‘Godzilla’ Director Gareth Edwards Promises a ‘Grounded’ and ‘Realistic’ Reboot

Published 1 year ago by , Updated July 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am,

godzilla reboot Godzilla Director Gareth Edwards Promises a Grounded and Realistic Reboot

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.”

Godzilla Release Date Godzilla Director Gareth Edwards Promises a Grounded and Realistic Reboot

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.

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Source: Total Film (via Coventry Telegraph)

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  1. I would like to see Godzilla Comic-Con ‘test teaser’, please. Thank you.

  2. CANT WAIT. i hope Drew Pearce polishes up the script soon so they can start casting and filming.

  3. The guy who made giant land-squid sex into a beautiful and moving event? Okay, but don’t take all the fun and character away from Godzilla please.

    • Agreed

      • I hated that movie.

        • I totally agree – Monsters was awful, an entire movie waiting for something to happen – oooh, creepy stairs in the jungle – what’s gonna happen? Nothing. Oooo squid monsters what’re they gonna do? Nothing.

          Who wants to see a Godzilla movie where Godzilla does nothing? But you do get to see some really cool almost scenes.

          LOL

          Keep Gojira where he belongs, in Japan, in a rubber suit.

          • Monsters wasn’t about the plot as much as it was about the situation and the characters. I think Edwards knows that Godzilla can’t be like Monsters, but you can’t call a movie awful because you don’t understand it. Plus, the title derived its name from mankind, not the aliens.

    • @Lot, I think it’s too late for that. And this new “Godzilla” movie will just be some generic, self-serious, CGI-stuffed monster movie (fill in here, choice of generic monster destroying stuff).

  4. Its godzilla its scifi doesnt need to be that realistic. I think that takes some fun out of the films

  5. Damn it with the grounded and realistic crap all over again! Monster films are not supposed to be grounded and realistic they are supposed to be loose in a sense of taking you away from reality into another world. There are not supposed to seem real at all but of something only in a wildest dream you can create, this just destroys the whole purpose with realism. What’s next a realistic Peter Pan set in New York instead of Neverland. All of this is just not thinking right. Realism worked for Batman because he already was at that exact scale compared to his portrayal in comics and films. For Godzilla a simple story of a monster attacking a city, there is no way realism should be brought in because already that concept is exactly unrealistic in all points no matter what anyone says.

    • Why don’t you stop whining & give it a chance before you jump to conclusions.

      • Whatever, whatever. ;)

    • The original Godzilla was also meant to be realistic. It was a commentary on the dangers of the atom bomb and it was completely different in tone from all the silly godzilla moves that came after. By making this realistic they are paying homage to the original vision of the character.

  6. For me, Gojira is just the solo monster. I totally hate the idea of it fighting other monsters. Most of the “gozilla vs [insert monster name here]” films were clearly aimed at kids. While the original film was a considerably more adult anti-nuclear commentary.

    I liked “Monsters”, but it felt like half a film to me… or half of one film tacked on to half the budget and half the film of a completely different project. The basic story could have been a regular war drama, no monsters, nothing out of the ordinary.

    Meanwhile, the whole monster side of the story was severely underdeveloped. Considering budgetary constraints, what Edwards did with the film was magnificent, however I still feel that the story didn’t hold its varied elements together properly. The whole “monsters have taken over this part of the world” part of the story just didn’t feel really integral to the story he was telling. It felt very much “tacked on”.

    I’m worried about this Gojira “reboot”. I would LIKE to see a real monster movie. The recent reboot TRIED and succeeded somewhat on that level (while failing on so many other levels). The movie WAS about a monster.

    This whole idea of “monsters fighting monsters” (first of all, with Pacific Rim coming to theaters soon, NOT a brilliant move) just feels too saturday-morning-cartoon to me.

    • STOP WORRYING! Pacific Rim looks awesome. And it is a brilliant move, again with the jumping to conclusions crap!

      • Whatever, just ta let ya know, you’re jumping to conclusions as well. :)

        • O_o

    • Oh. Have you seen Pacific Rim already Mike E?

      • it appears I am being misunderstood.. but here goes: no I have NOT seen Pacific Rim, and no I have nothing bad to say about it.

        my only concern is the potential similarity between Pacific Rim (many monsters and giant robots) and a Godzilla reboot involving Godzilla fighting other giant monsters.

        That was never an indictment of Pacific Rim. It’s a legitimate concern regarding the potential direction this reboot could take.

        Personally, as I said – this is my own feeling – I would prefer a legitimate reboot, a retelling, of the original story of Gojira. And I believe that good writers could easily come up with a means of making it allegorical, in much the same way as the original Gojira was.

        Besides, the kid in me is far more scared of giant monsters when they have only us humans to come after and eat, stomp, and kill.

        When there’s another monster involved, well, the big monsters are too distracted with each other to become the complete menace they could really be.

    • this isn’t for kids though, so be happy about that

  7. Jonathan Liebesman sucked at doing Battle: Los Angeles! I thought that movie was over-directed by that hack-for-hire. And the screenplay was bad. hopefully this will be better.

  8. Doesn’t this sound kind of Cloverfieldish? Wasn’t that supposed to be “found footage” grounded in real woldness?

  9. Godzilla Begins.

    • Sequel: The Monster King

    • Or maybe, The Dark Godzilla Rises.

      • The Dark Fright.

  10. Not sure about what to think and feel here !
    I grew up with Godzilla and really love those Keiju Movies,but more real and grounded ???

    I am open for everything at this point,but real and grounded does not sound like a good Godzilla Movie too me. Except … they put in too many human characters :( then that would explain this approach !

    But yeah,can’t say now,need to wait and see,test footage would be nice to be seen !

  11. Nolan strikes again! ;)

    “Similar to what Legendary did with ‘Batman.’”

    Legendary did not do that. Nolan did give the man the credit he deserves.

    So it will be a short movie. A lizard gets irradiated, starts to glow and dies. Ok maybe it grows to 2 feet long. As a nod to the Original Godzilla when it dies it lets off a spark and throws the world into total darkness….

    Whatever – There is no reason to have these sites and threads if we are not supposed to jump to conclusions and guess. What we are supposed to go “Oh a Godzilla movie. Thats nice.” and be on our way?

    We are enticed to talk about it (good or bad).

  12. I can’t wait for this film [Can't be worse than the Broderick one, which, I actually don't hate]. But I agree with Mike E. about him fighting other monsters. While I don’t hate Godzilla fighting other monsters, I just love Godzilla solo. But I will say this, I would love [someday] to see a Godzilla vs King Kong remake. I think, especially with todays special effects, it could be absolutely fantastic and I was wondering what you guys thought of that as well.

    • Perhaps as a sequel to this move! I’m down!!

      • I appreciate the response. But I agree with you, if this first movie is successful, then it would be fantastic to see Godzilla vs King Kong in a sequel. Like I said, with todays special effects and if the story turns out to be good in this reboot then I have no doubt in my mind that the writers would be able to come up with a good story line for that. I mean, I still get excited when Godzilla vs King Kong is on TV. If Gareth Edwards turns out to be the right man for the job and [like I mentioned before] the story is good, no doubt in my mind that Godzilla vs King Kong could be an epic thing to see in a sequel.

  13. They use “grounded and realistic” for everything nowadays it kind of makes the words a little meaningless now.

    • It’s so bad now that I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired about hearing the descriptions “Grounded and realistic,” “dark and edgy,” and “dark and gritty.”
      Why don’t they just use “Nolanesque” or “DarkKnight-eseque”? That’s really what they’re meaning by their variations on the same notion.
      Or do they run into some sort of legal/corporate issues by doing so? Probably.

  14. Funny people complaining that Godzilla cant be grounded and realistic, that it should be more like the campy 60s/70s films when the first 2 Godzilla movies – espiecally the original were horror/grounded films. Shaking my head. I will back Edwards all the way, I love Godzilla – I have since I was a little kid – but it needs to get back to its roots and that is it being a horror film, being grounded into reality even with its outlandish idea of a giant monster being the symbol of the atom bomb and haunting Japan forever.

    • The campy ones were better.
      They were more memorable. That might be why you’re reminding us about the serious ones.

      • The campy ones are not better, thats why most people refer to Godzilla as either a joke or kids crap.

  15. What would really happen is that godzilla would destroy us all mercilessly.
    I haz hopes for this.

  16. Didn’t we already get a “grounded, realistic” Godzilla movie that turn out bad. We are talking a giant monster movie here. I’m not going to get my hopes up just yet…

  17. The larger question is even is Godzilla is a good movie would anyone want to see it.
    The original Godzilla worked because it was a bad movie — so bad it was good.
    This Godzilla could prove to be the opposite and be so good it was bad.

    • Which are you referring to as bad, the Japanese version or the American version that had Raymond Bur spliced in? Because if your referring to the American version then yes you are correct, but if your referring to the Japanese version you are so far from wrong it isn’t funny.

      If it is done correctly, it will be a hit with audiences the same that every other scifi movie that people doubt will be a hit and are (i.e. Star Wars, The Avengers, etc)

    • I was referring to the original Japanese version.
      And it was so bad it was good. Truly.

      • actually, no. The original movie is brilliant.

        unless you are referring to the hacked up botch-job that American studio did with the inserted Raymond Burr material. yeah, THAT is a hatchet job.

        but watch the original, in Japanese. it’s actually surprisingly scary.

        • For me I just can’t take the movie seriously.
          I cut no slack for the laughable special effects.
          The human drama is undermined as soon as the
          guy in the lizard suit kicks around the dollhouse.

          The attempt at the serious story coupled with the
          made in my basement effects made it a cult classic.

          • Gojira was the first attempt that any Japanese film company had done on something like that. You have to remember that we are talking about a post-WWII Japan that didn’t have the film history, capitol, or anything else Hollywood had. TOHO wanted to use stop motion animation like King Kong but didn’t have the money or time to do it – so he went with using a suit which had also never been done and had cost a lot. They made a beautiful suit and did an unbelievable job with what they had, the only pitfalls being when they had to use a puppet in 2 scenes.

            None of the special effects in that film are bad, and when you take a second to realize what they had to work with it makes that much more amazing.

  18. I just want Godzilla to be a good movie-not the one in 1998. I want him to be very destructive. I would like him to fight another monster but as long as G is in it it is already good!!!

  19. “Grounded and Realistic”….It seems Chris Nolan’s “Batman Begins” legacy will continue to influence reboots/remakes for years to come. I, for one am fine with that.

  20. me too-johnny-. i can clearly remember how anticipated i was back in time for emmerich´s -godzilla-, and it wasn´t the godzillamovie that i wanted to see and godzilla was soulless,he was just a giant t-rex. the movie was humourous and had some watchable scenes,but after all not -godzilla-.

  21. Nothing wrong with that concept if they actually do go through with it. I just don’t want to see it thrown around as some kind of buzz word to get people interested. In other words, I don’t want it to become a trend. Like everything now is going to be Nolanized. I suppose their thinking is that to the characters inside the film, there is obvious a reality. So why not make that reality match our own as closely as possible. Like how would we all react to a gigantic radioactive lizard invading our city?

    • The issue with that would be do actually think a World Power would not have enough conventional fire power to take it down?

      It will only take stepping on “X” amount of cities before the go ahead to evacuate and kill it.

      Thats realistic to me.

      It is not like it can be captured, tamed or otherwise appeased and realistically you would be foolish to try. Ok maybe try once.

      However Godzilla being realistic is way off EVEN if you say the characters are realistic. Because realistically most would poop their pants, get stepped on or both. ;)

      Realistic gets thrown out the window once you bring in a 30 story lizard.

      As for your trend comment….. to late. Hopefully though we can start making things Avenging…… :D

      • “The issue with that would be do actually think a World Power would not have enough conventional fire power to take it down?”

        Possibly but in the original and in films like Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, our best weapons have no affect – Godzilla can heal from any wound because of the nuclear radiation and his tough hide, it takes us going to the extremes just like we did to create the monster to defeat it.

        Yes the thought of a realistic story with a gigantic monster is unbelievable but you can still make it realistic and believable look at films like Reign of Fire, Cloverfield, Monsters, the original Godzilla and such – its possible ;).

        • the original was written 60 years ago.

          military technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since then. Including very conventional military tech.

          hell, even the allegorical nuclear bomb that was Gojira’s inspiration has evolved to the point where modern nuclear weapons are thousands of times more powerful than what was used in Japan to end the war.

  22. I can’t wait for this updated film. I do hope it is a version that the orginal ‘Gojira’ could have been given today’s special effects. It was much darker and realistic for 1954 considering it is a metaphor of the atomic age. I can’t wait to see the Comic Con Trailer. Fingers crossed that this erases the memory of 1998 movie.

  23. I’m not against “grounded and realistic” since a lot of G&R (that’s short for grounded and realistic ;)) movies have been very good lately.

    That said, does EVERY. SINGLE. MOVIE. have to be g&r?!
    I mean seriously, how g&r can Godzilla really be?

    I hope this isn’t just becomoing another movie-fad because it seems like every new movie announcement comes with the words “grounded”, “realistic” or “dark”.

    • Too true. As if grounded, realistic, and dark means better.
      It depends. Godzilla, a radioactive giant lizard, is
      the last movie concept to take seriously.

  24. So this guy’s redoing Cloverfield? Sounds awesome.

  25. Yeppert bo jeebers.

  26. Gozira !!! As the japanese would say in the original.. Which was more post world war paranoia than monster movie.. If its like that it would be worth seeing. But it would need to be a period piece too.

    • Gojira, as the Japanese call him, was the embodiment of the potential evils of nuclear weapons. You know those explodey things, that toss around gene-clipping radiation, enduce horrible vomiting among other symptoms, that are now far more prevalent in the world than they were in 1954, all the while more and more countries are going nuclear. . . Yeah, Godzilla doesn’t need updating, nor does it need to be a period piece.

  27. i want to see a cool giant monster fight ! what are you guys discussing about this and that about -godzilla-. i think now it´s the time to bring giant creatures to the big screen with -godzilla- and -pacific rim-. everything about that theme before was campy and cheep or soulless(emmerichs go.) but with todays movie technology i swear i will take the monsters serious and will be afraid of them,instead of laughing trough the whole movie about the cheap tricks like it was before. i always liked the monster -godzilla-,but also hated the god.movies after the original -godzilla-. like i said i´m not a fan of the movie,but i like big-g and now it´s his time.

    • I think what a lot of people miss about the movies after the original is that they were not horror movies. Scaring people wasn’t their aim.

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