Director Gareth Edwards' sci-fi drama Monsters (read our review) may have been produced with an extremely modest budget, but that didn't stop the film from garnering plenty of critical praise as well as a substantial cult following - and earning a spot as one of our favorite movies of 2010.
As a result, it should come as no surprise that Vertigo Films, who owns the rights to the budding franchise, is looking for opportunities to expand the Monsters mythology into future sequels or even a TV spin-off. Unfortunately, it sounds as if the studio will be doing it without Gareth Edwards who not only penned and directed the breakout feature - but also worked on many of the film's visual effects.
Anyone unfamiliar with the young director might think that Edwards' attachment to a higher-paid movie monster, in the form of the upcoming Godzilla reboot, is the main reason he won't be overseeing Vertigo Films' future Monsters projects; however, Edwards spoke with Dread Central and revealed that it's less about scheduling conflicts and more about not feeling like he's ready to tell another Monsters story, yet:
“Vertigo owns the rights to Monsters, and I know they’re keen to move forward with another Monsters-related project very soon. I’m not sure how involved I can be right now, and I don’t think my next film really should be a sequel just yet. I’d like to do something else first, but I would definitely be open to returning at some point.
But I do think whoever Vertigo ends up hiring will do a great job because they really know what they’re doing there. For me, if they hire someone to direct another Monsters movie, the last thing they need is for me to be hanging around, telling people how the movie should be. Whoever comes in should definitely be given free rein to put their own spin on this world, and I know they’ll get the right person.”
It's hard to imagine that Vertigo will be able to do the Monsters property justice - especially without Edwards at least overseeing the project in come capacity. Monsters was an intimate and personal piece of filmmaking and everything that stands-out about the film is closely tied to one of Edwards' contributions. Obviously the mythology and world portrayed in the movie is ripe for studio plundering but it was actually Edwards' masterful sense of restraint that made for such a compelling first film.
It'll be interesting to see how Vertigo intends to blend the subtleties of Edwards' work with the future direction of the franchise. Hopefully, it'll be closer to what James Cameron did with Aliens - as opposed to what Artisan Entertainment did with the Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. We've already dubbed 2011 "The Year of the Alien" - do we really need another studio-influenced aliens on earth film?
As for Edwards' feelings about his upcoming Godzilla project, the director seems confident that the direction Legendary Pictures will take the property is vastly different from Roland Emmerich's 1998 Godzilla film:
“This will definitely have a very different feel than the most recent US film, and our biggest concern is making sure we get it right for the fans because we know their concerns. It must be brilliant in every category because I’m a fan as well.”
Fans who might have been hoping for a pre-Godzilla return-trip to the Mexican border might also be disappointed to hear that Edwards has no plans for a Monsters director's cut or other expanded retail edition:
“I think Monsters is a completed film - I don’t really see myself going back to do a director’s cut or anything like that. For me, that’s like your mom getting out the family photo album and you see that she Photoshopped in a brother you’ve never had just because you said you’d always wanted a brother. It doesn’t feel natural to me."
Too bad Gareth Edwards wasn't around to advise George Lucas in the mid-90s.
Monsters is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Godzilla is tentatively planned for a 2012 release.
Source: Dread Central