Since his first roarcous outing in 1954, Godzilla (aka Gojira) has continued to grow in both size and popularity. This year the rampant reptile makes his 29th movie appearance in Legendary Studios’ Godzilla remake, directed by Welshman Gareth Edwards. This will be the most immense Godzilla movie yet, and Edwards is an intriguing choice as its helmsman.
In 2010, debut director Edwards released his ethereal road movie Monsters, a landmark in well-crafted low budget sci-fi and the antithesis of Hollywood event movies like War of the Worlds and Cloverfield. Edwards not only scripted and shot the film, he also created the convincing and hauntingly beautiful CGI elements. Monsters dealt with alien invasion on an entirely new and thought provoking spectrum – hopefully Edwards’ new monster is given the same treatment.
Aside from the main, massive attraction (at over 100m high, this Godzilla is the biggest ever) there’s an astounding array of acting talent too. Starlet Elizabeth Olsen is top billed, and she’s really going places; look out for her turn as ‘Scarlet Witch’ in next years Avengers: Age of Ultron. Perhaps a better known face is that of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the ass kicker of Kick-Ass, who plays a marine toughie charged with bringing down the scaly beast before it T-wrecks the Eastern seaboard. Most exciting of all, however, is the brilliant casting of Bryan Cranston. Hot off his world-wowing run as Walter White in Breaking Bad, Cranston will be kicking off his chemist’s hazmat suit for a role that’s a little more, well, physical (he’s playing a physicist). Cranston’s scientist is the man against the system, slowly attempting to uncover the truth about Godzilla and the conspiracy that’s kept it hidden in the murky depths.
The origins of the atomic amphibian are more profound than many people realise. It’s not just about a digitised dinosaur wreaking unstoppable havoc for the audience’s amusement, it’s a representation of America’s nuclear attacks on Japan. As Gareth Edwards says, the 1954 original was like ‘therapy for a nation’, a fantasy through which they processed the unthinkable atrocities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
Unlike the disgracefully shoddy Roland Emmerich/ Matthew Broderick version, Gareth Edward’s take will be much more respectful to the lore of the kaiju king. The new ‘Zilla is absolutely huge (twice the size of the 1998 model) and certainly too large to clamber about a city skyline, so there’ll be no Jurassic parkour nonsense either. For a taste of the epic scale of the film, check out the darkly astounding international trailer, which features Bryan Cranston running around San Francisco as well as some really massive explosions.
Godzilla crashes into cinemas on May 16th of this year.