Legendary and Warner Bros. are readying the Godzilla reboot to move forward, with Frank Darabont overseeing a final script revision before director Gareth Edwards and cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (The Avengers, Anna Karenina) begin shooting this March.
That means official casting announcements are bound to start rolling in sooner, rather than later. Sure enough, reports are now circulating about the actor shortlist currently under consideration, along with an update concerning one heavily sought-after star who, for sure, won’t be appearing in the giant monster blockbuster.
Variety‘s Justin Kroll is claiming that Warner Bros. currently has its eyes on Henry Cavill (Man of Steel), character actor Scoot McNairy (Promised Land) and Caleb Laundry Jones (X-Men: First Class) as possibilities to play the human lead opposite the titular skyscraper-high CGI reptilian beast in Edwards’ project. Or, rather, Kroll says Cavill is among the “studio choices” and the latter pair are “creative choices” (translation: who Edwards would prefer).
Indeed, Cavill’s Superman performance in Zack Snyder’s as-yet unreleased film has (seemingly) impressed WB heads enough for them to start considering him for other upcoming tentpole releases (like Tarzan, before Alexander Skarsgård took the lead). Meanwhile, THR‘s Borys Kit says Joseph Gordon-Levitt was approached to star in Godzilla late last fall – but prior to the current Guardians of the Galaxy and Justice League casting rumors running amok, that is – but that he decided to pass on the opportunity (for context: Kroll mentioned Levitt as being one of the “studio choices,” in an earlier Tweet).
It probably goes without saying that Godzilla (and the effects required to bring him convincingly to life) is the main selling point for Edwards’ first blockbuster, not the puny humans he encounters during his rampage. Hence, it’s reasonable for WB to let the director have his choice of leading man, rather than having a name actor forced upon the director because they’re more bankable (we’re assuming here that Man of Steel does indeed prove to be the smash the studio is hoping for).
That’s why I’m throwing my weight behind McNairy, who’s collaborated before with Edwards on his low-budget feature-length debut Monsters; not to mention, he’s since demonstrated his abilities as a versatile actor who can properly vanish into a role – and leave an impression in a short amount of time – in 2012 films like Argo, Killing Them Softly and Promised Land (plus, he has roles in noteworthy films like Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave and the Michael Fassbender musician comedy Frank on the horizon).
We’ll let you know who actually signs on, once more official information has been released. Meanwhile, Godzilla opens in theaters (2D and 3D) on May 16th, 2014.