Godzilla: King of the Monsters didn’t exactly make a Kaiju-sized splash at the box office, but for many fans, it was still great to see the atomic breathing lizard back on the big screen. Director Michael Dougherty counts himself amongst those fans and tried to fill the sequel with as many hidden Easter eggs for franchise buffs as possible, from lore-inspired characters and weapons, to hidden roles for some of the geekiest celebrities in Hollywood. Now, thanks to a new interview with the filmmaker, we know about quite a few secret performances in one of the movie’s biggest actions sequences.
In a recent chat with Fresh Fiction, Dougherty revealed that when Rodan’s first battle scene required a few masked pilots to try and save the day, he called on a few big names to stop by set and suit up:
“I knew we were shooting this sequence where Rodan is escorted by these fighter pilots and so I thought, “What a fun way? Do I just use extras or do I give friends who love Godzilla as much as I do a chance to be in a freakin’ Godzilla movie?” So I chose “Path B” and put out some calls…
I knew that Stephen was shooting a TV show in Atlanta at the same time… I knew that Eli was in prep on a movie in Atlanta. Seth, Clare and Jermaine, I put out some text messages, ‘Hey do you want to be in a Godzilla movie?’ It’s my own personal Easter Egg. It’s fun to kill your friends with giant monsters.”
While Dougherty may be on a first name basis with everyone mentioned, we’re not, so let’s clarify: the doomed fighter pilots were portrayed in secret by True Blood’s Stephen Moyer, Hostel director Eli Roth, and comedians Seth Green and Clare Grant, who appeared in the scene alongside the film’s co-writer Zach Shields, Dougherty’s college roommate Jermaine Turner, and the director himself.
If you’ve seen the film, you know every single one of these characters meet their demise at the hands – well, wings – of Rodan. While the quality of the pic is up for debate, it’s no doubt a treat for any fan to play a character killed on screen by a world-famous movie monster.
While it’s unlikely that Roth, Green, or Grant will appear in another installment of the franchise, Rodan is likely to return in Godzilla 3, if ever gets a green light. At this point, the future of Legendary’s MonsterVerse hinges on the box office performance of next year’s Godzilla vs. Kong. While Warner Bros execs have said it will surely deliver for fans, considering Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ lackluster reception, that may not be enough to get people into theater seats.