GODZILLA Director Gareth Edwards On Easter Eggs, Character Death and Atomic Breath
The director behind the new Godzilla reboot, Gareth Edwards, sat down with Empire for an interview on their podcast, where he touched on filmmaker Frank Darabont's input, Godzilla's atomic breath and more. Spoilers ahoy...
In a spoiler-filled interview on the Empire Podcast, Godzilla director Gareth Edwards shared some details on Warner Bros. and Legendary's massive reboot. He revealed that there were "something like 990 [effects] shots" and uncovered a Mothra easter egg within the movie. "In the classroom, when there’s the power cut, they’re watching a video about how a cocoon hatches on the TV when it cuts off," he said, "and on the walls there are the lifecycles of butterflies." There was also input from writer/director Frank Darabont, who gave a pass on the script "about two or three months before we started filming", according to Edwards. "A lot of his work remains in the film, but a big part of it is when the doors close on Juliette Binoche; this whole idea that there’s a gateway or a check point they have to get through, and that it would close, and you would see her die, and we’d have that very emotional moment. That was his biggest contribution. It’s the emotional peak of the film, potentially."
Joe Brody, Bryan Cranston's character, is interestingly killed off to make way for his son Ford, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Edwards backed up this decision by saying they elected character to kill the character, not the actor. "I’ll be honest with you: we tried versions in the screenplay where he survived. And in every one we did that with, there was nothing else that character could do without being silly. If he sticks with Ford, it becomes Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, and the tone of the movie becomes fun, but not the tone we were trying to do. And if he sticks with the military guys, he’s like a fifth wheel. His job was done in the storyline there. And retrospectively, when you get to see the movie, I understand [why people are upset]."
One of the most crowd-pleasing moments in the film was the titular monster's use of atomic breath. "At one point we dabbled with lightning, to make it a little bit more to do with nature, in terms of God-like destruction," Edwards explained. "But it was considered not enough like classic Godzilla. And that moment, actually, working out how we were going to kill the M.U.T.O., we made a last-minute decision: 'What if he just pulls apart [the M.U.T.O.’s jaws]?' We were going to just break the jaws, and it felt like that was too much like King Kong. 'So what if he just vomits blue breath? Nearly a kiss?' We thought we weren’t going to get away with it. 'This is absurd,' we thought. And then we sat and did a test screening and it was everyone’s favourite moment." Listen to the full podcast below, with the interview with Edwards starting in the first few minutes.
Release: May 16, 2014 / Director: Gareth Evans / Screenwriter: Max Borenstein
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Wantanabe
Plot: An epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.
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