Godzilla 2014 News Roundup: Realistic Approach
As Legendary Pictures' upcoming Godzilla film gets closer to release, news will start to hit a fever pitch. Consider this an early news roundup, which will be updated as smaller news stories develop and a good launching point from the company's press release announcing the date of May 16, 2014.
First, it was announced on October 5th, by Variety, that Drew Pearce, the writer for the upcoming Iron Man 3 movie, would be supplying further rewrites to the screenplay. The goal was to turn the cast of characters into an older group in order to match the actors Legendary is considering, although it's unknown how old the original characters were written as.
On October 6th, director Gareth Edwards did a short interview with the Coventry Telegraph where he mentioned his new approach for the film:
"I've always been interested in Godzilla and the ideas around him. I really wanted to see another Godzilla film and jumped at the opportunity. My main idea was to imagine 'If this really happened, what would it be like?' I want to take a grounded, realistic approach to a Godzilla film."
The Monsters director is also riding high from the reaction to the short teaser from Comic-con, saying: "But the reaction has been amazing and I can't wait for the fans to see our final product."
Update: Collider.com reports that
the movie's cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey who worked on Marvel's The Avengers, has stated that the upcoming Godzilla movie will begin filming in March of 2013, giving an off the hand remark: "We start in March. March 'til June, I think."
Update (11/26/2012): Two new items. First,
Warner Bros has confirmed that the upcoming Godzilla film will be headed to IMAX on May 16, 2014. Secondly, Drew Pearce confirmed on November 14th that he had finished writing
for the new Godzilla film. So unless Legendary Pictures brings on yet another writer for the film, which is always possible considering there are numerous writers already attached to the script, the movie's plot is finished.
Update (1/07/2013): It appears that Legendary Pictures is indeed not finished with the
script, now bringing on a Frank Darabont
to rewrite the script.
Darabont has an impressive resume of past work, including The Shawshank Redemption
and The Green Mile, but marks the fifth writer who has come in to help work on what sounds like a troubled script.
Things have also gotten more complex for the production as well due to producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee. There are conflicting reports, with one stating the pair just walked away from the project, while another states the pair were forced off with a money payout with no credit in the movie or back-end percentage; furthermore, according to the latter report, they are now taking legal action against Legendary Pictures.
Recent news confirms that producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee
were indeed forced off the project, and are now in a legal battle with Legendary Pictures of the production of Godzilla. The Hollywood Reporter has all the messy details of the legal blows, which now also includes producer Doug Davison, building between the two parties. The producers are seeking millions of dollars in damages and want Legendary Pictures to face "substantial punitive damages to make an example of Legendary so that it and no other studio will in the future treat their producers in this outrageous manner."
Furthermore, they are looking to halt production on Godzilla until the suit is settled. On the bright side and in unrelated news, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass)
is in talk to appear in the film, although it's unknown what type of role he might have or how large.
Update (2/8/2013): More casting news, as Variety is reporting that Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) are in talks to appear in the film. Meanwhile, the previous legal tussle between the former film producers and Legendary Pictures is awaiting a state court judge to decide a key issue over arbitration in the case.
Chocolat star Juliette Binoche is in talks for a role in the upcoming Godzilla film, marking the fourth actor named to the production, although all four have a clause to turn down the contract barring review of the final script. Also, Warner Bros has begun marketing the film to advertisers, stating that the film will for sure feature at least another monster besides Godzilla and that the story is based from the perspective of a soldier.
Update (3/19/2013): As first reported last year, Legendary Pictures
has announced that production on the upcoming Godzilla film has officially started. Filming has begun in Vancouver with director Garth Edwards. To celebrate, the studio has published an official press release. The news item confirms a lot of the actors already mentioned, including Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass),
Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene),
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
and Juliette Binoche
(Chocolat). The release also reveals that David Strathairn
(The Bourne Legacy) is attached to the project.
The biggest carrot from the release, however, is news that Academy Award nominee Ken Watanabe has joined the cast.
Although best known for his roles in The Last Samurai and Inception, Watanabe is no stranger to Toho related productions, having worked on Tampopo (1985) and Kizuna (1998). Below is the press release in full:
WARNER BROS. PICTURES AND LEGENDARY PICTURES ANNOUNCE CAST AND START OF PRODUCTION FOR "GODZILLA"
BURBANK, CA, March 18, 2013 – Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today the final principal cast for the upcoming tent pole "Godzilla." Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, and Juliette Binoche are starring in the film, with David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston.
The companies also announced that principal photography began today on location in Vancouver. Gareth Edwards is directing the film from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont and Dave Callaham. Legendary's Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers. Alex Garcia and Patricia Whitcher are serving as executive producers alongside Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira.
A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, "Godzilla" will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd. Legendary Pictures is a division of Legendary Entertainment.
Slated to open on May 16, 2014, the film is expected to be presented in 3D.
Update (3/27/2013): With filming underway, news is starting to trickle in at a faster rate now. First, Legendary Pictures released a day one shoot, set video with director Gareth Edwards.
The video is very short, with Edwards basically describing that it was a long day. The set behind him appears to look like an airport or terminal, with signs for "Japanese Nationals" and "Foreign Passports" which would first hint toward the sequence taking place in or accepting travelers from Japan.
Next, Toho has added a listing to the movie on their own site.
The listing is bare bones besides stating that Gareth Edwards will direct, but does confirm that the movie will see a 2014 release in Japan.
Finally, the biggest news this week is that legendary actor Akira Takarada will be featured in the film, as revealed by a picture posted on Twitter by Legendary Pictures. Takarada has starred in many of the Godzilla movies, including Godzilla (1954), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965),
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966), Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) and Godzilla: Final Wars (2004).
The picture with the actor appears to be taken from the same set seen in the day one shoot video.