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The MonsterVerse is a true ecosystem of diversity, with various creatures like Godzilla, Kong, and even Mothra acting as larger-than-life Titans who keep the world in balance. That’s not where the celebration of differences ends though, as director Adam Wingard’s approach to casting in Godzilla vs. Kong has created an equally diverse array of humans involved in the action. You can thank that approach for pulling Baby Driver and Alita: Battle Angel star Eiza Gonzalez into the mix!
As Ms. Gonzalez was on hand for the recent Godzilla vs. Kong junket, we had to talk about her awesome role as the adversarial Maia Simmons. As the daughter of Apex Cybernetics big wig Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir), Maia is a take-charge-sort who isn’t afraid to go into the field to make sure the job gets done. It’s a character trait you’ve definitely seen in other movies similar to Godzilla vs. Kong, but as Eiza Gonzalez herself highlighted during our talk, the casting of the Simmons family was one of many noteworthy additions to the MonsterVerse:
It was really cool to be able to work with Demian Bichir, even though I didn’t get to be with him on set. But it was cool, and I respect him so much as an actor. I was really happy that there was also a possibility to have two Mexicans in one movie, and it not to be a big thing, or to have to excuse our nationality, which is great.
With a wide-spanning story like that in Godzilla vs. Kong, the cast of characters involved provide an amazing opportunity for diverse voices and personalities. Just looking at the cast of heroes in this MonsterVerse outing, the addition of newcomers like Kaylee Hottle, Brian Tyree Henry, and Julian Dennison all help build out a more representative roster of humans. As they try to help either Team Godzilla or Team Kong win the day in Godzilla vs. Kong, you can see a vast difference from the casting in this film versus that of Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Which leads us back to the dastardly Simmons family, as both Eiza Gonzalez and Demian Bichir’s casting in those roles help Godzilla vs. Kong’s villains embody that same sort of diversity. Even just looking at their character names, you’d almost expect someone like “Walter Simmons” to be played by another English character actor, like Godzilla: King of the Monster’s Charles Dance. The reality of the situation only further delighted Gonzalez, and she further explained why, as follows:
That’s what I really like about the way that Adam [Wingard] approached this script, and Legendary and Warner Bros together. They just cared about creating a world that felt real, and that was one of the first appeals to me. It was beautiful to read a script that I could see people from all over the world that looked very different, and yet it wasn’t a conversation or something that it was weird. It felt organic and natural, it felt like the story, and it allowed for people to see themselves on screen and feel like they could be part of that world. Growing up watching big movies like this, for me, that was an impossibility. There weren't a lot of Latinos in these films, or Mexicans. So the fact that I get to be a part of a little tiny bit of these films makes me feel really proud and happy.
No matter where the MonsterVerse franchise goes, should Godzilla vs. Kong’s success measure up to what Warner Bros and Legendary are hoping for, the case for diversity has been made. As Eiza Gonzalez and Demian Bichir have now planted a flag for Latinx performers in this monstrous world, it’s unlikely that further sequels can or will ignore the gains made through this film. If anything, much like the creatures that roam its lands, the MonsterVerse should take this as a sign to expand their efforts to diversify casting further.
If you’re ready to see Eiza Gonzalez take charge, take names, and take the Simmons family brand of commanding authority to the world of Godzilla vs. Kong, now’s your chance! As the movie is now in theaters, you can venture out into the world and see the Titans clash on the largest screen possible. Or, if you’re looking to enjoy the fight from home, HBO Max will have this title in its streaming library until April 28th!
Don’t have an account just yet? Check out the six month prepaid discount that HBO Max is offering to potential new subscribers, as it’s a Titan-sized offer that’s too good to pass up! Otherwise, Godzilla vs. Kong is now showing at a theater near you; and we wish you a safe and enjoyable trip back to the movies!