Actor Charlie Hunnam, the first lead star of "Pacific Rim," will not be returning to the second film. The actor himself confirmed that he will no longer return for the sequel to Guillermo Del Toro's 2013 sci-fi hit.
Titled "Pacific Rim: Maelstrom," the sequel is currently in its early stages of production. As previously reported, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" star John Bayoga has already signed up to play the lead role in the upcoming film and replace Hunnam's character, Raleigh Becket.
Hunnam cited conflicts in schedule as one of the reasons he could no longer return for the sequel.
"There was definitely an incarnation of this sequel that involved me. There was a real agenda to get that film into production as soon as possible," explained Hunnam.
"And I was already booked up for a significant period of the time they were going to need," he added.
In his previous interview with Yahoo, the actor revealed that he had received an early draft of the sequel heavily involving his character. However, he could not make himself available for the filming. He also added that "the politics and business surrounding filmmaking" has made a definite schedule for the production that he could not commit at the time.
Hunnam shared that the sequel to the first film will be very exciting as it offers a significant progression in the story.
"It's a serious, significant progression. It feels like they're really aspiring to push this thing forward and do something original with the sequel. So it's cool," he said.
"Pacific Rim 2" is set for release on February 23, 2018. Watch the trailer below.