There’s a lot of anticipation surrounding the upcoming Godzilla (which topped our Most Anticipated Movies of 2014 countdown), given the high-pedigree of talent involved. That includes a cast with Aaron-Taylor Johnson (Kick-Ass 1&2), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), among others.
Last time the big lizard made a trip to North America, it was 1998 and he had Stargate and Independence Day co-writer Dean Devlin and co-writer/director Roland Emmerich serving as the tour guides. In 2014, the King of Monsters will be receiving a makeover from director Gareth Edwards (Monsters), drawing from a script that was written by Max Borenstein (Seventh Son) and received (uncredited?) revisions by Frank Darabont (creator of The Walking Dead TV show).
A new ET Canada set visit video released for Godzilla (see above) is composed of mostly fluff cast interviews, familiar trailer footage and glimpses at filming on a sequence where Cranston (playing Johnson’s father in the movie) is among the many people who are left badly injured by you-know-who’s latest rampage. However, Cranston does have an intriguing bit to offer, with regard to how Edwards’ intends to portray the creature:
“They’re taking a very restrained approach to this, much like ‘Jaws’ did. Steven Spielberg didn’t always show the beast [yet] the essence is present and it’s there and it’s moving [and] it’s creepy… So the tension is there, for sure.”
Spielberg’s decision to minimize the screen time for the “monster” (and maximize the atmospheric dread) in Jaws stemmed in no small part from the mechanical shark’s constant malfunctions, but that proved to be one of those blessings-in-disguise when it made the story even scarier and horrifying on a deeper psychological level. Edwards likewise showed little of the giant alien visitors in his indie breakout Monsters, in part due to budget restrictions – but also to generate a palpable atmosphere throughout the movie, similar to what Spielberg did on Jaws.
Arguably, one of the (few) things that Emmerich’s Godzilla managed all-right was the gradual build-up to the creature being unveiled onscreen; what came after, well, that’s another debate.
Anyway, the early footage for the 2014 reboot does indeed suggest that the film is very careful with how it shows (or, rather, doesn’t show) the main CGI attraction; there are financial benefits to keeping Godzilla offscreen (read: less animation = lower costs), but it can also have some important artistic effects, as mentioned before.
Such filmmaking technique provides additional reason to hope that Edwards’ reboot will possess the brains of the original Godzilla movie (a.k.a. Gojira) released in 1954 – serving as a big ol’ metaphor for natural disasters/warfare/etc. – and deliver the kind of epic moviegoing experience that people are hoping for, given the modern-day tentpole budget at its disposal. Plus, who knows, if Godzilla thrives at the box office, then maybe it’ll improve the chances of the proposed Pacific Rim sequel becoming a reality…
Godzilla opens in theaters on May 16th, 2014.
Source: ET Canada [via Yahoo!]
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