The Warner Brothers presentation at WonderCon was packed with fans eager to get sneak peaks of “Edge of Tomorrow,” starring Tom Cruise, and “Into the Storm,” starring fan-favorite Richard Armitage. Both had gangbusters trailers and exclusive reveals, but the bulk of the crowd was there for one reason, and one reason only: “Godzilla.”
Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures have been unusually quiet about details on the rebooted take, in spite of it being a huge franchise; and director Gareth Edwards had fun with the fans in attendance by repeatedly insisting that he couldn’t reveal anything.
However, the time spent in line paid off when WonderCon attendees got to watch an exclusive clip that finally revealed the face of the monster.
Godzilla Finally Revealed
The footage opened up with a subway car stopping and losing power. Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s character comforted a scared child and reassured him that the train would resume soon. The scene cuts to a young girl on the beach, watching something moving in the water. That’s when people start running. There was also a scene of a dog running away in terror, which drew many aw’s of sympathy from the crowd.
Throughout the footage, Godzilla was revealed bit by bit: spikes along his back. A leg. Arms. His tail.
The first full look we get of a monster can only be described as something between a preying mantis and a pterodactyl. While many people were looking around in confusion — surely that hadn’t been the tail we saw, and were those wings? — it was revealed to be nothing other than a misdirection by the editors.
When Godzilla did show his face, it was everything fans had hoped for: vaguely T-Rex-ish, definitely reptilian, and a whole lot of awesome.
While Edwards thought finalizing the look of the monster would be the easiest aspect of the film — after all, everyone has an idea of what Godzilla should look like after numerous on-screen appearances — he quickly discovered that this wasn’t the case.
He described the process as being a lot like solving a Rubix Cube; one side would fall into place, but then they’d turn the figure and realize that the other side was completely wrong. All said, it took about a year to finalize Godzilla’s design.
Making The Commercial Personal
While “Godzilla” without a doubt has huge commercial appeal, Edwards wanted the actors to view it as a personal film. The entire cast and crew took the film very seriously so as to avoid the cliche traps that are associated with monster pictures.
“The first thing Godzilla did was sit down and say, what is my motivation?” Edwards quipped.
He went on to say that while there are moments of humor in the film, the humor comes from the editing and the filmmaking itself. The actors, on the other hand, focused on making their performances entirely believable — as if they were actually in the situation.
Not Just a Monster
One of the most important aspects of the film is the fact that Godzilla is not just a monster, but a character with clear motivations. Part of this motivation no doubt comes from the mantis-pterodactyl hybrid seen in the exclusive footage, though Edwards hinted at another creature that has to do with the lifecycle of Godzilla.
“Bryan Cranston did all the motion capture for Godzilla,” Edwards said. A joke, of course, but there was some hopeful exclamations from the crowd.
Godzilla’s motivation actually plays into the very strong theme of Man vs. Nature that runs throughout the film.
“We should not be able to release a movie with a giant monster and have everyone come see it,” Edwards said.
He believes that the only reason audiences are willing to buy into a 350 foot lizard-monster is because of an underlying fear of animals coming to reclaim what we’ve taken. Even so, a big focus was on making all of Godzilla’s actions appear natural.
No Need to Thank Him
When asked about all the secrecy, Edwards insisted that quiet is the new loud in the land of film marketing.
“All good ideas in the marketing of this film are all down to me. All the mistakes, the things you don’t like was the marketing team,” Edwards joked, before going on to praise Warner Brothers and Legendary for the way they’ve managed the film.
Although he himself was praised several times by fans, Edwards kept insisting that people shouldn’t thank him.
“You haven’t seen the movie yet!” Edwards said. “You should never thank me for this film. It was a completely selfish act. I was going to do it whether you’d see it or not.”
“Godzilla” is out in theaters on May 16.