The original, 1954 version of Gojira was a none-too-subtle allegory for a people that was only nine years out from being the only nation ever attacked with atomic weaponry. When its bleak, brutal imagery called up nightmares of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the resemblance was purely intentional.
Director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) has stated that he wants to return the Godzilla franchise back to that mindset, using his upcoming film as a dark mirror for modern fears. Thus, it will come as no surprise that a new, extended preview of the movie features images of tsunamis, the destruction of a Japanese nuclear power plant, and modern militaries powerless in the face of natural disaster.
This new trailer also expands considerably on the backstory of its main protagonists, the Brody family. While previous looks at Godzilla certainly hinted at brutal tragedy, we now know that the titular monster is directly responsible for the death of one of their own – and for the obsessive fervor of Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) as he attempts to warn the world of the incoming cataclysm.
For all the apocalyptic imagery and grief on display, even this two-and-a-half minute preview continues to play coy with the actual giant monsters involved with the carnage. Except for a great new view of Godzilla himself and a brief shot of what could possibly be the jaws of another beast, audiences will have to continue to guess at what other mutant horrors Godzilla has in store.
Though this trailer continues to show off the movie’s bravura evocations of disaster, it also raises an unavoidable question: Will this new Godzilla be too grim and self-serious to also deliver on the popcorn thrills expected by modern audiences? We at Screen Rant are still eager to find out.
Godzilla will smash into US theaters on May 16th, 2014.