New GODZILLA To Parallel Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Disaster?
The original Godzilla films began as a metaphor for nuclear attacks, like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the atom bomb testings in the South Pacific. Recent set photos seem to show similarities to 2011's Tōhoku earthquake and Fukushima meltdowns.
As you will remember, in 2011, Japan was rocked by a magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake off the coast of Tōhoku. The earthquake, which was the most powerful one to hit Japan, triggered massive tsunami waves, as high as 133 feet. While the earthquake and tsunamis destroyed buildings and lead to the deaths of 16,000 citizens, it also caused nuclear meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex.
When filming began in the middle of March, the Vancouver Convention Centre was being used as the Honolulu airport. The televisions that could be seen by photographers had the message, “Earthquake Rocks Eastern Japan,” scrolling across the screens. Since then, we've seen an abandoned Japanese fishing village that was, based on signage, in a Nuclear quarantine zone. Stars of the film, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, were spotted just a few days ago walking through a deserted Japanese street. You can see images of that empty street below. The Coquitlam paper recycling plant on the Fraser River was used as the Janjira nuclear power station. You can also see an image of that signage below.
None of this should come as too much of a surprise as Frank Darabont ("Shawshank Redemption"), who was hired to rewrite the script, hinted at this when he was interviewed by io9.
Godzilla has its origins as an allegory for the atom bomb, but today it's more of a straightforward monster movie. Do you want to restore some of that allegorical significance to the franchise?
Frank Darabont: 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.
Are you looking to connect it to a different contemporary issue?
Frank Darabont: Yes I am, but I'm not going to give it away.
Image Credit: yvrshoots.com
Image Credit: yvrshoots.com
Image Credit: vancitybuzz.com
GODZILLA is being directed by Gareth Edwards ("Monsters"), from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont and Dave Callaham. The cast includes: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, and Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston. The film will stomp into theaters May 16, 2014.
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