Godzilla originally had female lead, director wrote her out to focus on Aaron Taylor-Johnson instead
Godzilla reduces its women to supporting roles but an early script had a heroine at the centre, the director reveals
Godzilla featured a heroine at its centre before the role was excised in favour of Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s brooding hero, the director has disclosed.
The action epic stars Taylor-Johnson as a bomb disposal expert out to save the world, and Bryan Cranston as his scientist father.
Women are notable by their absence from leading roles. Actresses Juliette Binoche and Elizabeth Olsen appear in the cast as either wives or assistants, and their portrayal has come in for criticism – Indiewire noted that “the most frustrating aspect of the uninspired cast is a strange neglect of the story’s female characters”.
Sally Hawkins, Oscar-nominated earlier this year for Blue Jasmine, is required to “express worry when the camera calls for it” and little more.
The Hollywood Reporter referred to Olsen’s “thankless role” as Taylor-Johnson’s wife, while Empire’s critic wrote that “a criminally under-utilised Elizabeth Olsen is a wife-mother-nurse permanently stuck on the end of a phone”.
It could all have been different, according to director Gareth Edwards, who conceded that women play secondary roles in the film.
“We had a version of the screenplay that had a heroine in the film,” Edwards disclosed at a press conference in London.
“But you’ve got to pick a hero and we ended up with a male, and then everything supports the hero in some way.
“But I totally understand what you’re saying. My favourite film like this is Alien, or Aliens, and I think there are so many great examples [of female characters].
“If we get lucky and there’s a sequel or anything like that, then I very much take [the criticism] on board.”
He joked: “This is probably a good time to point out that Godzilla is actually a female. At the last minute we changed it from Godzilla, Queen of the Monsters…”
wow i'm so glad they decided to cut the one significant female character in order to focus on a charismatic and powerhouse actor like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the film wouldn't have had enough important male characters otherwise!!!