Coming off last year’s “Godzilla vs. Kong,” director Adam Wingard is inviting previous collaborators along for the sequel. Dan Stevens is joining the cast in the unnamed follow up from Legendary. Stevens and Wingard worked together all the way back in 2014 on thriller “The Guest.”
While “The Guest” isn’t super well known, it represents a turning point for both Wingard’s and Stevens’ career. Stevens is more a well known quantity, having made a name for himself on stage and on “Downton Abbey.” After leaving the British series in 2013, he branched out to avoid being typecast as a straight-laced everyman. In “The Guest,” he plays a charming American veteran with a very dark secret. While also in the barely remembered “Beauty and the Beast” remake with Emma Watson, his capacity for playing unhinged resonated way more. Perhaps his most well-known role is as David Haller in the wildly inventive X-Men adjacent “Legion“ from FX.
From there, Stevens had success as a character actor in stuff like Netflix’s “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.”
Legendary and Warner Bros. Pictures have been using the franchise as a proving ground for directors who never helmed major franchise movies before. Wingard’s career both does and doesn’t lend itself to being in charge of a monster movie franchise. Coming from the low budget horror scene, Wingard cut his teeth on films like “You’re Next”.
While results vary, especially with “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” in 2019, “Godzilla vs. Kong” benefitted from being at the right place at the right time. On top of being a solid film, “Godzilla vs. Kong” released right when theaters were reopening and people wanted something big and loud to watch.
The success of “Godzilla vs. Kong” was enough for Wingard to be the first director in the series to return for a sequel. It also seems that it has also given him more pull to bring in people like Stevens back to the fold. While the humans have always been the least interesting parts of the MonsterVerse, having actors capable of bringing their own energy to the series is welcome.
My personal hope is that Stevens plays eccentric, twitchy psychic who finds out he can talk to Godzilla and/or Kong. Throw in Aubrey Plaza from “Legion” as his sidekick, and you already got a billion dollar grossing movie.