Former “Walking Dead” showrunner and writer/director of the best Stephen King adaptations, Frank Darabont was recently announced as the official re-writer of the upcoming non-Roland Emmerich-esque U.S. take on “Godzilla” and it immediately added a hearty helping of hope that we’d be getting the an actually decent giant monster movie. One that’s not called “Pacific Rim” that is. io9 hosted a roundtable chat with Darabont, “Being Human’s” Sam Witwer, and poster legend Drew Struzan and got Darabont to let slip some details about his plan to make The King’s return to cinemas a terrifyingly destructive one.
Darabont said that following the first Japanese film, “Gojira,” the titular monster became what he called the “Clifford the Big Red Dog” of Japan, or the country’s friendly mascot. He said he plans to change that and use Hollywood’s Godzilla once again as a metaphor for the doom and gloom that could fall upon us all, as it did to Japan, by the hand of good ol’ U.S. of A by the way.
What I found very interesting about Godzilla is that he started off definitely as a metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And some of the atom bomb testing we were doing in the South Pacific in the subsequent years. The giant terrifying force of nature that comes and stomps the shit out of your city, that was Godzilla. Filtered through the very fanciful imaginations of the Japanese perception. And then he became Clifford the Big Red Dog in the subsequent films. He became the mascot of Japan, he became the protector of Japan. Another big ugly monster would show up and he would fight that monster to protect Japan. Which I never really quite understood, the shift.
What we’re trying to do with the new movie is not have it camp, not have it be campy. We’re kind of taking a cool new look at it. But with a lot of tradition in the first film. We want this to be a terrifying force of nature. And what was really cool, for me, is there was a very compelling human drama that I got to weave into it. It’s not that cliched, thinly disguised romance or bromance, or whatever. It’s different, it’s a different set of circumstances than you’re used to seeing. And that’s tremendously exciting as a writer when you’re asked to do something else.
What do you guys think, will this be a return to the roots of “Gojira” or another GINO?
“Godzilla,” directed by Gareth Edwards will be in theaters May 16, 2014.