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Pacific Rim Uprising isn’t the first sequel to sideline the original stars. Take a look at the successful (and unsuccessful) sequels that did it first.

Put yourself in the position of a filmmaker whose new job is directing a sequel to a massive blockbuster hit that everybody loves. Now, imagine you find out that the cast of the original film is unavailable, or too expensive to bring back, so you’re practically going to have to start from scratch.

It’s a tricky scenario that has, over the years, forced filmmakers to get creative. The new release Pacific Rim Uprising is just the latest in a long line of these types of projects. The original Pacific Rim starred Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) as a giant robot pilot with a lot of baggage and a ton of unresolved issues and storylines that could have been mined for sequels. But when Hunnam was unavailable, they went in another direction, and the new film stars a whole new character, played by John Boyega (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), and a lot of new supporting cast too.

Will the gamble pay off? It’s worked before, but it’s also completely ruined franchises, turned off the fans and doomed more than one film to obscurity. Let’s take a look at some of the many sequels that have had to go on without their stars…

Note: Sequels with entirely understandable reasons for recasting their leads – like most horror movies, in which the majority of the characters frequently die, and prequels, which often take place many years earlier – are not included on this list for obvious reasons.

For more on Pacific Rim Uprising, check out our 5 biggest WTF questions about the film. Or learn what happened to Hunnam’s character Raleigh Becket. You may also want to take a look at the giant monsters that have come closest to destroying the world.

And where there any original casts that got dumped in sequels that we forgot? Let’s discuss in the comments!



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