs) That’s a good question. One of the things is we’re keeping the scope of the script relatively contained, so that’s the biggest way. I think the other way is he and I aren’t paying ourselves any money out of the budget nor will any of the actors, so that’s another way. We’re using our usual tricks!


McFarlane has written the first draft of the screenplay and is set to make his directorial debut in this dark exploration of one of comics’ most popular characters.

“We’ve gone from the theoretical to now we’re making movies,” McFarlane previously said. “Blumhouse. Spawn. Badass. R. Get ready for it, we’re going into production. No more talking, it’s time to do.”

McFarlane is known for reinventing the look of Spider-Man as well as co-creating the Venom character for Marvel Comics. First appearing in 1992’s Spawn #1, the character quickly became the symbol for 1990s comics dark and brutal antiheroes. His Hellspawn powers allow him to teleport, shape shift, and utilize a variety of weapons (notably chains) in combat.

Spawn previously made the leap to the big screen in 1997 with Michael Jai White in the title role and then on television as an HBO animated miniseries, titled Todd McFarlane’s Spawn.

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Exclusive Clip Sees Tony Todd Killing Lots of Zombies

Tony Todd in Zombies

Horror icon Tony Todd battles the undead in new action horror flick Zombies

Veteran actor and horror film mainstay Tony Todd (Candyman, Final Destination) is first and foremost a real actor who has the chops to be an A-lister but kind of got caught in the B’s after accepting perhaps one too many roles that were beneath him. But who cares. He’s a genre film legend and there aren’t many of them left anymore…

Now, Todd is starring in a new flick pitting his sizeable muscle against a legion of zombies in writer/director Hamid Torabpour’s upcoming horror movie called Zombies! Not the most creative title, but hey, they calls ’em likes they sees ’em. The film is due out on in limited theatrical release on October 21st from Winter State Entertainment. A DVD and VOD release will follow.

Synopsis: When the world is in shambles, plagued by a zombie outbreak, only the strong will survive, but just how much determination will it take? Will Luke and his crew have enough ambition and ammunition to outlive the undead?

Zombies is produced by Torabpour, Luke Schuetzle and Cameron Romero who is the son of the man who virtually invented the modern zombie, Dawn of the Dead legend George A. Romero. Todd appears alongside Raina Hein and Steven Luke.

Go to official Zombies Facebook page for more info and check out the stack of sticky photos and feast on the exclusive clip we have for you in the clip below!

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Exclusive The Atoning Clip Will Get Under Your Skin


The Atoning

The Atoning: Atmospheric horror film hits DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD on September 5th

When it comes to horror movies, shock and jump scares do not a meal make. You need atmosphere. Thick, meaty atmosphere you need to cut with a cleaver. And writer/director/producer Michael Williams’s new skin-crawler The Atoning is a movie that is ripe with atmosphere and often unbearable tension.

The Atoning synopsis:  Vera, Ray, and Sam, a seemingly normal family, are haunted by more than mere ghosts. The lingering horror of their past threatens their ability to function as a loving family until they become enlightened by a mystical encounter. From that moment on, they’re thrust into a horror worse than anything they’ve ever experienced. Personal demons manifest and tear the family apart from the inside out as they come to terms with their past.

The Atoning is produced by Michael LaCour and Joni Seitz, executive produced by Daniel Wood, associate produced by Sabrita Gordon, associate produced by David Roberson with music by composer Keatzi Gunmoney. Williams is also the cinematographer, editor, and executive producer.  The film stars Virginia Newcomb, Michael La Cour, and Cannon Bosarge.

The movie hits DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD on all platforms September 5, 2017.  REDBOX  will also hit on the same date!

We have an exclusive clip from the film to share below. And yeah…get ready for atmosphere that will crawl under your skin and stay there!

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Exclusive Phoenix Forgotten Blu-ray Clip

Phoenix Forgotten

Phoenix Forgotten: found footage chiller hits DVD and Blu-ray on August 1st

From legendary producer Ridley Scott Phoenix Forgotten is based on the shocking, true events of March 13, 1997, when several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix, Arizona. This unprecedented and inexplicable phenomenon became known as “The Phoenix Lights,” and remains the most famous and widely-viewed UFO sighting in history. We really enjoyed the intense found footage horror film (read our review here) and you’ll have the chance to see it too, when Phoenix Forgotten hits Blu-ray and DVD on August 1st (the film is currently on Digital HD).

Phoenix Forgotten tells the story of three teens who went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night, and were never seen again. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. For the first time ever, the truth will be revealed…

Directed by Barber (Beginners) and co-written by Barber and T.S. Nowlin (The Maze Runner movies, Pacific Rim: Uprising), Phoenix Forgotten stars Florence Hartigan, Chelsea Lopez, Justin Matthews and Luke Spencer Roberts.

PHOENIX FORGOTTEN Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD Special Features Include:

  • Sophie’s Story 
  • Phoenix Found 
  • Audio Commentary with: Justin Barber, Florence Hartigan, Chelsea Lopez and Justin Matthews

We have an exclusive clip from the “Sophie’s Story” feature to share below. Will you be picking up this intense chiller when it hits the streets?

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Death on Scenic Drive Exclusive Teaser Premiere


Death on Scenic Drive: Gabriel Carrer’s intimate psycho thriller delivers a punishing trailer

Gabriel Carrer’s Death on Scenic Drive, the new film from Latefox Pictures Inc. and Smak Studios is the follow-up to Carrer’s 2015’s film festival vigilante hit, The Demolisher. We reported on the film earlier this year and now we have your exclusive first look at the berserkly intense teaser trailer.

Written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Carrer, Death on Scenic Drive unravels over the course of three nightmarish days, during the cold winter months at a secluded countryside home. It focuses on a young woman named Larissa (Stephanie Ash), who encounters an entity that transforms her into death itself, and reins a violent storm against Dallas Henson (Ry Barrett) and the family that resides there.

RELATED: Gabriel Carrer talks The Demolisher

The film boasts special make-up effects by The Butcher Shop FX Studio (Bed of the Dead, Female Werewolf), a gripping tense score by Starsky Partridge, who was the lead sound designer for the popular video game, Unreal Tournament, and is shot by cinematographer and producer, Scott McIntyre.

Death on Scenic Drive is currently prepping for a festival run so please visit the film’s official Facebook page for upcoming updates.

And now…that freaking trailer!

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