To date, the promo material for Gareth Edwards’ contemporary follow-up to 1954’s kaiju cinema classic, Godzilla, has shown off only bits and pieces of the King of The Monsters instead of depicting him in his full, gargantuan glory. Going by the brand new trailer for the film, of course, there’s a whole lot of Godzilla to show off; Edwards has clearly upped the scale on Ishiro Honda’s iconic screen monster and turned him into even more of a towering behemoth than his past incarnations.
If we have a solid idea of his sheer immensity, though, we only have hints of what the big guy looks like from head to toe. Some of the necessary details come across cleanly, particularly the immediately identifiable dorsal fins on his back that we see break the waves here and there in the yesterday’s teaser; there’s even a glimpse, however brief, of Godzilla head-on toward the end of the clip, but no complete, non-obscured shot of the beast in total.
Good news for the curious, though – the cover of Empire‘s April magazine offers fans the most complete portrait of Edwards’ interpretation of Godzilla we’ve seen yet. Even better, the design keeps a respectable distance to Honda’s original vision; it’s a very current update on Godzilla that’s still recognizably Godzilla. For anyone still washing the taste out of Roland Emmerich’s 1998 Godzilla picture, Edwards’ take should be a breath of fresh air.
Empire has blown up the size of their upcoming issue to proportions grander than the norm; they’ve obviously taken Edwards’ inflation of Godzilla to heart, though the increase also grants readers an even more impressive glance at him. Don’t take our word for it, though – have a look at the cover below, and decide for yourself:
The image hits on what we already know about Godzilla 2014: this is one enormous thunder lizard. Next to him, a helicopter looks like nothing more than an average sized bird, while human beings appear to be gnat-sized. It’s hard to imagine what, if anything, could possibly stand in his way as he trundles along, wreaking havoc through San Francisco. He’s exactly the force of nature Edwards believes him to be.
That’s a two-pronged plus in favor of what the British filmmaker has accomplished here. This Godzilla manages to both honor Honda’s creation while out-classing Emmerich’s attempts at modernizing the man’s work; Godzilla doesn’t just stand tall above skyscrapers, he has girth, which puts him more in-line with classic iterations of the monster:
While the differences here are quite obvious – note the textural discrepancies that come from the beloved “man in suit” approach of the Toho films to the present day use of CGI – the similarities are almost more noticeable. Both creatures here stand fully upright, giving them an even more imposing stature, and they’re both just plain old big. Neither Edwards’ nor Honda’s monster look like they go to the gym; they’re robust, rather than lean and muscular.
But that just belies the fact that they’re engines of devastation. Godzilla plowed through Tokyo so easily as to be appalling in the 1954 film; from the looks of the previews, he’ll do the same to the City by the Bay. Compare this to the Emmerich version of the character:
This fellow owes a lot more to Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park than it does to Honda’s landmark film. Emmerich’s Godzilla is a dinosaur, and while he wins a lot of points for having an accurate posture, nobody wants to see a Godzilla that shoots for physiological fidelity. Even the snout’s dimensions differ; 1998 Godzilla has a more pronounced jawline to the more snubbed face of the 1954 and 2014 rendition. Frankly, that just isn’t Godzilla. It’s a T-Rex.
Whether or not Edwards’ movie ends up being any good in terms of storytelling and spectacle, one thing can be said for certain: he’s nailed the look of Godzilla. We’ll see if he’s gotten everything else right to go along with it this May.
Godzilla arrives in theaters on May 16th, 2014.