Legendary Pictures and director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) aren’t going to finalize any casting decisions on the Godzilla reboot until Frank Darabont (creator of The Walking Dead TV show) finishes revising the script. In the meantime, a handful of actors are either circling or in consideration for the project, ahead of the tentatively scheduled production start in March.
Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass 2) remains the top choice to play the human lead, but his involvement is not yet a given. Meanwhile, Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen have begun early talks to join the cast, with their characters under wraps (though, we’re guessing Olsen’s lined up for the female lead, while Cranston may be either Johnson’s dad, father figure or an important government official).
Edwards won over the Hall H crowd at last year’s Comic-Con with his passionate discussion about taking on the Godzilla property, following a conceptual teaser that suggested he’s sincere about creating a film that treats the Japanese cinema icon as seriously as a real-life apocalyptic event (much like the original 1954 movie did). Similarly, Darabont has voiced a desire to return the creature to his roots as a “terrifying force of nature,” working as both a powerful metaphor about real-world concerns – insert your potential world-ending worry of choice here – and the foundation for a stirring human drama.
Hence, it’s less surprising that acclaimed talents like Cranston and Olsen are eying roles in the picture, given the credible personnel collaborating behind the scenes (including, Oscar-nomianted cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (The Avengers, Anna Karenina); not to mention, the chance to work on an expensive blockbuster that could be both profitable and good. Again, Variety is stressing that “no deals will be done until the finished script materializes,” but early signs are encouraging that this acting lineup will come together.
Cranston was hard-working throughout last year, appearing in five different movies and finishing up his lauded role as Walter White for this summer’s final half-season of Breaking Bad. He’s now moving ahead with plans to develop TV series for Sony and has voiced a desire to direct a full-length feature, after helming episodes on his shows Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad (in addition to series like The Office and Modern Family). Having Cranston onscreen in never a bad thing in our book, so he’d be a welcome addition to the Godzilla cast.
Similarly, Olsen continues to impress in smaller-budgeted and indie fare both good (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and not-so well-received (Silent House, Liberal Arts), so her possible involvement also sounds promising. The up-and-comer actress – and object of affection for certain members of the SR Underground Podcast crew – will also appear in two intriguing titles arriving this year: the buzzed-about Sundance drama Kill Your Darlings and Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake.
Godzilla opens in theaters on May 16th, 2014.