In earlier drafts of the movie, Swinton was the mayor of Zootopia and the film's main antagonist. She led the conspiracy involving predators mysteriously disappearing, as she harbored a secret hatred towards that portion of Zootopia's population. She was portrayed as a calculated and highly intelligent leader, while animatics also imply her to be fairly vain.
Having a pig serve as the film's villain was partially inspired by the filmmakers' research; in during which, they discovered that pigs are amongst the most intelligent animals, which would make sense for a character leading a villainous operation while simultaneously fooling her people. The role was also inspired by the fact that her appearance (being a pink and soft animal) would create an even greater juxtaposition to her murderous, and cold-blooded nature.
Eventually, Swinton's role as mayor was scrapped from the film. She was replaced by Mayor Lionheart, who was portrayed as a generally noble figure, and the ironic main target of the new villain's plot, being that of Assistant Mayor Bellwether. The switch from Swinton to Lionheart was based on the common conception that lions are "king of the jungle", making it seem logical to cast a lion as the leader of an all-animal city. Bellwether, meanwhile, was given Swinton's motivation and plot.
Role in the film
According to directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore, Swinton remained in the movie, but was reworked to appear in a cameo role as a police warden watching over the arrested Bellwether during the Gazelle concert end credits.
- ↑ Alexander, Byran. "'Zootopia' mayor was originally a woman — and a pig". (Article) USA Today. Retrieved on June 5.