Guest Article: Godzilla!



The Future of Godzilla


Every year at San Diego Comic-Con there are big surprises that are revealed. This year was no exception. Legendary Pictures, the successful production company responsible for the recent Batman movies, and Warner Bros. held their panel to introduce several of their upcoming movies. These movies included Man of Steel, the new Superman movie and Pacific Rim, a new movie by director Guillermo del Toro about aliens and robots.

At one point, the room got dark and another trailer was shown. This trailer, however was previewing a movie not listed on the call sheet. There is shown a city in ashes. Mass destruction has taken place. There is an ominous voiceover to the footage. The words spoken are taken from famous scientist Robert Oppenheimer after the atomic bomb was first made: “I knew the world would not be the same. A few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the lines of scripture, Vishnu takes on multi-armed form, and says ‘Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.’” Then fade to black followed by a loud roar, a very familiar roar. Finally, there is an image obscured in a dust cloud shown. In the silhouette is that of a familiar monster. Gojira or Godzilla. Once more the famous roar was heard and the trailer ended.

All those in attendance gave a thunderous applause to the trailer. It was a pleasant surprise to those in attendance to see a teaser trailer to a movie that has been rumored for years. The last American version of Godzilla was the ill fated 1998 version with Matthew Broderick. The last Japanese version was Godzilla: Final Wars in 2004. In Japan, Toho (the production company) said that they would take a 10 year hiatus from producing movies featuring Godzilla. In the years since then, there has been a clamoring excitement for a new Godzilla movie.

In March 2010, Legendary Pictures secured the American rights from Toho to produce a new movie. Originally, the release date was tentatively to be 2012. Warner Bros. would be the co-producer and co-financer of this reboot to the American version. Since that time, there had been little news on the project aside from three key developments signing on the picture. The first was in January 2011 when Gareth Edwards, who directed the movie Monsters, was selected be the director. The second was in July 2011 when David Goyer, screenwriter to the recent Batman trilogy & the new Superman movie, was chosen to write an outline for the movie. The third development was in November 2011 when Max Borenstein, new up and coming writer, was chosen to adapt Goyer’s outline into a full script.

Fast forward to this past weekend at Comic-Con and the showing of the concept/teaser trailer. The response by fans was so overwhelming to the director Gareth Edwards that it was said that it brought him to tears. In part of the panel time, the director mentioned that he modeled this Godzilla to the original 1954 Japanese version of Gojira. He also mentioned that it would be “grounded and realistic” and “less sci-fi”.

After the panel, Legendary Pictures released a teaser poster of Godzilla. No date of release has been given and there has been no new news on the project. The trailer that was shown has not been released outside of Comic-Con. Some have speculated that it might be attached to The Dark Knight Rises. Some have speculated that it might not be until late fall before the trailer is released. Regardless, there is a huge amount of buzz on this project.

Personally, I’m excited about a new Godzilla movie. Especially after hearing how it will be more in line with the first Godzilla movie. And when I say the first Godzilla movie, I mean the 1954 Japanese Gojira and not the American version Godzilla, King of the Monsters with Perry Mason himself Raymond Burr. For those who don’t know, the Japanese version was more of a cautionary tale about the horrors of the atomic era and the fallout from it. The movie was released less than a decade after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was realistic undertone to the movie. This version was released in the U.S. very limited spots throughout the years and wasn’t widely available until 2006 when it was released by Classic Media on DVD. It has also subsequently been released on Blu-Ray first by Classic Media and later by the Criterion Collection. If you have not seen this version, I highly recommend it.

With the recent trend to reboots, it may seem like Godzilla is just another character in a long list of characters getting rebooted. But given the response at Comic-Con, I think this may be one of the most anticipated reboots (and possibly most successful) in recent memory.

About author

Josh Steen

Josh Steen is the founder of the JustUs Geeks, and is the host of the JustUs Geeks Podcast. Josh is also a dad, husband, and graphic designer. He geeks out over sports, video games, music, and Transformers. Have an idea for a story or podcast topic? Let him know via social media or email!

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