You read that right! In a fantastic reveal today by The Wrap, we’ve learned that the actor behind the excellent performance of George the giant gorilla in RAMPAGE will next be stepping into the golden scales of Ghidorah for Legendary’s GODZILLA sequel!
This is phenomenal news, as motion capture suit technology is the direct predecessor to suitmation, the tokusatsu artform perfected by Eiji Tsuburaya and Toho studios through our beloved canon of kaiju films. Adding to this is Liles’ track record of stellar mo-cap performances; he’s received recent praise as George in RAMPAGE, but also for portrayals in everything from Men In Black III to Netflix’s live-action Death Note as Ryuk.
The most notably-exciting attribute of Liles’ casting is his exceptionally tall and slender physique, something that will surely come in handy when playing the enormous & serpentine King Ghidorah.
Last year we learned that legendary creature designer Tom Woodruff Jr. would be sparheading to the monster designs on KOTM, and we know VFX supervisor Guillaume Rocheron is continuing his work from GODZILLA (2014). Long story short, all of this combined with the confirmed use of full mo-cap points to an even stronger sequel. No doubt the re-emergence of giant monsters in pop culture has pushed Legendary to continue their excellent work with the franchise, and raise the ante on themselves, as well.
For those that don’t know, Godzilla’s excellent movement and personality was provided by T.J. Storm with Andy Serkis brought in as a consultant in the 2014 revival by Legendary, so it is very reassuring to see them continue the artform with the Big G’s rivals. These contributions were labeled as “partial” by the studio, however, and no names are attached to full-work on the Mutos, either, so having a name like Liles attached to a specific character like Ghidorah is great news. The studio is even going as far as to pull in other mo-cap actors to take on the other attributes of Ghidorah, assisting Liles in bringing all three heads, two wings, tails, and legs to life.
To help clear up any confusion that still exists (and to further push why this is such an exciting announcement) – although Andy Serkis was brought in to consult and did publicity for GODZILLA in 2014, he has confirmed himself that he did not perform Godzilla. The only mo-cap used in the film was provided by T.J. Storm, and was labeled as “partial” by the studio, so it is unclear what work is his and what is solely VFX when it comes to Godzilla in the film.
“We were working more as consultants for that than me playing the role of Godzilla.” -Andy Serkis
It looks as if we’re getting much more extensive mo-cap for the sequel, though it seems much less likely that any actor would be brought in to portray Mothra’s insectoid form – but what about Rodan? Depending on what choices they make design-wise with his anatomy, it may or may not make sense to bring in an actor for him.
As always we’ll keep you updated if any other names become attached to kaiju in the film. Are you pumped to see Liles’ portrayal of the Three Headed Monster in KOTM next year? We can’t wait!
Until then, fellow fans!
Jon D. B.