Godzilla arrived on the scene today (kind of) in the first widely available teaser trailer for Gareth Edwards' upcoming monster movie, which stars Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2) and a very big lizard. The whole thing definitely had a very disastrous feel, with soldiers sky-diving into swathes of destroyed cityscape and the big guy himself only briefly glimpsed through thick smoke as a craggy, mountain-sized colossus.
Rebooting a franchise as old and as well-established as Godzilla is no mean feat considering how many times the character has been seen onscreen and all the things that he has got up to over the last 60 years. Godzilla will be Legendary Pictures' second Kaiju movie in recent years, following on from the moderate success of Guillermo del Toro's original monsters-vs.-mecha tale Pacific Rim, but whether or not the weight of such a recognizable character will prove to be a benefit or a burden remains to be seen.
Handing directing duties to an almost unknown director whose only claim to fame so far is low-budget sci-fi Monsters could be considered a risky move by Legendary, but Edwards' enthusiasm for the job is palpable in his recent interview with USA Today. Edwards describes the experience of having Godzilla built in a studio as a dream come true:
"It was such a shot in the arm to see your star. It was like knowing you were pregnant vs. seeing the ultrasound. I suddenly remembered I was making this iconic movie... It's the closest thing to being a god as I think there is in terms of a job you could have. You picture something one day and draw it, and the next day, it's physical and there in front of you no matter how insane."
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Those who watched the teaser trailer for Godzilla or the footage shown at Comic Con can probably tell that the tone is far from goofy and that the monster will be portrayed as a source of real devastation and strife. Edwards says that he wasn't interested in getting to the warm and gooey heart of Godzilla's innermost feelings, since what makes him frightening is the way in which he cares as little about the destruction he causes as a rainstorm cares about the people who forgot to bring an umbrella out with them:
"To me, he's like a force of nature, like the wrath of God or vengeance for the way we've behaved. If this really happened, it would be like Sept. 11. I want it to be epic. I want to get the hairs on the back of your neck up."
Viral marketing videos for Godzilla have previously begun to paint a picture of something that crawled up from the bowels of the Earth itself to go on a big stomping tour through our oh-so-fragile civilization, but Edwards has also said that the human characters will act as the emotional core of the film as the story is told through their eyes. In many ways this would be a return to the spirit of the original film, in which audience members learned about Godzilla at the same pace as lead characters Dr. Yamane, Emiko and Hideto Ogata.
Does Edwards' description of his approach to making Godzilla come to life once more fill you with confidence or concern for this larger-than-life disaster movie? Share your thoughts on this interview and the recent teaser trailer in the comments.
Godzilla will be in theaters on May 16th, 2014.
Source: USA Today