The main antagonist of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, King Ghidorah, is more than just one character. Each head of King Ghidorah represents a different character, complete with his own unique personality. Godzilla's ancient, three-headed rival was brought to life through motion capture by actors Alan Maxson, Jason Liles, and Richard Dorton.
King Ghidorah has long been considered Godzilla's greatest enemy. The alien monster first appeared as the titular villain in Toho's 1964 classic, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. In his first film appearance, Ghidorah attacks Earth, forcing Godzilla to team up with other monsters for the first time ever. Brought together by Mothra, Godzilla and Rodan succeed in defeating King Ghidorah. Directed by Mike Dougherty, Godzilla: King of the Monsters reunites the same cast of monsters for a clash of epic proportions, except this time Rodan sides with the "False King." The third film in Legendary's MonsterVerse features an apocalyptic rematch where Godzilla battles his ancient enemy and takes back his crown as the King of the Monsters.
One of the special features included in the home video release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, "Creating Ghidorah," dives into the process that brought Ghidorah back to the big-screen. In the featurette, Millie Bobby Brown says that each head has its own character and role. Dougherty explains each of their personalities, and how those personalities are reflected in the movie.
According to Dougherty, the center head (Liles) is the serious alpha of the three who has to keep the other two in line, which is indicated in the Antarctica sequence when he yanks on the ear of the left head (Dorton), after he begins licking the corpses of the soldiers. The "playful" left head demonstrates his "curious, almost inquisitive" nature when he doesn't immediately attack the soldiers after waking up from the ice. At first, he just looks them over because he's never seen anything like them before. The right head (Maxson) is the most aggressive of the three, and the one that's most anxious to fight.
The amount of detail and work that went into the process of creating Ghidorah, as well as the differences and unique traits of each of the three heads, show that the MonsterVerse's take on King Ghidorah is more developed as a character than previous iterations. This, combined with other improvements made to the villain, is why King of the Monsters had the best version of Ghidorah ever brought to life on the big screen.
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020