Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard explains why Lance Reddick's role was cut down to a cameo

Godzilla in Godzilla and Lance Reddick in John Wick
(Image credit: Warner Bros/Lionsgate)

When the opening credits on Godzilla vs. Kong appear on screen, there are more than a handful of recognizable names. Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, and Rebecca Hall all feature, and the three actors all have prominent roles in the movie. However, while Lance Reddick – who you may recognize from John Wick, The Wire, Lost, and Bosch – appears among those credits, the actor has a surprisingly brief role. In fact, it's basically a blink-and-you-miss-it moment.

Reddick's role, it turns out, was originally much larger in the movie. He plays the director of Monarch, the Titan-studying organization that appears in both Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Zhang Ziyi, who appears in King of the Monsters as a Monarch employee, also filmed scenes for Godzilla vs Kong, while Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist) was set to join the cast.

Why were all their roles either drastically reduced or removed entirely? We spoke to Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard about just that.

"Originally, Lance's part was a little bit bigger as he plays the Monarch director, he's running the organization," the filmmaker tells GamesRadar+. "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."

Monarch plays a very minor role in the final cut of Godzilla vs. Kong, which is surprising considering the organization was so heavily involved with the other MonsterVerse movies. However, despite the removal of those scenes, don't expect a different version of Godzilla vs. Kong to get released.

"This is the ultimate version of the film," Wingard explains. "We actually did the least amount of reshoots than any of those MonsterVerse films. Normally, they do about two weeks, but we only did five days. We did have to be quite surgical, as we did change one element of the plot and it affected a couple of scenes at the beginning and a couple of scenes at the end. That's where my low-budget, no-budget background comes in. You have to be very crafty and able to think in those terms. We were very surgical in those terms. So, no, this is the ultimate version of the film, I would never do a different version of it."

We also caught up with Rebecca Hall, who has a large role in Godzilla vs. Kong, who offered some details regarding the cut scenes. "When we got down into the middle of the Earth, that ended up not being as used in the movie," she says. "There was a huge set for it, that was incredible, with fire and all sorts of rock formations, it was the size of a football pitch... Some of it made it, but we were there for days and days and days, and they ended up using it in a different way."

While we will never see a Wingard Cut of Godzilla vs. Kong, it certainly would be interesting to see more of the Hollow Earth, AKA the middle of the Earth, where the human characters head with Kong. Fingers crossed for some good DVD extras. 

We also spoke to Wingard about what would have been the Godzilla vs Kong post-credits scene and what the chances of there being a Godzilla vs. Kong 2 are. The movie is currently on HBO Max in the United States (check out the best HBO Max prices) and on-demand in the UK. 

Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.