The film is being produced by Legendary Pictures, the same production house that handled Nolan’s more realistic take on BATMAN as well as recent reboots of Superman and CLASH OF THE TITANS, not to mention several original properties. Gareth Edwards, who did the frankly amazing 2010 film MONSTERS, is signed on as director.
“My main idea was to imagine ‘If this really happened, what would it be like?’,” Edwards told the Coventry Telegraph. “I want to take a grounded, realistic approach to a GODZILLA film.”
Despite our snarky headline, GODZILLA started out as serious business. The 1954 Japanese film, GOJIRA was a 96 minute film which dealt with a horrifying monster rampaging across Japan, a byproduct of careless atomic testing. It dealt with a country reeling from one nuclear disaster only to face another one, in which salvation could only be had through sacrifice. For the American version, Raymond Burr was edited in, commenting on the action on screen. The film was also considerably shorter at 80 minutes and retitled GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS.
Later incarnations of Godzilla recast the creature. Sometimes, he was the aggressor. Sometimes, he was a protector of mankind against other invaders. Sometimes, he was a dangerously unpredictable creature who nonetheless aided the world in ridding it of even more dangerous enemies. Burr would reprise his role in the U.S. cut of Japan’s 1984 GOJIRA (released in the U.S. as GODZILLA 1985, pictured).
Roland Emmerich also mounted a mammoth U.S. remake of GODZILLA. With over a year of hype surrounding it, the film was a disaster. It seemed to get everything wrong. It seemed like any plan for an American GODZILLA was dead and best left to the Japanese anyway. Now, Edwards is hoping to prove critics wrong.
So far, there are four people who have officially taken a crack at the script. EXPENDABLES writer David Callaham wrote the initial draft other scripts would eventually be based upon. Relative newcomer Max Borenstein and seasoned screenwriter made contributions. Now, Drew Pearce (NO HEROICS, IRON MAN 3) is handling the latest version, with the aim of “aging up” characters to the actors being targeted for the parts (Ten bucks says they’ll try to get Liam Neeson for some part in this thing. I have no reason to believe this, but it just seems like something they’ll try to do.). Yes, there are this many writers on the project right now and probably many more by the time it gets done. This is how they do it in Hollywood these days, folks. Deal with it.
We still have a long wait until we see if the West can handle GODZILLA. The new film is due to hit theatres on May 16, 2014. That’s two days shy of the 16th anniversary of Emmerich’s film.