John Boyega, a Nigerian-born English actor, says he initially planned to shoot the first scene of ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ in Lagos.
The Hollywood star, who also produced the film, has shown a keen interest in carrying the Nigerian film industry along as his success grows.
“At the early stages of this production, I wanted to see the first sequence in Lagos,” he said during a Q&A session after the screening of ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ in Lagos.
“I wanted a monster to come out of the river and crash into the third mainland bridge. I was an idea that I had. I wanted two Nigerian twins in one of the robots they built themselves and I wanted it to have a worldwide appeal.
“But the message was always, ‘Is Nigeria ready for something like that?’
“And that challenged me. I wanted to come back and make sure that we’re ready because we deserve it.”
In the opening sequence of ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’, John’s character is seen in the club dancing to Wizkid’s ‘Daddy Yo’.
Speaking on the film, John explains that they spent up to eight months shooting compared to the average of one week to a month spent on Nigerian films.
“We [Nigerians] have to improve,” he said.
“But we will, we’re getting there. I’ve met so many people and it’s great to hear the vision. The more time you take, the more quality the project. And something of this scale it always depends on the story.”
The success of ‘Black Panther’ has piqued the interest of Hollywood executives, making them want more African stories and Boyega believes Nigeria is best suited to take the lead.
He said: “That’s what this trip is about. Because of the success of Black Panther, now Hollywood wants African stories and I think Nigeria is at the forefront of that.”
Boyega said he founded his company, Upper Room Entertainment, in 2015 and “my goal was to create original stories”.