M3GAN Director Gerard Johnstone Didn’t Originally Want The Viral Dance Number In The Trailer

In an interview with Variety, filmmaker Gerard Johnstone reveals that he originally voiced concerns that the trailer was revealing too much, including the dance scene that comes late in the film during a particularly satisfying and hilarious death scene. “I was so happy to be proved wrong by Universal,” Johnstone says, “who didn’t really listen to me when I said that we were giving away too much.” The trailer frankly does give a lot away, from the scene in which M3GAN chases a schoolboy through the woods on all fours to the moment when she brandishes a power tool at her owner’s neighbor.

But including the dance sequence in nearly its entirety, cross-cut with other shots in a way that make it even funnier, turned out to be a stroke of genius. The #M3GAN tag on TikTok currently has 964 million views on TikTok, thanks in large part to the dance performed by actor Amie Donald and the countless imitations it inspired. The moves caught on in part because they’re so weird, incorporating a front flip and a random wall grab before M3GAN starts menacingly brandishing a large metal paper cutter blade. According to Johnstone, Donald and her dance coach came up with a handful of choreography options for the dance itself, and while they were a lot different than the “shimmy” the filmmaker imagined, they turned out to be perfect.

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