In an era where big budget blockbusters often run to needlessly excessive lengths, the relatively brief 113-minute Godzilla vs. Kong is something of an outlier. Adam Wingard’s creature feature doesn’t mess around with plot and character development, which is far from a bad thing in this instance, with the story powering through its major beats in order to get to the super-sized smackdowns that audiences want to see.
It looks to have worked a treat, too, with Godzilla vs. Kong having opened to over $120 million internationally last weekend, and the movie’s domestic debut is tracking above $40 million, which would comfortably obliterate any and all pandemic-era records. It’s also the highest-rated installment in the MonsterVerse on Rotten Tomatoes, a far cry from the question marks surrounding its chances of success when Wingard was ordered back to the drawing board for extensive reshoots after a poor test screening.
Naturally, the revised footage has seen several characters hit with a drastic reduction in screen time, with Jessica Henwick boarding the cast but never making the final cut, while Godzilla: King of the Monsters star Zhang Ziyi also filmed scenes that were left on the editing room floor. And in a new interview, Wingard revealed that Lance Reddick was another big casualty, but he still managed to get his name into the opening credits.
“Originally, Lance’s part was a little bit bigger as he plays the Monarch director, he’s running the organization. There was a scene earlier in the film, a big board room scene where they’re setting up the mission. He had a larger role, but ultimately we didn’t need that scene, we changed a couple of plot details during the editing process, so that earlier stuff got cut. Now, that stuff just counts as a fun cameo. He is still top credited, it’s still part of his contract. It’s funny because he shows up in the opening credits and then turns up for four lines, maybe three, in the movie ultimately.”
You’d have been forgiven for not even noticing that Reddick was in Godzilla vs. Kong, so minor is his presence and impact. Monarch in general are shunted to the sidelines in favor of the nefarious Apex group, though, so there was always a possibility that members of the MUTO-hunting organization would find themselves being omitted as Wingard trimmed the fat in post-production.