It has been a while since we heard or saw anything of substance, regarding the 2014 Godzilla remake. Rumors had originally surfaced, back in 2009, that Legendary was in talks with Toho Company Limited – a Japanese film and theater production company, responsible for filming a number of previous Godzilla-based movies.
According to Variety, an agreement was struck between the two organizations, with Legendary securing the rights to the hugely anticipated reboot. In 2010, president of Toho Co., Hideyuki Takai, expressed his enthusiasm for the newly proposed direction of the franchise, during an official announcement for the upcoming title:
“Godzilla is a signature Japanese character which we have nurtured over the years… We are delighted in rebooting the character together to realize its much-anticipated return by fans from all over the world. We are anxious to find out where Godzilla’s new stomping will take us.”
With the announcement, Legendary issued their intention to draw inspiration from the original 1954 hit, produced by the illustrious Japanese film director, Ishirō Honda. Indeed, Gareth Edwards – who takes the helm of the latest blockbuster – previously articulated his thoughts on ensuring his team carved out a more “grounded” and “realistic” approach to filming. Speaking to the crowds at Comic-Con in 2012, Edwards explained that for his entire life he wanted to know “… if this really happened, what would it be like?”
The latest trailer for the Godzilla remake, released Tuesday morning, perfectly encapsulates this realistic, gritty feel and boasts much darker undertones than the critically panned 1998 reimagining. The footage commences with a number of military troopers making a parachute jump into the ruinous wastelands of an abandoned city. The voice of their commanding officer (David Strathairn) is heard delivering an ominous monologue, as the petrified group leap from the plane and make their white-knuckle descent.
Plumes of red smoke billow from each team member, during a tense vertical descent through the stormy clouds, which intermittently flicker with flashes of lightning. Set to a sinister choral soundtrack, the troops breach the veil of clouds and the scene cuts back to reveal a devastated city skyline. From a first-person perspective of one of the terrified parachutists (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), the silhouette of a scaly beast is gradually revealed, before transitioning to a panic-stricken Bryan Cranston – the lead star of Breaking Bad.
Lasting a duration of two minutes, the trailer goes on to show a subway train being torn asunder, scenes of utter carnage outside an airport terminal and entire buildings punctuated, in the aftermath of a visit from the chaos-wreaking kaiju, Godzilla.
During the trailer’s closing, the King of Monsters emerges from the smoke and debris to provide a harrowing glimpse of the creature’s scale and ferocity, as it blares out the trademark Godzilla screech.
According to the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex, at this year’s Comic-Con event, Cranston explained that it was Edwards’ background in indie-film production that appealed to him. He went on to describe how Edward’s managed to effectively interweave character-driven elements into the 2010 sci-fi film Monsters:
“It was fantastic because he was able to make a monster movie also into a character-driven component where you really felt for these people… And that’s what he transformed this ‘Godzilla’ into.”
In June of this year, Legendary launched a viral teaser site, called godzillaencounter.com. The studio also uploaded mysterious video clips onto mutoresearch.net, a novel website designed to look like a classified government research datasite for M.U.T.O.
The Godzilla remake is also set to feature Elizabeth Olsen of Silent House and Juliette Binoche of Breaking and Entering, and is slated for release on May 16, 2014.
By James Fenner