Most films tend to have deleted scenes either because they need to fit into a certain runtime, or simply because it is felt to be the strongest version of the movie. Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard falls into the second camp, despite some of his cuts having led to almost blink-and-miss-it appearances for some of his movie's stars — like that of Lance Reddick (Fringe) who only appeared in the final film for a few seconds.
"Originally, Lance's part was a little bit bigger as he plays the Monarch director, he's running the organization," Wingard explained regarding the Titan-studying establishment in an interview with GamesRadar+. "There was a scene earlier in the film, a big board room scene where they're setting up the mission. He had a larger role, but ultimately we didn’t need that scene, [and] we changed a couple of plot details during the editing process, [and] that earlier stuff got cut."
He went on to add, "Now, that stuff just counts as a fun cameo. He is still top credited, it's still part of his contract. It's funny because he shows up in the opening credits and then turns up for four lines, maybe three, in the movie ultimately."
And Reddick isn't the only actor whose material didn't quite make the final cut, so to speak. Zhang Ziyi (TMNT), who'd appeared in Godzilla: King of the Monsters as a Monarch employee had also filmed scenes for Godzilla vs. Kong while Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist) had been announced as part of the cast. But just because Monarch's role — much like most of the human characters in the film — was quite reduced compared to previous MonsterVerse movies, doesn't mean that Wingard is going to cut together a different version.
"This is the ultimate version of the film," Wingard stated. "We actually did the least amount of reshoots than any of those MonsterVerse films. Normally, they do about two weeks, but we only did five days. We did have to be quite surgical, as we did change one element of the plot and it affected a couple of scenes at the beginning and a couple of scenes at the end. That's where my low-budget, no-budget background comes in. You have to be very crafty and able to think in those terms. We were very surgical in those terms. So, no, this is the ultimate version of the film, I would never do a different version of it."
Godzilla vs. Kong is currently available to stream on HBO Max and is playing in theaters where available.