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The Creators Behind Godzilla: King of the Monsters Explain How They Differentiated Ghidorah From Other Dragons

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Don’t mess with Ghidorah.
Don’t mess with Ghidorah.
Image: Legendary Pictures

Used to be, you had to walk miles in the snow to find a good dragon, but now? They’re everywhere.

But rest assured, says director Michael Dougherty and production designer Scott Chambliss of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Our dragons are different.


“Ghidorah is from another planet and he’s basically the heavy in the film,” Chambliss explained to Entertainment Weekly. “One of the challenges was, we’re inundated with dragons in our culture right now. So, Ghidorah risks being the most ho-hum of [the monsters in the film]. What Michael did was, he played on the very human characteristics. He played on characteristics that we associate with human beings but he applied them to the monsters. Ghidorah, with his three heads, was an opportunity to have three different aspects of a generally similar creature.”

In short: Ghidorah, one creature, is played by three different actors, via motion capture. As Dougherty explained, in the same EW article:

“It was important to me that each of Ghidorah’s heads have a slightly different personality than the other. Just imagine if you had three dogs, all of the same species. I mean, it’s subtle. I used to have three dogs, and you sort of learn that they have very different ways of expressing themselves, even if they look alike. I loved the idea that each head did sort of have its own personality and quirks, with the center head being the alpha of the three. He’s the one who’s sort of the big brother and the most serious. And then, the other two are just a little bit different. One head is slightly more aggressive and tenacious. The other one displays signs of curiosity. So, in a lot of ways, they’re just like three triplets. You know, they have a lot of traits in common, but they all have their own unique way of reacting to a situation. Ghidorah, he’s a singular character with three distinct personalities and doing the mocap, the facial capture, that way just seemed to make the most sense. And it was a ton of fun too.”


So how will Ghidorah be different? By the sheer force of their personality. Sorry—personalities. Eat your heart out, Drogon.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters hits theaters May 31st. 

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