Pacific Rim: Guillermo del Toro confirms Tom Cruise was the first choice for the Idris Elba role

Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro has confirmed that Tom Cruise for the first choice for the character played by Idris Elba

In director Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 “monsters vs. mecha” film Pacific Rim (watch it HERE), Idris Elba played the character of Marshal Stacker Pentecost, whose most popular scene may be when he gives a crowd-pumping speech that includes the line, “Today we are cancelling the apocalypse!” It’s a great moment that was almost played by another actor, as del Toro has revealed that Tom Cruise was the first choice to play Marshal Stacker Pentecost!

Speaking with Collider, del Toro said, “The two models for Pacific Rim, the two models for the screenplay, are Hoosiers with Gene Hackman and Top Gun. So, the part that Idris Elba plays, Tom Cruise was gonna do it, and I even had a karaoke. The deal couldn’t be made. He wanted to do it. We were developing stuff, and he couldn’t do it. I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s go with Idris Elba then. He’s a god.’ Obviously, I had to rewrite it for that, but I thought it was gonna be an interesting analog to do that. It would have been a lot of fun.

Of course, Pacific Rim isn’t the first time del Toro and Cruise haven’t been able to make into production together, as Cruise was also attached to star in del Toro’s H.P. Lovecraft adaptation At the Mountains of Madness, which couldn’t get enough studio support even with James Cameron on board as a producer. There was another project that fell by the wayside as well. Del Toro said, “I have developed three movies with Cruise, and none of the three times we have worked, but we have had quite a laugh, you know? I like it. My life is so weird. I’m like Forrest f*cking Gump. All of a sudden, I’m in places that I don’t know how it happened, but I go, ‘Eh, I like it.’

Scripted by del Toro and Travis Beacham, Pacific Rim has the following synopsis: Long ago, legions of monstrous creatures called Kaiju arose from the sea, bringing with them all-consuming war. To fight the Kaiju, mankind developed giant robots called Jaegers, designed to be piloted by two humans locked together in a neural bridge. However, even the Jaegers are not enough to defeat the Kaiju, and humanity is on the verge of defeat. Mankind’s last hope now lies with a washed-up ex-pilot, an untested trainee, and an old, obsolete Jaeger.

Idris Elba was joined in the cast by Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, Clifton Collins Jr., Burn Gorman, and Diego Klattenhoff.

What do you think of Tom Cruise missing out on the chance to be in Pacific Rim? Would you like to see him and Guillermo del Toro finally make a movie together at some point? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Tom Cruise

Source: Collider

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.