The Godzilla reboot script has passed through multiple hands already, beginning with Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer’s story and (most recently) Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce overseeing a revision. Fortunately, we’re nearing the end of these scripting updates, seeing how director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) begins production this March.
However, in the meantime, we have news of a high-profile filmmaker doing a final polish on the script. This report comes amidst behind-the-scenes skirmishing that involves Legendary and Warner Bros.-based producers Roy Lee (Oldboy) and Dan Lin (Gangster Squad).
Here’s the Deadline breakdown: Lee and Lin came to Legendary with rights to the iconic giant Japanese monster, but the studio heads are now reported as interested in exercising a clause that removes the producer pair from the 3D project. Such a deal would pay them upfront, while excluding back-end pay and credit. However, it might not be so easy as that and could be heading to court in the future, not least of all because Lee (producer of J-horror remakes The Ring and The Grudge) and Lin (a Sherlock Holmes and Terminator series alum) are power players who won’t be so easy to push aside.
All that said: there’s no indication in Deadline‘s scoop about this brewing storm affecting progress on Godzilla and thus, Legendary has three-time Oscar-nominee Frank Darabont (writer/director of The Shawshank Redemption and creator of The Walking Dead TV series) giving the script a final revision before Edwards starts principal photography.
Max Borenstein (this year’s anticipated Seventh Son adaptation) is credited as the main screenwriter for Godzilla, with Goyer receiving screen story credit. Dave Callaham (Doom, The Expendables) penned an early script draft, but it does not appear that any explicit elements from his screenplay are being retained. Thus, it seems as though Pearce – who was commissioned to work on Sherlock Holmes 3 and penned Marvel’s Runaways comic book adaptation (it’s currently trapped in development limbo) – and Darabont are the scribes who’ll end up sharing writing credit with Borenstein.
It’s often not a good sign, when more than a couple screenwriters are recruited for a blockbuster. Nonetheless, Darabont’s previous horror genre forays (including the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist) makes him a fitting choice to help craft the sort of “grounded and realistic” Godzilla movie that Edwards has in mind. That is, one portraying the creature’s emergence as a genuine apocalyptic and terrifying event, as foreshadowed in the much-buzzed about Comic-Con teaser.
Godzilla opens in theaters (2D and 3D) on May 16th, 2014.