One of the aspects of the Godzilla Comic-Con ‘test teaser’ that resonated with the Hall H audience was just how serious and authentic the imagery glimpsed in those one-two minutes felt. That’s assuming you are willing to suspend belief and accept the premise of a lightning-breathing gargantuan reptile that fights other enormous beasts on Earth.
The sense of realism, in this case, evidences how director Gareth Edwards seems to be approaching the B-movie concept, bringing it down to Earth with relatable imagery that one associates with a real cataclysmic event. Edwards used an identical tactic in his indie project Monsters, similar to what Jonathan Liebesman did with the more-mainstream Battle Los Angeles.
Edwards clarified his approach to Godzilla during an interview with Total Film (via Coventry Telegraph), saying:
“I’ve always been interested in Godzilla and the ideas around him. I really wanted to see another Godzilla film and jumped at the opportunity. My main idea was to imagine ‘If this really happened, what would it be like?’ I want to take a grounded, realistic approach to a Godzilla film.”
When Edwards took the stage at Comic-Con (as this writer can testify), there was a sincerness to his manner that managed to win people in the auditorium over – resulting in him leaving the room to as much thunderous applause as the Godzilla footage incited. The filmmaker continues to maintain that air of humility in these recent interviews, as illustrated by his additional comments:
“I’ve never worked this hard, this long and been this emotionally involved in something that’s lasted only a few seconds since the time I lost my virginity! But the reaction has been amazing and I can’t wait for the fans to see our final product.”
The Godzilla script has passed through the hands of several writers, beginning with David Callahan (The Expendables) going on through to David S. Goyer (the Blade and Dark Knight trilogies), Max Borenstein (The Seventh Son), and, most recently, Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3). Some two years ago, producer Brian Rogers offered the following insight on the project:
“In all the conversations we had with Legendary [Pictures], they made it clear that they want to pay homage to the traditional Godzilla character… They wanted to go back to the history of the project, but again because it’s a reboot, bring it into the 21st century… Similar to what Legendary did with ‘Batman.’”
While that idea gels with what Edwards is saying, the fact that he’s a first-timer when it comes to big-budget fare leaves room for concern – as far as how his lack of experience could give rise to creative control conflicts on Godzilla (see the post-production tension on 47 Ronin, for a recent example). However, the filmmaker has taken pre-emptive steps to dismiss such worries:
“Everyone warns you about working for Hollywood and how you can get treated in a certain way but my experience has been the polar opposite. Thomas Tull (founder of Legendary) has been very supportive.”
Look for Godzilla to storm theaters in 3D on May 16th, 2014.