Director Gareth Edwards is currently helming the blockbuster Godzilla remake for Legendary Pictures, but he first burst onto the scene with a unique indie film called Monsters (read our review). The film was pretty divisive, as many detractors felt that the slow-burn romance story -and only brief appearances of actual monsters - made the title a gross misnomer.
However, while a lot of people were disappointed in the core story of Monsters, that disappointment was the byproduct of excitement for what was - and still is - an intriguing premise about a world where giant alien creatures have entered our ecosystems. In the trailer for the non-sequel (let's call it an "expansion film") Monsters: Dark Continent, we get a first taste of another beleaguered land: the desert terrains of the Middle-East.
Dark Continent carries no connection to the first film other than that it is set in the same world; our protagonists this time look to be a team of soldiers doing a tour of duty in the region, and the petrified carcass of a monster being hauled away on a flatbed truck hints that we could be encountering a different sort of beast in this new film. A synopsis states the the story will center on a solider - Game of Thrones' Joe Dempsie (Gendry) - who ventures into an infected zone to save a comrade.
Replacing Edwards at the helm is newcomer feature-film director Tom Green (Misfits), who sat down to talk about the film in an exclusive interview with Empire:
As soon as I watched Monsters I completely identified with the idea of using real locations as a foundation on which to build a world of limitless scale,” says Green, by way of introducing this first look.
“From my first visit to the location shown [in the teaser], in Jordan, it was somewhere I felt was key to making Dark Continent work. The moonscape-like environment was the perfect basis for an ‘alien’ landscape. The quarry trucks you see here became ‘buggies’ to transport the remains of firebombed monster herds to be incinerated, with all the leading characters emerging from the dust to witness the scale of the death toll for the first time — and for one character maybe too many times…”
I personally described the first Monsters as "Lost In Translation meets War of the Worlds," which is true on a character level; but in my own interview with Gareth Edwards it was clear there was also a strong socio-political message at work as well. (The film takes place in a Mexico that has been walled-off from America in order to keep the monsters south of the border - you make the connections.) Dark Continent -with its setting and choice of protagonist - not to mention Green's quotes and the synopsis above - will clearly be tackling the idea of continued strife and war in the Middle-east, and the tolls of such violence and death in the face of duty and brotherhood.
Here's hoping non-fans also get what they didn't get from the first film: a suitable amount monsters mayhem to go with the commentary and character study. Dark Continent stars Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones), Johnny Harris (Snow White and the Huntsman), Nicholas Pinnock (Captain America) and Parker Sawyers (Zero Dark Thirty).
Monsters: Dark Continent will be out sometime in 2014.