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This past May saw the release of the comic Godzilla: Aftershock by Legendary comics. Below is a short exclusive interview with the comic’s artist, Drew Johnson, who also provided exclusive sketches! Enjoy!
How long have you been a Godzilla fan?
Almost as long as I can remember. My gateway to Godzilla was seeing ULTRAMAN when I was about 5. They used to have it on TV at my daycare in the afternoons. I was crazy about the giant superhero fighting giant monsters, and it was one of the first things that started me drawing as a kid. I wore out my silver crayons constantly drawing Ultraman fighting monsters. After ULTRAMAN came GODZILLA movies that ran on channel 5 on the weekends here in LA. I was hooked immediately and was intrigued that instead of a superhero fighting monsters, here was a monster fighting monsters! Not just any monster, but the King of The Monsters, facing all challengers! I lost many a Saturday afternoon to Godzilla movies in my formative years.
How did you come aboard the project and when did work begin?
I was lucky enough to run into Robert Napton at the comic shop one day. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, and while we were catching up, Robert mentioned he had a project he’d been thinking of me for. We got together for coffee a couple of days later and he offered me the opportunity to work on AFTERSHOCK. It was a prospect too exciting to pass up, so I jumped in with both feet. I had worked with Robert and Legendary Comics previously and was thrilled to come back to work with them. Work started on the project a few months later after the script was ready, and we had done some design work on Ginshin-Mushi, the Great MUTO Prime.
What was it like collaborating with Toho and/or Legendary? And what sort of guidelines did you have to follow, if any?
The folks at Legendary are wonderful to work with. They care so much about delivering a story/experience that will delight and excite Godzilla fans, and that passion was contagious. They made it easy to get my head back into that space of watching Godzilla as a kid. At the end of the day, GODZILLA is a licensed property, so I expected oversight on the part of TOHO, having worked on licensed properties previously. That said, TOHO’s notes were quite constructive, and easy to take care of. I learned a lot about the aesthetic of drawing Kaiju on this project—which was fascinating. The over-riding feeling that I kept getting from both Legendary and TOHO was a huge love for The King of The Monsters, and a desire to give his fans the coolest product they/we could make. I admire that passion a lot, and it inspired me throughout my work on AFTERSHOCK.
Were there any specific inspirations that came to mind when designing MUTO Prime, or was it a series of notes from Legendary?
Legendary had a specific direction in mind for Ginshin-Mushi, but they let me kick initial designs around, then guided me to look back toward classic Kaiju designs, as well as designs for the MUTOs from GODZILLA 2014. They had called Ginshin-Mushi “The Great Dragon Beetle”, and my first attempts were pretty literal.
How many stages of concept art did MUTO Prime go through before reaching the design seen in the book, if any? Do you have any work-in-progress designs to show?
Robert had me consider that classic Kaiju were practically designed suits worn by the actors that played them for the most part, which influenced the structure of many of those classic monsters. That really helped me to understand the aesthetic of what I was trying to design, and it quickly got me on the right track. I’ll attach some of my design sketches so you can see some of the evolution of my thinking about Ginshin Mushi.
Would you be willing to tackle another Monsterverse comic if given the chance?
Absolutely. When The King of The Monsters calls, you answer.Interviews // November 16, 2019
Not long after the release of Godzilla (2014), news started to come of another entry in the new series by Legendary Pictures. This time an entry that reunited the character with Mothra, King Ghidorah and Rodan in the next film in the MonsterVerse. It was also noted that, despite Legendary Pictures’ agreement at the time with Universal, that the movie would be distributed by Warner Bros. in the same way the 2014 movie was.
September 4th update
In what likely might be one of the last new updates on the title, Godzilla: King of the Monsters has been nominated for E! People’s Choice Awards in two categories. These are “Best Action Movie of 2019” and “Female Movie Star of 2019” for Millie Bobby Brown’s performance in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The winners will be announced during the E! People’s Choice Awards, which will be broadcast live from Barker Hanger in Santa Monica on Sunday, November 10th at 9pm ET/PT.
May 26th update
An exclusive “final look” at the upcoming movie has been released. This 60 second compilation includes spoilers, so watch at your own risk!
Also, a press release for the tie-in graphic novel Godzilla: Aftershock has been made available. Information, pictures, and the official trailer can be viewed below, courtesy of Warner Bros.
Legendary Comics’ New Graphic Novel Godzilla: Aftershock Now on Sale in Comic Stores and Online
Thrilling companion prequel to upcoming summer blockbuster Godzilla: King of the Monsters pits the iconic Titan against a mythic new adversary
LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2019 – Fans eagerly awaiting Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ summer’s big-screen blockbuster Godzilla: King of the Monsters, set to hit theaters worldwide on May 31, can get a sneak peek at the monstrous action with Legendary Comics’ thrilling companion graphic novel GODZILLA: AFTERSHOCK, now on sale in comic stores and online. Continuing the story of 2014’s Godzilla after the catastrophic events in San Francisco, the King of the Monsters finds himself once again threatened as a terrifying new foe rises from the depths of the earth, unleashing a series of devastating earthquakes and driven by an unstoppable primal instinct that will test the King of Monsters like never before. Follow Facebook.com/LegendaryComics for the latest news and updates.
“Part of the fun of working on a Godzilla project is that its massive scale demands that it be a collaboration with talented artists and AFTERSHOCK is no exception,” said Godzilla: King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty. “Arvid Nelson and Drew Edward Johnson have created a story that is just as epic and compelling as Godzilla’s big screen adventures. So much so that it sometimes feels like you’re flipping through the storyboards of a movie just waiting to be shot.”
“Arvid and Drew have created a riveting prequel that adds to the Monsterverse while acting as a story bridge between the two Godzilla films,” said Robert Napton, Senior Vice President of Legendary Comics.
Written by Arvid Nelson, with art by Drew Edward Johnson, Godzilla: Aftershockintroduces characters from the upcoming movie and invites readers to delve further into the activities of cryptozoological agency Monarch. The brilliant and driven Monarch operative Dr. Emma Russell races to stop the threat as clues emerge to reveal a terrible secret—a tragedy, of apocalyptic proportions from the distant past that changed the course of human history, is returning to threaten it once more. A shadowy figure stalks Emma’s every move as she travels the globe to uncover secrets, while Godzilla clashes in an ancient rivalry as old as the Earth itself.
May 10th update
The Monarch Sciences website has updated with bios for the human characters from the movie, located under “Operatives” in the top-left drop down menu. As an added bonus, once all the bios have been read, a new bio is unlocked for the film’s antagonist.
In other news, a giant Godzilla head has been constructed atop the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood to promote the upcoming movie. At night, Godzilla’s mouth emits an eye-catching light blue glow. Mike Dougherty shared a picture of the Godzilla head on his Twitter page.
— Mike Dougherty (@Mike_Dougherty) May 10, 2019
May 4th update
Collider has released a 30-minute recording of a press conference featuring director Mike Dougherty and actor Ken Watanabe. As the article points out, there are some spoilers discussed in the video, so anyone wanting to refrain from certain story details may want to return to this article after the movie’s theatrical release.
Meanwhile, the official Xbox Twitter page is holding a sweepstakes, where the grand prize winners will receive a customized Xbox One X with either a 2019 Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, or Rodan skin. Rules and other information can be found in their tweet below.
— Xbox (@Xbox) May 2, 2019
April 26th update
The Hollywood Reporter recently released an interview with Legendary CEO Joshua Grode, who described the company’s current ambitions and projects. When questioned regarding the future of the MonsterVerse and how much “fuel” there is in the franchise, Grode remarked: “I hope a lot. I hope the gas tank is full.”
Meanwhile, WaterTower Music has uploaded two tracks from the movie’s upcoming soundtrack. The first is Track #9: Old Rivals, which gives just a taste of Akira Ifukube in the composition. The second is a cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s single Godzilla, composed by Bear McCreary and featuring Dethklok and System of a Down’s Serj Tankian.
April 24th update
Warner Bros has released what’s being dubbed as the final trailer for the upcoming movie. Watch it below.
April 22nd update
HBO has uploaded an extended video of the movie to its streaming platform, HBO NOW. This 5 minute “sizzle reel” is the same one that aired before IMAX screenings of Shazam! (2019), showing a lengthy scene centered around King Ghidorah before playing a clip montage. This video is only available to those with a membership, and will only be on the site till May 1st.
April 19th update
Courtesy of Warner Brothers, a new poster for the movie has been released. Click the image below to see the full resolution version.
April 14th update
Warner Bros. has released another press release. While much of the information has been made available previously, it goes into greater detail regarding some of the staff attached to the movie.
Following the global success of “Godzilla” and “Kong: Skull Island” comes the next chapter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ cinematic Monsterverse: “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history.
The film was directed by Michael Dougherty (“Krampus”), and stars Kyle Chandler (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Argo”) as well as Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Conjuring” films) and Millie Bobby Brown (TV’s “Stranger Things”) in her feature film debut. The acclaimed ensemble cast also includes Bradley Whitford (“Get Out,” “The Post”); Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water,” “Blue Jasmine”); Charles Dance (HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” “The Imitation Game”); Thomas Middleditch (HBO’s “Silicon Valley”); Aisha Hinds (“Star Trek Into Darkness”); O’Shea Jackson Jr. (“Straight Outta Compton”); Oscar nominee David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Godzilla”), with Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Inception,” “Godzilla”) and Golden Globe nominee Ziyi Zhang (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
Dougherty directed from a script he wrote with Zach Shields, story by Max Borenstein and Michael Dougherty & Zach Shields, based on the characters “Godzilla,” “King Ghidorah,” “Mothra” and “Rodan” owned and created by Toho Co., Ltd. The film was produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Brian Rogers, with Zach Shields, Barry Waldman, Hiro Matsuoka, Keiji Ota, Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira serving as executive producers, and Ali Mendes and Jay Ashenfelter co-producing for Legendary.
Behind the scenes, Dougherty’s creative team included director of photography Lawrence Sher, whose credits include the “Hangover” films and “Godzilla,” for which he handled additional photography; production designer Scott Chambliss (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”); editors Roger Barton (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the “Transformers” films), Oscar nominee Richard Pearson (“United 93,” “Kong: Skull Island”) and Bob Ducsay (“Godzilla,” “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi”); costume designer Louise Mingenbach (the “X-Men” and “Hangover” films), and Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Guillaume Rocheron (“Life of Pi,” “Godzilla”). Music is by Bear McCreary (TV’s “The Walking Dead,” “10 Cloverfield Lane”).
A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, in association with Toho Co., Ltd., a film by Michael Dougherty, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” hits theaters May 31, 2019. It will be distributed in 3D and 2D and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho; and in China, where it will be distributed by Legendary East.
The film has been rated PG-13 for sequences of monster action, violence and destruction, and for some language.
April 10th update
An additional set of TV spots – “Balance”, “Monster”, and “Ghidorah” – have been released. As per tradition, Toho Kingdom has been given access to higher quality versions of these teasers, the highest quality that can be found online. All three run for 30 seconds, with the “Ghidorah” teaser in particular showing even more new footage.
April 3rd update
Two more TV spots, “Beautiful” (NCAA) and “Run”, have been released. As per tradition, Toho Kingdom has been given access to higher quality versions of these teasers, the highest quality that can be found online. Both run for 30 seconds, but are packed with plenty of new monster footage and action.
March 29th update
Another new TV spot titled “Beautiful” has been released. As per tradition, Toho Kingdom has been given access to a higher quality version of the teaser, the highest quality that can be found online. It runs for 60 seconds, and features even more new footage of the monsters and Monarch.
Meanwhile, the Monarch Sciences Twitter account has uploaded a short video showing various murals of Godzilla, and bringing up the possibility that he could be the “key to coexistence.”
Lastly, two wall-breakers have been officially revealed by Rubies Costumes, one featuring 2019 Godzilla and the other 2019 King Ghidorah. These are expected to be released later this year.
March 17th update
A new TV spot titled “Intimidation” has been released. As per tradition, Toho Kingdom has been given access to a higher quality version of the teaser, the highest quality that can be found online. It runs for 30 seconds, and briefly features even more new footage of Godzilla, King Ghidorah, and Rodan in action.
March 6th update
Director Mike Dougherty shared on his Twitter page a new screenshot of King Ghidorah. This same image was also shared in even higher quality in the latest issue of Total Film magazine, which provided an assortment of new images featuring both monsters and Monarch members, as well as additional information about the upcoming movie.
February 19th update
A new TV spot titled “Time Has Come” has been released. As per tradition, Toho Kingdom has been given access to a higher quality version of the teaser, the highest quality that can be found online. The TV spot runs for 30 seconds and features some brief new footage of Rodan, King Ghidorah, and two mysterious Titans.
January 27th update
Toho has released a Japanese trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which can be viewed below. It is a modified version of the second official trailer, opting to use the “Clair de Lune” mix heard in the first trailer, and runs for 1 minute 32 seconds.
January 21st update
A new TV spot titled “Supremacy” has been released, which focuses heavily on Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), Godzilla, and Rodan. Toho Kingdom has been given access to a higher quality version of the teaser, the highest quality that can be found online. The TV spot runs for 30 seconds.
January 8th, 2019 update
A movie still featuring King Ghidorah has been released, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures. The image originally appeared in an online article by USA Today. Click the image below to see the full resolution version.
On a side note, Tamashii Nations has released an interview with director Mike Dougherty. The article also shows some pictures of the director next to the upcoming S.H.MonsterArts figures Godzilla (2019), Rodan (2019), and King Ghidorah (2019).
December 13th update
Courtesy of Warner Brothers, three new posters featuring the Titans Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah have been released, as well as some brief press notes. Click the images below to see their full resolution versions.
Press note information:
GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS
In 3D and 2D in select theaters and IMAX on May 31
(Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures)
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writers: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Producers: Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Brian Rogers, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni
Executive Producers: Zach Shields, Barry H. Waldman, Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds, Zhang Ziyi
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
This film has been rated PG-13 for sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and for some language.
December 10th update
The second official trailer for 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters has appeared online. The trailer runs for around 2 minutes 30 seconds and presents plenty of clips with Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah, as well as some teaser glimpses at what may be other Titans. As per tradition, Toho Kingdom has been given a higher quality version of the latest trailer, the highest quality that can be found online, which can be seen below.
In addition, a new poster has been revealed. Click the image below to see the full resolution version. High-resolution image courtesy of Warner Brothers.
December 2nd update
IGN Japan has released a 30-minute recording of the Tokyo Comic Con 2018 stage event with host Shinsuke Kasai and director Mike Dougherty, where Dougherty recalls his childhood memories of Godzilla before revealing more background information regarding the movie’s monstrous cast. While the questions are in Japanese, Dougherty answers in English. Concept artwork for the monsters can be seen at around the 17 minute 40 second mark.
December 1st update
Earlier this morning, Tokyo Comic Con 2018 unveiled the official designs for Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah in the form of S.H.MonsterArts figures, with 2019 King Ghidorah and Godzilla being made available for pre-order on January 9th of next year. A 2-meter-tall 2019 Godzilla statue was also present at the event. Concept artwork of the monsters and some battle scenarios were shown to attendees, as well as a brand-new teaser trailer, with director Mike Dougherty confirming that a 2nd official trailer for the movie would be released sometime next week.
The figures of the 4 monsters can be viewed by clicking the image on the right. With a new trailer just on the horizon, the reveals for Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah have been omitted from the thumbnail so to avoid spoiling anyone wishing to wait for their full reveals likely coming in the next trailer.
Twitter user @pacific_boy525 managed to capture the booming audio playing during the Comic Con event, featuring a modernized take of Akira Ifukube’s classic Godzilla composition.
November 17th update
Director Mike Dougherty has announced the end of post-production for Godzillla: King of the Monsters on his Twitter, with a behind-the-scenes image accompanying the following message: “It is done. With love and gratitude to the thousands of talented people all around the world who helped make this lifelong dream a reality. In Godzilla we trust.”
October 21st update
A page from the November 2018 issue of Total Film Magazine has shared both an exclusive image from Godzilla: King of the Monsters, as well as a few words from Michael Dougherty regarding the upcoming movie. In the article, Dougherty describes how Godzilla has been with him since his youth, and how he wanted to create “a film that could stand on its own” while remaining faithful to Toho’s own movies and monsters – in particular paying homage to the “morality play” and Mothra’s role as a deity.
Fortunately for the director, while he required approval for the monsters, Toho “signed off on everything without hesitation” after a somewhat nerve-wracking presentation in Japan. Dougherty also goes on to praise Godzilla (2014) and the movie’s director Gareth Edwards for the love given to the title monster, while maintaining his stance on Rodan as one of his favorites due to the flying monster being “a bit of an underdog”. On the other hand, Millie Bobby Brown chips in with a tease of a certain goddess she has come to adore: “Madison has a really, like, interesting connection to Mothra.”
The page closes with some words from Dougherty: “I have such a deep-rooted love for these creatures. […] These aren’t just giant monsters, they’re ancient gods.”
The contents of the article can be read in full in image format. Click the image below to see the larger version. Very special thanks to Gormaru Island for the scan provided!
October 20th update
In a more lighthearted update, 10-year-old Godzilla fan Nigel Ayala caught the attention of Legendary after his story made waves. Nigel was recorded back in August by FOX6 News bestowing “Godzilla power” upon the Milwaukee Brewers in the form of small Godzilla figures. As the Brewers were headed to Hollywood for the National League Championship Series, Legendary flew Nigel and his family out to their studio in Los Angeles, where the young fan was treated to a private tour of Legendary Entertainment, as well as a closed-door screening of a few scenes of 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, courtesy of director Michael Dougherty. The story can be viewed in full in the video below.
October 10th update
Catching up on some overlooked news, an interview with O’Shea Jackson Jr. was shared on GameSpot back in January, where the actor shared his enthusiasm on working with the Godzilla series, as well as detailing some of the physical labors he endured during filming – including the gunning down of several characters in the 2019 movie.
More recently, a recording from San Diego Comic-Con was uploaded through Mulderville’s YouTube channel back in August. Due to video and photo restrictions at the event, the press conference upload is audio only and runs for around 25 minutes. Michael Dougherty, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. cover their inspirations and experiences while working on Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Dougherty’s relationship with Toho, character origins, and some of the main monster locations are also touched upon.
September 26th update
An article from Newsweek has confirmed the names of several motion-capture actors for the movie. Portraying the three-headed monster King Ghidorah will be Alan Maxson as the right head, Richard Dorton as the left head, and the previously-reported Jason Liles as the middle head. Liles will also be working as the mocap actor for Rodan, while T.J. Storm portrays Godzilla.
September 14th update
According to a bulletin released by the Motion Picture Association of America, Godzilla: King of the Monsters has been rated PG-13 “for sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and for some language.”
July 29th update
As per tradition, Toho Kingdom has been given a higher quality version of the latest Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) trailer. Below is the higher quality version of the trailer, the highest quality that can be found online.
July 23rd update
For the San Diego Comic Con’s panel in Hall H on the movie, cast members Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, O’Shea Jackson, Thomas Middleditch and director Michael Dougherty went on stage for a little Q&A. Below is this session, recorded and enhanced by Chris Mirjahangir and Michal Shipman.
July 21st update
Just minutes before the Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, some cast and staff of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) were interviewed live by Entertainment Weekly. While no major spoilers are spilled, each shares what brought them on board for the movie, among other details. The archived livestream can be viewed below.
2:24 PM – The official trailer has dropped! It runs for 2 minutes 25 seconds:
4:07 PM – It has been confirmed through the Hall H presentation that Bear McCreary will be composing for the movie. McCreary is best known for his work on television shows such as The Walking Dead and 2004’s Battlestar Galactica, as well as movies such as 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) and Colossal (2017). Likewise, Akira Ifukube‘s classic music will be present in some form in the movie.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, director Mike Dougherty shared an image of the Comic-Con 2018 exclusive illustrated poster, with artwork by Christopher Shy. The poster features Godzilla entangled in battle with the monstrous King Ghidorah.
11:22 PM – IGN has uploaded an interview featuring director Mike Dougherty, Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Thomas Middleditch, and O’Shea Jackson Jr., where the director describes how Godzilla: King of the Monsters(2019) takes place five years after the events of Godzilla (2014), the motion-capture effects of King Ghidorah, and how the monster roster consists of “more than four [monsters]”.
July 19th update
The website Monarch Sciences has gone live with an interactive database, which supplies many new details regarding Godzilla’s kaiju co-stars while keeping track of the titular monster himself. Users can uncover historic accounts of Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, and are treated with new pictures and information the higher their clearance level. Such bonus content includes Monarch classifications, natures, behavior, and body height and wingspan statistics.
A teaser trailer for the movie has also dropped, which focuses on Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) attempting to make contact with Monarch. The teaser runs for about 41 seconds, and originally surfaced on Twitter.
Finally, the logo and tagline for the movie have been unveiled, which can be viewed below. The official Godzilla: King of the Monsters website has also been updated to accompany this reveal, with an additional image in the “Gallery” featuring Millie Bobby Brown and the looming figure of Godzilla in the background. Click the image below to see the full resolution version. High-resolution image courtesy of Warner Brothers.
July 16th update
Following up on the previous update, here are clean versions of the two promotional stills from the upcoming film. Click to see the full resolution versions.
Godzilla rises from the depths and unleashes his atomic breath to claim his crown as King of the Monsters in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
(L-R) MILLIE BOBBY BROWN as Madison Russell and VERA FARMIGA as Dr. Emma Russell in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
July 12th update
With San Diego Comic-Con just a week away, Entertainment Weekly has dropped some early details for the movie, as well as revealed two exclusive pictures: The first image features the titular Godzilla, now sporting a somewhat retooled look with larger spines, firing his signature atomic breath towards the sky. The second introduces the characters Madison Russell and Dr. Emma Russell (Millie Bobby Brown and Vera Farmiga respectively) overlooking something in an icy chamber.
According to director Mike Dougherty in the article: “The world is reacting to Godzilla in the same way we would react to any other terrifying incident, in that we are overreacting. […] There’s paranoia and endless speculation about whether he is the only one out there or whether we’re threatened by others like his kind.” Godzilla is said to have disappeared following the events of the previous movie, but will be making his presence known once more alongside other monsters such as Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. Dougherty also mentions how he has a soft spot for Rodan in particular, and believes they’ve done the monster “justice.”
Regarding Godzilla’s use of his atomic breath, Dougherty describes: “Not without giving away too much […] But it takes place at a very key moment and it’s sort of a call to arms.” Also, Millie Bobby Brown and Vera Farmiga’s characters are said to have been kidnapped by “a mysterious organization, with their own plans for the creatures”, with ex-husband and father Mark Russell (played by Kyle Chandler) out to rescue the pair alongside Godzilla (2014) Monarch members Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Dr. Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins). While no thorough details were shared about the follow-up movie, 2020’s Godzilla vs. Kong, Dougherty did tease how there would be “bread crumbs” leading to the inevitable confrontation between the two monsters.
July 10th update
In an interview with Metro US, actress Vera Farmiga has shared several new and surprising details about her character, Dr. Emma Russell. In the movie, she plays a paleobiologist, who has “figured out a way to communicate with the creatures and potentially control them using their bioacoustics on a sonar level,” in what she amusingly describes as being like a “DJ for the monsters.” She also views the film as being more about the environment than about the monsters themselves: “When it comes down to it that’s what emerged to me off the written page, and so I find that there has to be a little parable in it that makes me interested.” Vera Farmiga’s character of Dr. Emma Russell will be married to Mark Russell, played by Kyle Chandler, and be the mother of Madison Russell, played by Millie Bobby Brown.
July 7th update
Godzilla: King of the Monsters director Mike Dougherty confirmed on Twitter that Godzilla will be present in some fashion at San Diego Comic-Con this year. The director’s brief confirmation was in response to another Twitter user asking whether or not Godzilla would be appearing at the upcoming event’s Hall H panel. San Diego Comic-Con will be running from July 19th to the 22nd later this month.
12:17 PM – The Comic-Con website has included the date and time of the Warner Bros. Hall H presentation: it will be held on Saturday July 21st at 10:30am – 12:30pm PDT (1:30pm – 3:30pm EDT). As of now, no films or panelists have been announced, though with the aforementioned confirmation of Godzilla, information regarding the 2019 sequel will more than likely be presented in this time frame.
May 23rd update
Warner Bros. has announced that Godzilla: King of the Monsters has had its release date moved from March 22nd, 2019 to May 31st, 2019.
May 22nd update
Ever since the sequel to Godzilla 2014’s film was announced, it has had multiple names ever since. When it was formally announced, it was “Godzilla King of Monsters”. The “the” was left out, from what I’m told, due to a typo. It was later corrected but it was still just a working title. Fans and media outlets did pick up on the name though and the “Godzilla King of the Monsters” name stuck. However, internally there still was no cemented official title. For example, on Warner Brothers’ own media pass page (press only), it was only listed as “Godzilla Sequel”.
So, today, as an exclusive reveal via Warner Brothers, Toho Kingdom is happy to announce the official title is: Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Sometimes the working title is just something so cool sounding that it sticks around. Stay tuned for more on Godzilla: King of the Monsters on the road to release.
April 27th update
Actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. once again shares some more information regarding Godzilla 2 in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, where he stresses the powerful presence of King Ghidorah within the movie. Talk surrounding the sequel starts at around the 5:50 mark in the video.
Also, Rampage (2018) motion-capture actor Jason Liles joins in on the action for Godzilla 2, as shared in an exclusive article by TheWrap. Liles will be just one of several mocap actors hired to portray the three-headed antagonist, King Ghidorah.
January 18th, 2018 update
While on the press tour for his new film Den of Thieves, actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. gives a few tidbits about Godzilla 2 in an interview with Collider.com. The conversation about the next Godzilla movie starts about 10:30 into the video. During the video, the actor stresses his fandom for the franchise, while doing some very brief teasing for the upcoming movie.
July 13th update
Although promoted on their Twitter account for Kong: Skull Island (2017), some additional hints are coming in related to the greater MonsterVerse and the cast of the second Godzilla film. In particular, Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah…
— Kong: Skull Island (@kongskullisland) July 12, 2017
The video covers a time line of the MonsterVerse from 1991 to present. It references events from Godzilla (2014) and the comic Skull Island: The Birth of Kong. The entries for 2009 and 2016, whose title for the creature as “Monster Zero” is a clear nod to Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), are references to Mothra and King Ghidorah respectively. It’s assumed that the 1991 listing that starts the video is referencing Rodan, and his habit of living near volcanoes.
Full text during the video, which uses music from the Kong: Skull Island (2017) score, is found below. Please note some of the text is cut off in the video, and filled in with a best guess in brackets:
1991 Isle de Mona: A covert Monarch team established a quarantine zone around a dormant volcano in Isle de Mona, under the guise of “environmental research”. Over the coming years, what began as a small scientific outpost will expand to become a full containment facility around the mouth of the volcano.
1995 Return to Skull Island: Monarch security officer Aaron Brooks defies his father Houston Brooks and leads an off-the-books mission to Skull Island, to determine what has become of Kong since the 1973 expedition.
1999 Janjira Meltdown: Following an explosive disaster [at the Janjira] power planet, Monarch establishes [a quarantine] zone outside of Tokyo. What the [Monarch team discovers is] that Janjira Q-Zone is in reality containment facility established around a dormant M.U.T.O.
2005 A Mysterious Mercenary: Former British Army Colonel and MI-6 agent Jonah Alan is locked up in Pakistani prison after an encounter with MONARCH agents. Alan and his band of mercenary accomplices were caught trying to breach the walls of a subterranean M.U.T.O. dig-site.
2009 Temple of the Moth: Mythographic studies of Chinese temples leads Monarch to the high-altitude jungles of the Yunnan province. Dr. Emma Russel and her team follow a mysterious bio-acoustic signature to a previously undiscovered megalithic temple, within which lies a gigantic cocoon. A quickening heartbeat is detected inside.
2012 Message in a Bottle: Days before retirement, Monarch veteran Houston Brooks receives a coded message from his son. The mission to Skull Island has revealed dramatic new information about Kong’s origins, and his role on the island.
2014 The Battle of San Francisco: The existence of giant superspecies is revealed to the world as Godzilla clashes with two M.U.T.O.s in the center of San Francisco, unleashing devastation upon the urban center. The world watches as Godzilla defends our world and restores balance to the natural order. The time has come for Monarch to step out of the shadows.
2016 Monster Zero: When Monarch discovers an extraordinary superspecies sealed beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, Dr. Vivienne Graham leads the effort to build a covert containment and research facility around the dormant creature. Her classified field notes contain a mysterious footnote: “The devil has three heads.”
June 20th update
Warner Bros. has begun to distribute a press release for the movie to celebrate filming commencing. With a brief story synopsis, the release mentions the four monsters to be included in the movie: Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah. The release also still references the late Yoshimitsu Banno, director of Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), as an executive producer. The release is found below:
WARNER BROS. PICTURES’ AND LEGENDARY PICTURES’ MONSTERVERSE KICKS INTO GEAR AS THE NEXT GODZILLA FEATURE GETS UNDERWAY
Director Michael Dougherty helms the film in which stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe and Zhang Ziyi take on the King of the Monsters… and more!
BURBANK, CA, June 19, 2017 – Following the global success of 2014’s “Godzilla” and this year’s “Kong: Skull Island,” comes the next chapter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ cinematic MonsterVerse: an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history. The film, which begins principal photography today, is being directed by Michael Dougherty (“Krampus”), and stars Oscar nominees Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Conjuring” films), and Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai”) and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), both reprising their “Godzilla” roles; Kyle Chandler (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Manchester by the Sea”); Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”) in her feature film debut; Bradley Whitford (“Get Out”); Thomas Middleditch (HBO’s “Silicon Valley”); Charles Dance (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”); O’Shea Jackson Jr. (“Straight Outta Compton”); Aisha Hinds (“Star Trek Into Darkness”); and Golden Globe nominee Zhang Ziyi (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
Dougherty directs from a script he wrote with Zach Shields. The film is being produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Brian Rogers and Thomas Tull, with Barry H. Waldman, Zach Shields, Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira serving as executive producers and Alexandra Mendes co-producing for Legendary.
Behind the scenes, Dougherty’s creative team includes director of photography Lawrence Sher, whose past credits include “War Dogs” and “Godzilla,” for which he handled additional photography; production designer Scott Chambliss (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”); editor Roger Barton (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the “Transformers” films); costume designer Louise Migenbach (the “X-Men” and “Hangover” films); and Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Guillaume Rocheron (“Godzilla,” “Ghost in the Shell,” and part of the Oscar-winning team behind “Life of Pi “).
Filming is taking place mainly in Atlanta, Georgia. A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, the film is currently scheduled for release in March 2019, and will be distributed in 3D and 2D and in select IMAX theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd.
June 9th update
Actress Zhang Ziyi, best known for her role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha, has been added to the movie’s cast. Acting as part of the MONARCH organization, Ziyi has signed a multi-picture deal that will see her as a reoccuring character in the MonsterVerse, as she is also set to appear in the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong movie as well.
June 2nd update
The cast for the movie continues to expand, as actor Bradley Whitford has been added to the movie. Whitford, who has acted in movies such as The Cabin in the Woods and Scent of a Woman, is also joined by another actor announcement. Thomas Middleditch, star of the TV show Silicon Valley, has also been added to the movie’s cast.
May 25th update
Casting news continues to pour in. This time, the director, Mike Dougherty, has tweeted that actor Randy Havens, who played Mr. Clarke on Stranger Things, has also joined the cast in an unnamed role.
May 23rd update
Sally Hawkins, who appeared in Godzilla (2014) as Doctor Vivienne Graham, will reprise her role in the movie’s sequel. In addition, it has been announced that Charles Dance, who played Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones, will be appearing in the movie as well.
April 19th update
Actress Aisha Hinds, who has been making positive rounds due to her performance as Harriet Tubman on WGN America’s Underground, will be appearing in the film in a currently unspecified role.
March 27th update
Casting news continues to flow in as O’Shea Jackson Jr., best known for his work in Straight Outta Compton, is now in negotiations to join the latest Godzilla film. If he signs on, he will join his Straight Outta Compton costars in the MonsterVerse, as both Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell already starred in Kong: Skull Island (2017).
February 28th update
Actress Vera Farmiga, best known for her work on The Conjuring and Up in the Air, will appear in the film as the mother of Millie Bobby Brown’s character.
February 21st update
Actor Kyle Chandler, best known for his work on The Wolf of Wall Street and Zero Dark Thirty, is set to star in the movie as the father of Millie Bobby Brown’s character. In addition, the article mentions that actor Ken Watanabe is likely to reprise his role in the upcoming movie.
January 31st update
Legendary Pictures has clarified to us that the title for the upcoming Godzilla movie is in fact Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The earlier press release in December was in fact with a typo that became widespread.
Jaunary 28th update
With the director of the latest Godzilla film locked down, it was only a matter of time before more cast and crew started to be announced.
This includes the revelation that Millie Bobby Brown, star of Stranger Things, will have a starring role in Godzilla: King of Monsters. Details on the character she will play is being kept under wraps, but expect more cast announcements to start happening around the upcoming film.
January 24th, 2017 update
The director for Godzilla: King of Monsters is official. Michael Dougherty, who was already tapped as co-writer with Zach Shields, will oversee the movie. Godzilla will mark the third major directorial effort from Dougherty, his others being Trick ‘r Treat and Krampus.
December 15th update
Legendary Pictures issued a release announcing that Herbert W. Gains as their new executive vice president (EVP) of Physical Production, Valerie Flueger Veras as their new senior vice president (SVP) of Post- Production and Sara Flamm as their new SVP of Physical Production. Buried in the release was a glimpse of the title for the upcoming Godzilla film from Legendary, now called Godzilla: King of Monsters. The name harks back to the American title for Godzilla (1954) and the ongoing alias moniker of Godzilla himself, used briefly by the press at the end of Godzilla (2014).
December 7th update
As part of the press junket for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, IGN asked Gareth Edwards, director of Godzilla (2014), why he’s not directing the sequel. That response is found below:
October 23rd update
It was probably only a matter of time, but word has spread that after hiring the writers of Krampus the studio is now eyeing the director of that film as well: Michael Dougherty. While some sources fumbled stating it’s a sure thing, others have noted that this is still in talks pending approval of the screenplay and no official deal has been set in stone. Waiting for sreenplay approval is a natural step as Dougherty is already attached as a writer to the project. Dougherty has been directing since 2007’s Trick ‘r Treat, but whose career is primarly as a writer rather than director. If choosen, Godzilla 2 would be his most high profile directing gig.
October 21st update
After a five month news hiatus, Legendary has announced that two new writers have been attached to Godzilla 2. These writers are Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields. The pair most recently collaborated on the horror movie Krampus for Legendary; however, while Shields is relatively new to the blockbuster field, Dougherty has a long track record, having written on films like X-Men: Apocalypse and X2: X-Men United.
May 14th update
Following on the heels of the movie’s delay, it has been announced that Gareth Edwards has left Godzilla 2. Reportedly the split is amicable and based largely on Edwards’ desire to work on smaller scale productions after Godzilla (2014) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Legendary Pictures is now on a hunt to find a director to replace Edwards on the film.
May 13th, 2016 update
Over half a year has passed and things have been quiet on the news front. Sadly, things haven’t changed much, as the only piece of news related to the awaited Godzilla sequel from Legendary Pictures is a delay to the production.
The movie, which was originally slated for a June 8, 2018 release date, is now aiming for a March 22, 2019. As a spot of good news, Legendary and Warner Bros. did date the fourth film in the new cinematic universe, as Godzilla vs. Kong will be arriving on May 29, 2020.
August 12th, 2015 update
Been a long silence on the news front for the follow-up entry in the new series by Legendary Pictures. Collider got a chance, though, to sit down with writer Max Borenstein for an interview. The basis of the interview was the upcoming TV show Minority Report. However, that didn’t stop them from briefly talking about the future of the King of the Monsters.
When asked if Borenstein was writing it now, he responded:
“I’m writing it now, and it’s really going to be great. I don’t want to go off book and tell you anything that I’m not allowed to tell you. The response to the first film was really exciting, but now that that world is established, we can do bigger and even better things. We’re really stoked.”
As for if director Gareth Edwards would be involved in the scripting process:
“Yeah, I hope. He’s making Star Wars right now, so he’s a little preoccupied, but yeah. Gareth is amazing. It’s exciting to get to work with him again. One of the fun things about that experience is the same fun that it’s been on Minority Report, where you really get to have your fingers in the pie.”
Nothing really new from the interview, although the news circuits have picked up the “bigger and even better things” quote and ran with it for news stories.
September 22nd update
Deadline has announced that Max Borenstein, who wrote Godzilla (2014) and will write the screenplay for the upcoming Skull Island film, has been tapped to create the screenplay for the second Godzilla film from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.
August 14th update
News has begun to build for the tentatively titled Godzilla 2. Among those is a release date for the next adventure to star the King of the Monsters. This news story will act as a roundup to details as they emerge on the sequel to Godzilla (2014) from Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros… and what a long road it will be.
Comic Con 2014 teased the line up of the next film, name dropping Rodan, Mothra and Ghidorah. We also knew that Gareth Edwards would return to direct and chances are good that, due to announcing the news himself, that Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull will produce.
The latest news gives us a date for the film:
June 8, 2018
That will be over four years since the last movie, which is long for a sequel although was expected since Edwards is directing the Star Wars spin off to be released in 2016.
July 27th, 2014 update
Details have begun for “Godzilla 2“, the follow up to this year’s Godzilla movie. Rodan, Mothra and the three-headed monster Ghidorah are joining the Legendary Pictures Godzilla franchise.
Legendary Pictures had a big Comic Con this year. While the announcement of a new King Kong project, titled Skull Island, took a lot of thunder, the King of the Monsters had an announcement of his own.
Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull presented a video message from Godzilla (2014) director Gareth Edwards at the Hall H event. Edwards mentioned that he was busy on the Star Wars spin-off film he was directing, but thanked everyone for their support of Godzilla and making the film a success.
This lead into a teaser for the sequel. The segment was “classified Monarch footage”, the organization that Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) belonged to in the 2014 film. The sequence appeared to be retro, with John F. Kennedy talking about threats which would place it in the 1960’s. Text on the screen then mentions “there were others”, possibly talking about the alpha predators that Godzilla belongs to, followed by a shadow and the text “CODENAME: RODAN”.
Next is a furry closeup of an insect with the text “CODENAME: MOTHRA”.
Finally, there is a large shadow that it splices around before saying “CODENAME: GHIDORAH”.
The video ends with the text “THREAT ASSESSMENT: CONFLICT INEVITABLE.” – “LET THEM FIGHT.”
CEO Thomas Tull then announced that Edwards would be returning to direct the sequel after finishing Star Wars.
As a side remark, the video used the name “Ghidorah”, which might be an allusion to the monster’s first, flightless appearance in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001). More likely, though, it’s just coincidence.
NOTE: The above image was created by Toho Kingdom. It was not taken from the video shown at Comic Con.News // September 4, 2019
It’s been a while since Toho Kingdom held a contest on the site and I thought that it not only might be nice to have another one but also our biggest yet! To do this, we worked with Warner Bros., Kidrobot, NECA, Bluefin Distribution, Tamashii Nations, Diamond Select Toys and artist Matt Frank. As a result, we have a rich collection of prizes for the contest this year. These range from a poster, figures, Blu-rays/DVDs and a print with many items signed as well.
Godzilla 2019 Contest Prizes
- Godzilla King of the Monsters poster signed by director Michael Doughtery, and actors O’Shea Jackson Jr., Millie Bobbie Brown, Thomas Middleditch, Kyle Chandler, Bradley Whitford and Ken Watanabe
- Godzilla 2019 figure by S.H. MonsterArts
- Rodan figure by NECA
- Godzilla version 2 figure by NECA
- Godzilla 1974 and Godzilla 1989 banks by Diamond Select Toys
- Godzilla series one vinimates by Diamond Select Toys
- HugMe Godzilla and Phunny plush Godzilla toys by Kid Robot
- Signed Matt Frank Mothra 2019 print
- Pacific Rim Uprising blu-ray/dvd signed by director Steven Deknight
- Rampage blu-ray/dvd copy signed by motion capture artist Jason liles (who plays George in the film and is Ghidorah’s middle head in Godzilla King of the Monsters) and actor P.J. Byrne (who plays Nelson in the film)
- Blu-ray/dvd copy of Ready Player One
***A small note about the poster: there are small creases on the sides and a small tear on the top of the poster. I don’t know how they got there but that’s how they were sent over. They Shouldn’t be noticeable if you frame the poster, however.***
Entering the Contest
As with other contests on the site in the past, to enter all you have to do is send an email with your name and address to: TKSummer2019@hotmail.com
The contest ends September 19th! Enter today!
Thanks goes to Warner Bros., Kidrobot, NECA, Bluefin Distribution, Tamashii Nations, Diamond Select Toys, and Matt Frank for being so gracious to donate prizes offered in this contest!
ONE entry per person only. Due to shipping this contest is only for North America entrants. Winner will be randomly selected using an automated process by e-mails received. Date of entry has no bearing on probability of winning. No requests for bundles as winners will be chosen at random. The winner will be announced by September 24th, 2019. Contest ends September 19th, 2019. Toho Kingdom staff (forum and main site) are not eligible to compete. The site is not responsible for lost, late or misdirected mail when prizes are sent out. Toho Kingdom reserves the right to change these rules at any time.General // September 3, 2019
An exclusive video interview with NECA Toys Production Manager Stefan Folkins. Conducted 7/19/2019 at San Diego Comic-Con.
***Note: My filming was not the best in this interview due to my gimbal acting weird. Also, there are a couple of spots where the audio sounds muffled. No real info was lost so no worries!***Interviews // July 21, 2019
An interview with Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019) actor Justice Smith, who played Tim Goodman in the film. Conducted by phone on May 3rd, 2019, and transcribed by Jeremy Williams.
Justice Smith: Hey Chris, how’s it going?
Chris Mirjahangir: Hey, congratulations on breaking the video game curse for films. This is the best one I’ve ever seen.
Smith: Oh wow, that’s so good to hear, thank you, man.
Mirjahangir: I’m someone who only has a shadow of knowledge of Pokemon. So it’s something I can enjoy.
Smith: Alright, because that’s what we wanted, that’s awesome.
Mirjahangir: You’re a big Pokemon fan?
Smith: Yeah, I’m a big Pokemon fan. I have all the original cards, I had the games, the video games. I had Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Crystal. I watched the anime, I was a huge fan and it had an impact on me and my childhood.
Mirjahangir: Do you keep current and watch the current ones they put out?
Smith: I haven’t seen the current ones, no, I stopped after like generation three. But I do play Pokemon Go now and I plan on getting the new Pokemon Sword and Shield when it comes out on the Switch. Just cuz, I’m… It’s kind of consumed my life now that it’s a part of my career. So it’s kind of like made me get back into it.
Mirjahangir: Pokemon Go I think was the one that was responsible for people losing weight.
Smith: Yeah. I mean, yeah, they’re still doing it. I still see people, like grown men too, like out about fighting at the gyms and stuff.
Mirjahangir: We got a park nearby where a whole bunch of them would be, right. And I looked around and there are people with strollers like almost walking into a pond.
Smith: *laughs* Yeah.
Mirjahangir: But you’re also like an anime fan as well right, do you have any favorites?
Smith: Yeah I love Death Note, I love this one anime Darker than Black, I really like Devilman Crybaby. I like… Those are really dark ones. I like the Miyazaki films as well.
Mirjahangir: What about Dragon Ball?
Smith: My older brother was into Dragon Ball. Um, so I tried to get into it, but I never was never into it. But I did like playing the Dragon Ball games. I also like One Piece, I was a fan of.
Mirjahangir: Assassination Classroom was good, I heard.
Smith: Oh, I haven’t seen that one yet, I’ve heard that one is good, too.
Mirjahangir: So back to the movie, you have a lot of dialogue with Ryan Reynolds. You know ‘cuz you have to kind of have to bounce off to match for the animations of Pikachu. What was that process like?
Smith: So, we had like a week of rehearsals before we started shooting where we found our dynamic. And he wore a motion capture helmet. And kind of just went throughout the whole script, and changed what wasn’t working, and did all this stuff. And then Ryan went away to go record in a booth. And I had to remember what he did and recreate my side of that, um, on set. But the short time I actually did get to work with him was… I mean, just the nicest dude, hilarious and it was cool to see that he’s not just funny on camera. He’s just like that, he just likes to make people laugh and he’s really authentic, too, which is refreshing.
Mirjahangir: When filming scenes with Pikachu, how did you keep your eye line correct and get your reaction time perfect?
Smith: We had a reader that we casted, who would improvise with me and say Ryan’s lines. And then Matt would kind of help us keep timing and also help us keep it loose. And then Ryan, once we shot everything, would go back and dub Pikachu’s voice and make sure it was in line with what I had shot on the day. So it was just both of us collaborating to make it seem like we were in the same room.
Mirjahangir: So this is like the start I guess of an expanded universe, are you signed on for more or?
Smith: I mean I would love for there to be a sequel, you know there’s eight hundred and seven Pokemon I believe. So we definitely have a lot of content. *laughs*
Mirjahangir: Yeah, were there ones you wanted to see in, but they didn’t make it?
Smith: I mean without spoiling which Pokemon are in the movie and which ones or not, yes, the short answer is yes.
Mirjahangir: Are there ones you’re gonna try and push for if there is a sequel?
Smith: Yeah, I’ll try to get the ones I want in the sequel.
Mirjahangir: Yeah, I saw a little bit of Paper Towns. You had like a scene where you were singing the Pokemon theme song. Did you even have to memorize it?
Mirjahangir: Or was it just burned into your brain.
Smith: Well it was burned into my brain and also, funny enough, that song was originally supposed to be Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” But we had to cut it and we had to change it to a different song, and as cast, we were trying to come up with what song we should sing. And I suggested the Pokemon theme song, and that’s the song we ended up doing in the movie. And then here I am years later, leading the first live action Pokemon movie. Which is a crazy coincidence.
Mirjahangir: Did you audition for this or did they call directly, how did it work?
Smith: Well, I had a meeting with Rob and he kind of showed me his vision for the film, and then they flew me out to London to audition. There were other people they were considering as well. But as soon as I saw his vision, I just knew that I had to be a part of it.Interviews // June 28, 2019
An interview with Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019) director Rob Letterman. Conducted by phone on May 3rd, 2019, and transcribed by Jeremy Williams.
Chris Mirjahangir: How did you come onto the project? Was it in development or were you there in the beginning?
Rob Letterman: It was in development, so Legendary Pictures and the Pokemon Company were already sort of set on making Detective Pikachu a live action movie. The game was also in development so it was kinda of a parallel track. So that was already happening when I got the call.
Mirjahangir: How long did it take you to work on the story and everything before getting ready to shoot?
Letterman: I first engaged like at the end of 2016. And then we started shooting in 2018. So I was on it for like a while. Like it was a lot of development, a lot of not just writing on the script but also just like developing the Pokemon characters in advance. You know we put a full year of work into the designs of all the Pokemon. Working hand in hand with the Pokemon Company to get all the characters right. And have that all set and locked in before we started shooting.
Mirjahangir: Was it Legendary you worked with or was it also Legendary and Toho and Warner Bros? Like a big group effort?
Letterman: It was a big group effort between Legendary and the Pokemon Company during the development and production phase. That was all integrated together and all the different divisions of the Pokemon Company, and you know for sure Toho and Warner Bros. during the whole marketing and distribution. And getting the word out, like everyone just sort of went big on this. It’s pretty amazing and humbling to see it.
Mirjahangir: Were you a fan of the series and everything, the games and stuff going in?
Letterman: Well I’m slightly older, so I just missed it. But my kids are huge fans, so I as a parent, I went deep on Pokemon. My kids love the cards, the toys, the games. The T.V. show was just hitting Netflix so they binge watched that and all the movies. You know I watched the Pokemon First Movie with my kids and you know, so, I was inundated with it via my children.
Mirjahangir: Did you try playing the games as well to try and get a feel for it?
Letterman: I played the games, my son and I play Pokken DX. He always chooses Mewtwo, I always lose. I mean it’s crazy. We’ve gone to the Pokemon world championship when it was in Anaheim. And you know it was, it’s fun as a parent to like connect on anything with your kids. So it’s great.
Mirjahangir: Well this is suppose to… If I remember correctly, this is gonna be part of like an expanded universe. Are you in talks for another one?
Letterman: I mean I would love to do another one, you know I’m very superstitious so I don’t want to jinx anything. The first movie has to work before that happens. But yeah, if we’re lucky enough to be able to do another one, I would jump at the chance.
Mirjahangir: How did you decide which Pokemon would go into the movie and were there ones you wanted to put in but you couldn’t?
Letterman: Well there’s… I mean a hundred I wanted to put in, but I couldn’t for budgetary reasons. We just we just ran out of money. But uh, you know the ones that are in there are a combination of them, because it’s based on the Detective Pikachu game, there’s a certain set of Pokemon that are inherent in that. Like Ludicolo and the Aipom are baked into the game. And then beyond that, I wanted to get a lot of the first generation Pokemon characters so that you know there’s a nostalgia factor for people in their twenty’s and thirty’s who grew up on it. And you know having the Pokemon that they remember and love being represented in the movie, and then you know just working with the Pokemon Company and all the original creators on kind of narrowing down the list and working with Eric, our visual effects supervisor, on which characters we could best represent in photo real live action. You know, just kinda combing through the list that way and it was a combination of all those things.
Mirjahangir: Ryan Reynolds having him play Pikachu. I’m curious because you know he does a lot of, you know there’s a lot of jokes in there. Some jokes work, some don’t. You have a test audience to see what’s working. And I’m curious like what his process was cuz I saw he was on set for what, three days running lines?
Letterman: Yeah, he was on set for three days and so the pivotal scenes that you know we thought we would need him there for just to get the chemistry between him and Justice right. But before all that, we rehearsed quite a bit and Ryan, you know, he scrubbed through the script to make sure that Pikachu’s dialogue was fitting with, you know, his ideas. So he played a part, um, in just the script stage. Then Justice and I worked with him, we kind of workshopped for two days in L.A., the script, and just try to you know land the characters and the chemistry that way. And see, you know, improv and let Ryan riff and let Justice riff and then I took all that and reworked the script so it reflected those workshop days. And then we had a… he was there a week before we started shooting and we did a full stage play with the… He had a facial capture helmet rig thing on. And then we just kind of went through the whole movie, let them act it out like as a stage play. With Justice, Ryan, Katherine Newton, and a mime. Um, and so by the time we had those days on set while we were shooting we had… there was a lot of work that lead up to getting to that moment.
Mirjahangir: The stage play aspect I think would be a great Blu-Ray extra *laughs* just to see it.
Letterman: You’re right, I don’t know why we…
Mirjahangir: Just to see it that way would be great.
Letterman: Someone’s got to dig it up! You’re so right, it should be in there. It would need to be like edited into something, but uh, the whole movie is, there’s a version of the whole movie with those guys just sitting in chairs, walking around, a weird mime performance, Ryan with a crazy thing on his head. It’s a strange version of the movie. *laughs* That exists.
Mirjahangir: Can you request that, like you know what, let’s make this available for everybody.
Letterman: Probably, but we’ll see how the movie does.
Mirjahangir: That would be great.
Letterman: If it’s worthwhile, maybe we’ll dig it up.
Mirjahangir: How many versions of Pikachu were there in the design process? How long did he take to get right?
Letterman: He took about a year to get right. There’s a lot that went into Pikachu designing. Oh my gosh, fur, no fur, short fur, long fur, different fur. You know all the slight variations of the color yellow. I mean endless work, I mean there’s what people probably never know is that there is a skeleton with muscles on it, a skin on the muscles. You know, the fur is every hair of Pikachu is interacting with every other hair and you know the eyes have like really sophisticated computer simulation with light that refracts, all real world physics are happening in there. It’s a really really sophisticated CGI character that took a full year to develop. And this is before we start shooting.
Mirjahangir: Oh yeah I mean it looks great, yeah, oh wow! So did you hone it kind of a little more in post just to kinda…
Letterman: A little bit but we had to nail it.
Letterman: Otherwise, the performance from the actors would be, if it was off by a millimeter it would just, the whole thing would fall apart.Interviews // June 23, 2019
As Legendary Pictures moves past Kong: Skull Island (2017) and looks toward the future of the MonsterVerse, naturally news is starting to build for the next appearance of Kong, as the character is set to tangle with Godzilla in 2020.
June 12th update
In an article published by Deadline, Warner Bros. executives Toby Emmerich and Peter Roth brought up the possibility of Godzilla vs. Kong being delayed: “[Godzilla vs. Kong] might come out later in the year, so we can deliver an A+ movie,” Emmerich commented, noting that they “will deliver for fans in the way they were looking for.”
June 1st update
An early advertisement for Godzilla vs. Kong has appeared at Licensing Expo, paired with another of Legendary’s movie projects, Dune (2020). The image shows Godzilla and Kong locked in combat, with a tagline that reads “ONE WILL FALL”.
This is how Legendary are advertising Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong at Licensing Expo. pic.twitter.com/BzFQIgwT03
— Film Stories (@filmstoriespod) May 30, 2019
March 15th, 2019 update
Alexander Skarsgård was recently video interviewed by Collider, with the actor expressing his enjoyment working on Godzilla vs. Kong and how it will be “tonally quite different” from other films he’s been apart of in the last 2 years. Discussion of the movie starts around the 2 minute 53 second mark in the link provided.
November 17th update
As reported by Deadline, Lance Reddick is the latest addition to the Godzilla vs. Kong cast. Some of Reddick’s more well known portrayals include Charon from the John Wick movie series, Cedric Daniels from HBO’s The Wire, and Matthew Abaddon from the television series Lost. Reddick is also no stranger to giant monsters, having appeared in an uncredited role as a soldier in 1998’s GODZILLA.
November 12th update
With principal photography finally underway, an official press release for Godzilla vs. Kong has been made available, courtesy of Warner Brothers. The notes also include a long-awaited plot synopsis.
WARNER BROS. PICTURES’ AND LEGENDARY ENTERTAINMENT’S MONSTERVERSE SHIFTS INTO OVERDRIVE AS CAMERAS ROLL ON THE NEXT BIG-SCREEN ADVENTURE
“GODZILLA VS. KONG”
Director Adam Wingard takes the helm to bring the long-awaited face-off between these two iconic titans to the big screen.
BURBANK, CA, November 12, 2018 – Following the global success of 2014’s “Godzilla” and 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island,” and in the lead-up to the 2019 release of the highly anticipated “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” comes the next chapter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Entertainment’s cinematic Monsterverse: “Godzilla vs. Kong.” Beginning production today, the epic action adventure will pit two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another – the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong – with humanity caught in the balance.
“Godzilla vs. Kong” is being directed by Adam Wingard (“The Guest,” “You’re Next”). The film stars Alexander Skarsgård (“Big Little Lies,” The Little Drummer Girl”), Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”), Rebecca Hall (“Christine,” “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”), Brian Tyree Henry (“Atlanta,” “Widows”), Shun Oguri (“Gintama”), Eiza González (“Baby Driver”), Jessica Henwick (“Iron Fist”), Julian Dennison (“Deadpool 2”), with Kyle Chandler (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Manchester by the Sea”) and Demián Bichir (“The Nun,” “The Hateful Eight”).
In a time when monsters walk the Earth, humanity’s fight for its future sets Godzilla and Kong on a collision course that will see the two most powerful forces of nature on the planet collide in a spectacular battle for the ages. As Monarch embarks on a perilous mission into uncharted terrain and unearths clues to the Titans’ origins, a human conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.
Wingard directs from a script written by Terry Rossio (“Pirates of the Caribbean”). The film is being produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Eric McLeod, and Brian Rogers, with Kenji Okuhira, Yoshimitsu Banno, Jon Jashni and Thomas Tull serving as executive producers. Jay Ashenfelter, Jen Conroy and Tamara Kent are co-producers.
Behind the scenes, Wingard’s creative team includes director of photography Ben Seresin (“World War Z,” “Unstoppable”), production designers Owen Patterson (“Godzilla,” “The Matrix” Trilogy and “Captain America: Civil War”) and Tom Hammock (“The Guest,” “Blindspotting”), editor Josh Schaeffer (“Molly’s Game,” “Kong: Skull Island”), costume designer Ann Foley (“Altered Carbon”), and VFX supervisor John “DJ” DesJardin (“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Watchmen”).
Filming is taking place in Hawaii and Australia. A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment, “Godzilla vs. Kong” is currently scheduled for release on May 22, 2020. The film will be distributed in 3D and 2D and in select IMAX theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd.
November 11th update
Cast additions for Godzilla vs. Kongcontinue to roll in. As reported by Variety and Deadline respectively, actress Jessica Henwick – known for her role as Nymeria Sand who first appeared in Season 5 of the popular fantasy/drama television series Game of Thrones – and Japanese actor Shun Oguri in his Hollywood debut will be starring in the 2020 sequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). Like most of the cast before them, their roles are currently not known.
Meanwhile, director Adam Wingard recently posted on his Instagram account a storyboard teaser for Godzilla vs. Kong. The picture shows only a fraction of a storyboard sketch accompanied by text briefly describing Godzilla’s reaction to something presumably just out of frame in the photo.
No specifics regarding the picture were shared, though the enthusiastic Wingard did note how shooting for the movie was to begin soon: “This is the only part of the Godzilla Vs Kong storyboards that I can share. We start shooting this week after more than a year of preproduction. It’s finally happening!”
November 3rd update
The cast for Godzilla vs. Kong continues to grow as Rebecca Hall of The Prestige (2006) and Marvel’s Iron Man 3 (2013) fame, alongside Baby Driver (2017)’s Eiza González, have joined the movie according to exclusive reports published by Variety and Deadline respectively.
October 26th update
In an exclusive announcement from Deadline Hollywood, Emmy Award-winning actor Alexander Skarsgård will be starring in the 2020 movie. Like the previously-reported Demián Bichir, Skarsgård’s role is currently unknown.
October 20th update
According to the Hollywood Reporter, actor Demián Bichir of The Hateful Eight (2015) and The Nun (2018) fame is slated to appear in Godzilla vs. Kong. Bichir will be joining Millie Bobbie Brown and Brian Tyree Henry as one of the leads, though his role is currently unknown.
October 10th update
As shared in a video via Gormaru Island, the production of Godzilla vs. Kong in Australia was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Village Roadshow Studios. Filming is expected to start before the end of the year, with the movie employing 500 full-time staff and 600 casuals.
11:05 PM – Actor Brian Tyree Henry of Atlanta fame will be joining the cast of Godzilla vs. Kong, as exclusively reported by Variety. While his character’s role is unknown, he is said to play “a significant role” in the plot. Henry will be starring alongside other confirmed actors including Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Dennison, and Kyle Chandler.
September 14th update
In the latest issue of Production Weekly courtesy of Gormaru Island, principal photography for Godzilla vs. Kong is slated to begin next month on October 1st. Currently, the only confirmed film locations are in Atlanta, Hawaii, and Australia.
June 3rd, 2018 update
As the project continues to develop, casting news is starting to come in. First off, Van Marten, who will appear in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Ziyi Zhang, Memoirs of a Geisha, are set to appear in the film. Ziyi will also appear in Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and will reprise her role from that movie. It’s also been announced that young actor Julian Dennison, from Deadpool 2, will appear in the movie as well in a yet to be revealed role.
August 27th update
Casting is still not revealed for the project, although director Adam Wingard noted that characters seen in the 2019 Godzilla film will also appear in the 2020 battle royale flick between the two titular monsters.
June 2nd, 2017 update
After moving Kong: Skull Island (2017) from Universal to Warner Bros. in 2015, Legendary Pictures announced the natural conclusion to that news in October of 2015. The company stated that a Godzilla vs. Kong movie was in the works.
Since then, the company has focused most of their efforts on the 2017 King Kong film and the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters. However, with Skull Island released, eyes are now focused on the next movie to feature the character, which is coming on May 22nd, 2020.
Naturally, some of the first news on the production is related to the staff who will bring it to life. The first major announcement came with the confirmation of the director. For this responsibility, Legendary Pictures tapped Adam Wingard, who has previously directed You’re Next and The Guest.
Writing duties are being split amongst a writers room, which is being led by Terry Rossio, the scribe behind the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. He is joined by a huge group of writers, which include former comic author J. Michael Straczynski, who also worked on the Thor movie and World War Z. Lindsey Beer, who is an up and coming writer attached to assignments like Barbie, Patrick McKay, Star Trek Beyond, T.S. Nowlin, Maze Runner, Cat Vasko, Grrl Scouts, J.D. Payne, Star Trek Beyond, and Jack Paglen, Transcendence, are also in the writers room.News // June 12, 2019
Hey everyone! Included in today’s huge Godzilla: King of the Monsters update:
-Exclusive interview with Director Michael Dougherty
-Exclusive interview with O’Shea Jackson Jr.
-Exclusive Interview with Ken Watanabe
-Press conference audio with:
-Millie Bobby Brown, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Thomas Middleditch
-Kyle Chandler and Bradley Cooper
-Michael Dougherty and Ken Watanabe
***SPOILERS GALORE IN THE INTERVIEWS!*** If you are someone who has seen the film in an advance screening, go ahead and check out the content. If not, wait until after you’ve seen the movie. You’ll be glad you did!
Interview: Michael Dougherty
The file is just under 10MB with a length of around 10 minutes. Click to download.
-The interview begins with a brief recap of the Akira Ifukube question being asked at SDCC which was also mentioned in the interview with O’Shea Jackson Jr.
-At approx 8:33, Mike alludes to the possibility of a MonsterVerse TV show
-Small edits to the interview were made for flow
All audio interviews recorded at:
The London Hotel
West Hollywood, California
Press Conference Audio Interviews
Click the images to download the audio files.
All press conference interviews recorded at:
The London Hotel
West Hollywood, California
O’Shea Jackson Jr.
-Small edits to the interview were made for flow
-I missed an Easter Egg in the film which I had recognized while I viewed it yet slipped my mind during the interview
-Small edits were made for flow
-The gimbal I used to record started acting up so I had to adjust while filming
All video interviews filmed at:
The London Hotel
West Hollywood, California
5/19/2019Interviews // May 28, 2019
After remaining dormant for 10 years, godzilla.com has been revived as an official hub for general Godzilla-centric information. The site currently has 7 categories to browse:
- News – covers news in regards to the site and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
- About Godzilla – a basic introduction to Godzilla
- Filmography – spans the entire Godzilla filmography, with some covering monster and weapon appearances, and condensed staff credits
- Monsterpedia – biographies of Godzilla and his many foes
- Videos – currently only hosting two trailers for Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
- Products & Event – features some Godzilla merchandise by JAKKS Pacific
- Fun Stuff – includes wallpapers for computers, tablets, and mobile devices
According to Toho’s Chief Godzilla Officer (CGO) Keiji Ota in an exclusive article published on ComicBook, the site “will be continuously updated as a source of news for upcoming Godzilla films including movie trailers and key art, events, fan content, new product news, and all future announcements. […] We’re thrilled to unleash a world of content around our most beloved Godzilla.”News // May 17, 2019
Hey everyone! Below is a 10 question interview I did with Jakks Pacific about their Godzilla King of the Monsters toyline (with some burning questions asked and answered)! Enjoy!
How did it come about that Jakks Pacific came to work on the Godzilla King of the Monsters line?
We have several Godzilla fans on the Jakks team, some of whom have worked on Godzilla toys for the last movie, and this is a property we were interested in for a while. We regularly work with Legendary Films and Warner Brothers and were just very persistent and passionate about our desire to do more than the 24” Godzilla that Jakks produced for Godzilla (2014). That figure was awesome, so it had to be a part of this line, but we wanted to offer more.
There are variations of the sets that I’ve reviewed and some of the releases vary in packaging/paint applications for King Ghidorah. For example, the Rodan set I got for review had one building while there are sets with two buildings included.
As sometimes happens with movie based product, we started development very late and had a very small product development window. We try to hit every detail on the first attempt, but when we can improve, we do. So, yes the product that arrived to retail shelves first was a little different. Additional paint deco was added to Ghidorah on the wings and heads of both the Monster Match Up smaller figure and the Monster Pack six inch figure. An additional set of buildings was added to both the Rodan and Ghidorah Monster Pack six inch figures. We know it is not ideal to do this, but also want people to understand that we want to provide the best value for the price.
Why are there no 20 inch figures of the other monsters outside of Godzilla?
The short answer to this is scale. Ghidorah is massive. If we were to make it in scale with Godzilla and Godzilla is 12 inches tall and 20 inches long, the product, packaging and price will all significantly increase. At the same time, we didn’t want to have too many of the same monsters in a bunch of different sizes. It just felt right to have the King of the Monsters be the biggest one.
The giant Godzilla had a little bit of a retooling done and a darker look for the mold yet the backplates are the same from the 2014 design. Why is this? In addition, why is it only available at Wal-Mart.com?
Similar to the above, the answer is that we wanted to make improvements from the first time around. The tooling is the same. We did adjust some of the colors. As far as distribution, Jakks partnered with Walmart for our Godzilla King of the Monsters line as a whole. Retail space is of course very tight and the 24” figure takes up a lot of shelf space. It just wasn’t feasible to have this on shelf. If you remember, Walmart didn’t have the 24” for the last movie either for the same reasons. However we did want to release it for those fans that missed it the last time and/or wanted and updated version.
Why is this line a Wal-Mart exclusive and not a more general release at include stores like Target?
Jakks felt like Walmart was the best partner for this brand. They share our excitement and enthusiasm for Godzilla and they wanted to support the brand in a big way for the year. We are very pleased to be partnering with Walmart on the program and achieving the broadest distribution of the full line.
In the 3 inch sets, there are different paint color schemes for Godzilla. What was the thinking behind this?
For the Monster Match Ups, we wanted to represent all four of the key monsters from the movie. Of course, most fans want to have Godzilla first and matching Godzilla up with Ghidorah, Rodan, and Mothra seemed to make the most sense. Of course some fans may be interested in only having one of the monsters and some will want them all. We didn’t want the fan who wants them all to end up with the same Godzilla three times. Then of course our design team has to make some decisions regarding what is the best means to differentiate Godzilla with paint. From there we took some liberties with regard to other decos of Godzilla which have been seen and were popular from previous Godzilla toys.
The Godzilla/Mothra set seems to be hard to find. Will there be another printing of this set or is it a one and done printing?
There really isn’t a chase component to the Monster Match Up figures, so this is likely just something that will resolve itself over time. Sometimes one character sells faster than another and it is not until most or all of the figures sell through that another master carton of product is available on shelf. Ultimately Walmart.com will be another resource to get all the items, although at the time I write this it looks like they need to get back in stock on a few items as well.
In the film, King Ghidorah doesn’t have a claw on his wing yet on the toy, it does. When in production on the film did you receive final toy designs and the production started?
It is absolutely true that the development timeline for a toy and for a movie are not in line. The director may still be tinkering with fine details of the film now while we needed to finalize our designs last July.
In both the 6 and 3 inch set, King Ghidorah has a lot of trouble standing on his own unless the wings are folded all the way up. Should there be a second printing of these figures, will adjustments be made to the design?
As I mentioned, we always review our lines to see if there are ways to improve them. This is likely a physics and center of gravity challenge. We have a limited ability to adjust the product stance based on where the articulation points are and the size and weight of the figure and its wings. We will look into this further, but I can’t promise we can solve it 100% that all poses will result in the figure standing perfectly.
Which monster was the most difficult to design for the line? Easiest?
Each monster has its own unique challenges and opportunities from a design standpoint. The first of course is that we are trying to keep them all in at least a relative scale when they vary in size in the movie. Scale is important to the story telling, but if we went to true scale, Mothra would be significantly smaller than Ghidorah and not have the same value as a toy. As far as specific details, getting the colors right on Rodan and Ghidorah were tough. There isn’t necessarily a true, base color to work from. The lighting and shading of the characters in the movie varies, so Rodan can go from a muted red to almost a dark black. We want the base colors of both to look good. Then we added the decoration to the wings both so it doesn’t look too flat but also shows the detail in the sculpt. Mothra has very colorful wings and we wanted to execute those as best we could so we used a different process which also makes the wings more flat. Godzilla of course is the one everyone wants to work on and make sure to get correct. The simplest of details can become complicated because we are trying to be as perfect as we can within the limits we have for the size of the figure. All in all, Jakks is really excited for everyone to see the line that many people on our design, engineering, and packaging teams have been working on for the last a year. The passion of the Godzilla fans is a fun thing to be a part of we hope Jakks can enhance your enjoyment of the Godzilla franchise in some small way. Everything we have seen of the movie is spectacular and we are certain you all will not be disappointed this summer.Interviews // May 3, 2019
As reported by Variety, Toho will be expanding a subsidiary in the U.S. to more closely work with Hollywood. While Toho has been keeping details under wraps, this move is part of the company’s “Toho Vision 2021 Medium-term Management Strategy,” a plan that is described as being a content, platform, and real estate strategy with a goal of beating 50 billion yen in profits.
The “Vision 2021 Plan” will see an increased business focus on Godzilla, Toho’s most famous monster, as well as “full implementation of JAPAN IP on a global scale.” Toho’s General Manager and President of Sales Division Hiroyasu Matsuoka will be the subsidiary’s representative director.News // April 19, 2019
The panel for Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) at 2019 Monsterpalooza in Pasadena, California on 4/13/2019. The video runs for a little under 40 minutes.News // April 14, 2019
The first live-action movie based on the highly popular Pokemon series, 2019’s Pokémon: Detective Pikachu features the voice talent of Ryan Reynolds in a mystery-comedy being produced by Legendary, Warner Bros., and Toho.
April 10th update
Limited edition cards will be given out to those who attend screenings of the movie, with a press release regarding this event being available below. Click the image for the full resolution version. Image courtesy of Warner Brothers.
SEE “POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU” OPENING WEEKEND FOR A CHANCE TO CAPTURE EXCLUSIVE NEW POKÉMON TCG: DETECTIVE PIKACHU TRADING CARD
Advance Tickets on Sale Now for May 10th Nationwide Release
Burbank, CA – April 10, 2019 – Moviegoers eager to see “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” on its North American opening weekend beginning with early shows on Thursday, May 9, will be the only fans who can get a special limited edition Detective Pikachu trading card.
Through this first weekend and while supplies last, each guest will receive an exciting two-card pack from the new Pokémon TCG: Detective Pikachu series of collectible trading cards from The Pokémon Company International. One card will be randomly selected from the series currently available at retail locations and featuring select Pokémon in their CGI likeness as seen in the movie. The second is guaranteed to be a limited-edition Detective Pikachu card available to those early-bird fans who are among the very first to catch this first-ever live-action Pokémon adventure on the big screen.
Tickets for the highly anticipated “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” go on sale nationwide today, April 10, at 9:00 AM PDT, although advance purchase does not guarantee the Pikachu card bonus, which is based on theatre attendance and supply.
To view the entire Detective Pikachu card collection and for all things Pokémon, go to www.pokemontcg.com/detectivepikachu/
Also, a special “Casting Sneak Peek” video has made its way online:
Lastly, a graphic novel adaptation of the movie is in the works by Legendary Comics, with details below. Click the image for the full resolution version. Image courtesy of Warner Brothers.
Legendary Comics Announces Official Movie
Graphic Novel Adaptation for POKÉMON Detective Pikachu
The companion graphic novel based on the highly anticipated live-action
feature film to hit stores and online in Summer 2019
LOS ANGELES, March 14, 2019 – In anticipation of this summer’s big-screen adventure POKÉMON Detective Pikachu, the first-ever live-action Pokémon movie with a cast led by Ryan Reynolds opening May 10, Legendary Comics announced at Emerald City Comic Con today the official movie graphic novel POKÉMON Detective Pikachu. Written by Brian Buccellato, with art by Nelson Dániel, it is set to debut online and in stores in Summer 2019, following the film’s release. The graphic novel draws inspiration from the upcoming film that is based on the beloved Pokémon brand—one of the world’s most popular, multi-generation entertainment properties and one of the most successful media franchises of all time. Readers are invited to follow along as lead character Tim Goodman, played in the movie by Justice Smith, journeys through Ryme City searching for his missing father. With twists and turns around every corner, nothing is more twist-y than Tim’s unexpected partner: a Pikachu with a penchant for coffee and danger, and the amazing ability to speak human language. In a city where humans and Pokémon live together in harmony, unexpected dangers surround them as they try to solve a mystery. Follow Facebook.com/LegendaryComics for the latest news and updates.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to work with The Pokémon Company International,” said Robert Napton, Senior Vice President of Legendary Comics. “Pokémon is a globally-adored brand, and we absolutely loved expanding the story of POKÉMON Detective Pikachu onto the page with the help of Brian’s words and Nelson’s art.”
“Legendary Comics has done an outstanding job of bringing the world of POKÉMON Detective Pikachu to life in the form of this graphic novel,” said Heather Dalgleish, Director of Publishing at The Pokémon Company International. “We’re excited to be working with the Legendary Comics team on this initiative and can’t wait for readers to dive in to this Pokémon story.”
From Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures, POKÉMON Detective Pikachu will be released in theaters nationwide on May 10, 2019.
February 26th update
A new trailer for the movie has been released. Running for 2 minutes 30 seconds, footage reveals several more Pokemon in the movie’s highly-detailed style, and dives even deeper into the mystery surrounding Tim’s missing father. Toho Kingdom has been given access to a higher quality version of the trailer, the highest quality that can be found online, which can be viewed below.
Also coinciding with the trailer’s release is a new poster. Click the image for the full resolution version. High-quality image courtesy of Warner Brothers.
And lastly, some press notes have been released:
The world of Pokémon comes to life!
The first-ever live-action Pokémon adventure, “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” stars Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu, the iconic face of the global Pokémon phenomenon—one of the world’s most popular, multi-generation entertainment properties and the most successful media franchise
of all time.
Fans everywhere can now experience Pikachu on the big screen as never before, as Detective Pikachu, a Pokémon like no other. The film also showcases a wide array of beloved Pokémon characters, each with its own unique abilities and personality.
The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to work together, as Tim is the only human who can talk with Pikachu, they join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.
“POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” also stars Justice Smith (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”) as Tim, and Kathryn Newton (“Lady Bird,” TV’s “Big Little Lies”) as Lucy, a junior reporter following her first big story; as well as Suki Waterhouse (“Insurgent”), Omar Chaparro (“Overboard”), Chris Geere (TV’s “Modern Family”), with Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (“Godzilla,” “The Last Samurai”) and Bill Nighy (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”).
The film was directed by Rob Letterman (“Goosebumps,” “Monsters Vs. Aliens”), from a screenplay by Dan Hernandez & Benji Samit and Rob Letterman and Derek Connolly, story by Dan Hernandez & Benji Samit and Nicole Perlman, based on “The Great Detective Pikachu” video game developed by The Pokémon Company and Creatures Inc. It was produced by Mary Parent and Cale Boyter for Legendary Pictures, and Hidenaga Katakami and Don McGowan for The Pokémon Company. Serving as executive producers were Joe Caracciolo, Jr., Ali Mendes, Tsunekazu Ishihara, Kenji Okubo, Toshio Miyahara, Hiro Matsuoka, and Keiji Ota.
Letterman’s creative filmmaking team includes two-time Oscar nominated director of photography John Mathieson (“The Phantom of the Opera,” “Gladiator”); production designer Nigel Phelps (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Lies”); editors James Thomas (”Muppets Most Wanted”) and Oscar winner Mark Sanger (“Gravity”); and costume designer Suzie Hartman (“RocknRolla”). The music is composed by Henry Jackman (“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”). Visual effects are by Moving Picture Company (“Wonder Woman”) and Framestore (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”).
Launched in 1996 to overwhelming response, the Pokémon brand is a global sensation that now encompasses a robust video gaming fandom with over 300 million units sold worldwide; trading card games available in 11 languages with more than 23.6 billion cards purchased; an
anime television series in its 21st season that is available more than 160 countries; and over 20 animated films; as well as books, manga comics, music, toys, merchandise, and apps, including the wildly popular Pokémon GO, that has been downloaded over 850 million times and is enjoyed
across the globe by fans of all ages.
“POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” opens in theaters on Friday, May 10, 2019.
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present a Legendary Pictures Production, in association with Toho Co., Ltd, a Rob Letterman Film, “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu.” It will be distributed outside of Japan and China by Warner Bros. Pictures, in Japan by Toho Company, Ltd. and by Legendary East in China.
As an added bonus, Ryan Reynolds uploaded a video, “Becoming Pikachu”, on his YouTube channel.
January 21st, 2019 update
A new TV spot titled “Understand” has been released. While largely comprised of footage from the first trailer, it does feature some new clips with Pikachu and the human cast. Toho Kingdom has been given access to a higher quality version of the teaser, the highest quality that can be found online. The TV spot runs for 30 seconds.
November 12th update
The first trailer for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu has dropped. As per tradition, Toho Kingdom has been given access to a higher quality version of the trailer, the highest quality that can be found online. It runs for 2 minutes 28 seconds, and features Pokemon both new and old in a completely new style.
To coincide with the trailer’s release, an updated poster has been revealed. Two versions of the poster are available below. Click the images for their full resolution versions.
Finally, the movie’s official press release can be found below.
The world of Pokémon comes to life!
The first-ever live-action Pokémon adventure, “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” stars Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu, the iconic face of the global Pokémon phenomenon—one of the world’s most popular, multi-generation entertainment properties and the most successful media franchise of all time.
Fans everywhere can now experience Pikachu on the big screen as never before, as Detective Pikachu, a Pokémon like no other. The film also showcases a wide array of beloved Pokémon characters, each with its own unique abilities and personality.
The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.
“POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” also stars Justice Smith (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”) as Tim; Kathryn Newton (“Lady Bird,” TV’s “Big Little Lies”) as Lucy, a junior reporter following her first big story; and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (“Godzilla,” “The Last Samurai”) as Lt. Yoshida.
Directed by Rob Letterman (“Goosebumps,” “Monsters Vs. Aliens”), the “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” creative filmmaking team includes two-time Oscar nominated director of photography John Mathieson (“The Phantom of the Opera,” “Gladiator”), production designer Nigel Phelps (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”) and Oscar-winning editor Mark Sanger (“Gravity”). Visual effects are by Moving Picture Company (“Wonder Woman”) and Framestore (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”).
Launched in 1996 to overwhelming response, the Pokémon brand is a global sensation that now encompasses a robust video gaming fandom with over 300 million units sold worldwide; trading card games available in 11 languages with more than 23.6 billion cards purchased; an anime television series in its 20th season that is available in 98 countries; and animated films that have grossed more than $700 million at the box office; as well as books, manga comics, music, toys, merchandise, and apps, including the wildly popular Pokémon GO, that has been downloaded over 650 million times and is enjoyed across the globe by fans of all ages.
“POKÉMON Detective Pikachu” is set for release on Friday, May 10, 2019.
The film will be distributed outside of Japan and China by Warner Bros. Pictures, in Japan by Toho Company, Ltd. and by Legendary East in China.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/detectivepikachumovie | @detectivepikachumovie
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/detectivepikachumovie/ | @detectivepikachumovie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/detpikachumovie | @detpikachumovie
Official Hashtag: #DetectivePikachu
October 3rd update
Courtesy of Warner Brothers, another variation of the Pokémon: Detective Pikachu title is now available with a white background. Click the image below for the full resolution version.
August 26th, 2018 update
Warner Bros. has released the official title treatment for their 2019 live-action movie, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. Click the image below for the full resolution version.
The movie’s social media links and official site have also been updated, and can be found at the following web addresses:
Regarding why the movie went with Detective Pikachu as the lead character as opposed to the protagonist of the ongoing Pokemon anime, Ash Ketchum, IGN was able to sit down with the movie’s director, Rob Letterman, to learn just that: “The Pokemon Company, they’ve already made many, many movies of Ash, and they came to Legendary with this idea of using a new character. So when I came onboard, I was pitched this character of Detective Pikachu […] And because there’s already been so much work done with Ash, for the first live-action movie I thought it was a really good idea to try something new with a new character, but bake it into the universe of Pokemon.”
Letterman goes on to say how the movie is being developed closely in conjunction with The Pokemon Company, Game Freak, The Pokemon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara, long-time Pokemon illustrator Ken Sugimori, and others. He also goes on to say that, while he has an affinity for Pokemon from “Generation I” (the first 151 Pokemon), audiences can expect to see a “good spread” of Pokemon from old and new generations to appear in the film.
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu will star Justice Smith as Tim Goodman, a character searching for his missing father while being aided by the titular star; Kathryn Newton as Lucy Stevens, a reporter working alongside her partner Pokemon, Psyduck; and Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Detective Pikachu, whom Letterman praised: “There was something delightful about that big personality and voice that he has in this small package. There’s something really fun about that idea. It sounds like a mismatch, but it’s really organic. It’s really hilarious, they’re hilarious together.” The movie is expected to hit theaters on May 10, 2019.News // April 10, 2019
The panel for Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) at WonderCon in Anaheim, California on 3/30/2019. The video runs for a little under 19 minutes.
*Notes: At approx 16:48 in, the audio briefly drops.News // April 3, 2019
On September 6th, 2017 I was lucky enough to be invited onto the set of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” in Atlanta, Georgia. (See right – Photo taken on the set of the Monarch Arctic Base.) Unlike the set visit for Kong: Skull Island, this was a solo trip. Included in this piece are audio interviews with O’Shea Jackson Jr., who plays Chief Warrant Officer Barnes, along with Producer Alex Garcia and Executive Producer/co-writer Zach Shields.
I do want to stress that there ARE plot points and spoilers in this piece and I would suggest that if you are wanting to go into the movie with the freshest mind possible, turn back now. Wait until the movie comes out on the 31st of May and then come back and check out this piece.
**Both audio interviews have edits (some obvious and some not) for the sake of flow.**
The set visit began with watching O’Shea Jackson Jr. and the rest of G-Team aboard the mock Osprey aircraft. Giant screens on either side had a cloud effect on both sides as hydraulics moved the Osprey (really just a tube set with windows meant to look like the Osprey). If you’ve seen that shot online from Mike Dougherty’s Twitter account (see below), that is the Osprey from the set. Below are my notes from watching filming.
Shake test wth O’shea jr. Big blue screen. Orange x’s. Set on hydraulics. Part of airplane. Looks like set from Rodan scene in Mexico. Soldiers flying away in storm caused by Rodan bursting out of volcano. Large led screens have cloud effect on them on loop. They are mounted high up and surround the set.
Osprey crashes into water. Prior to this, Oshea radios for mid air evac. Flying away from Isla de Mona.
INTERVIEW: O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Chief Warrant Officer Barnes)
This interview took place between setups during filming on the Osprey. Topics covered are his character, getting the part, his history of being a Godzilla fan, and his influences.
*correction: I state in the interview that Zone Fighter is considered to be canon. This is more of a grey area because Zone Fighter’s canonicity is still up in the air, though Japanese publications still like to include the show when mentioning the later Showa era movies and monsters.*
Click the image below to download the audio file.
Total Runtime 21:04
I’m going to preface this section by saying that right now, these notes will make NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. They’re recorded as I saw them and I was trying to get as much information as I could without being able to take photos. These are aimed squarely at those who are fans of set design and/or curious about every single possible detail in the film. Until you have seen the movie, ignore these and come back to them later if you so desire.
Click the images to download the audio files.
Total Runtime: 16:35
INTERVIEW: Producer Alex Garcia and co-writer and Executive Producer Zach Shields
In the last interview of the day, I was driven by van into an offsite “art room”-for lack of a better term-with Alex and Zach. It was a big room with concept art hung around the room-a lot of it really awesome looking! A couple of maquettes were in the room as well. A sort of Smaug-styled early King Ghidorah and on the other side of the room, a sort of feathered, eagle-faced version of Rodan. Topics include a quick rundown of the film, changes in the design and the Monsterverse after Godzilla vs. Kong.
*correction: When discussing the Godzilla Marvel comic series, I mistakenly state that Godzilla battled the Helicarrier when I meant the Behemoth airship.*
Click the image below to download the audio file.
INTERVIEW: Mike Dougherty
This interview took place in Mike’s trailer during a quick break from filming. Due to audio issues, it had to be transcribed. Topics covered are how he got the job, Easter eggs, and his love for the franchise.
Interview transcribed by Jeremy Williams with editing by Chris Mirjahangir.
Chris Mirjahangir: Alright, so first question is, how did you get the call? Because you were doing writing first, but how did you get the call to even be a writer?
Mike Dougherty: No, they asked me to direct it first.
Mirjahangir: Oh ok, that was announced later then.
Dougherty: Yeah, it was just announced later.
Dougherty: Yeah I had finished Krampus, it was I think March 2016, somewhere in there, Spring. Gareth had just departed the project and Legendary had asked if I would be interested in taking over, and I very quickly said yes.
Mirjahangir: So, you’re a fan straight from the get-go.
Dougherty: From the beginning, I mean I have been watching Godzilla since I was born, that was mid 70’s, and so he was really just coming into his own in America, so I grew up on a very steady diet of the original movies coupled with the Hanna-Barbera cartoon. So every Saturday morning I started with the Godzilla cartoon. And then my local station piggybacked the old movies after the cartoon. And then that was followed by old black and white monster movies, followed by kung fu movies. So Saturday was a very potent education as far as Godzilla goes.
Mirjahangir: So basically the whole Showa era.
Dougherty: Yeah completely, and then I just grew up with him from there, and continued watching them into the Millennium (Series), you know.
Mirjahangir: Was it one of those things like you’re a fan of and then your friends are like what the hell are you watching that for?
Dougherty: No, my friends, I mean I would get my friends into it. I mean the entertainment options were way more limited back then than they are now. So watching Godzilla movies on a Saturday afternoon was a great way to spend the day and so I just sort of preached the gospel of Godzilla and brought my friends into it. And I also I grew up with one of my first toys was the old Shogun Warriors Godzilla.
Mirjahangir: I have one of those.
Dougherty: Which is why I have the Rodan behind you.
(Mike points to the Shogun Warriors Rodan toy on his desk)
But, so he was just everything.
Mirjahangir: Yeah I remember the Shogun (Godzilla) one and how the fist would fly off.
Mirjahangir: While you’re playing with it and it would punch you in the face.
Dougherty: Yeah exactly, yeah it was one of my favorites.
Mirjahangir: Were there other Toho monsters that you wanted to bring in, or was it always these Godzilla, then Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah?
Dougherty: Well, they’re the kind of the crown jewels.
Mirjahangir: Yeah the big five (MechaGodzilla included but not in the film).
Dougherty: Yeah, you know it’s like, it’s the Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman of the Godzilla universe. And I have a love for many of the other creatures too. I love Mechagodzilla, for example. But these are the ones that just make sense; these are the ones that everybody wants to see on the big screen. They’re the icons of that universe.
Mirjahangir: Were there other ones that you were kind of trying to eek in a little bit?
Dougherty: I wanted to sneak in some Easter egg references to others, but even that is a complicated rights issue.
Mirjahangir: Yeah Toho can kind of be very…
Dougherty: They’re just, just very… they’re rightfully very protective of their characters.
Mirjahangir: So for this film, are you going to include any of the cues? Not like a full suite.
Dougherty: I would like to, that’s also under discussion and consideration. I would love to, I think the music and the character go hand in hand. It’s like, you don’t make a Jaws movie without the Jaws theme, you don’t make a Star Wars or Bond film without those themes. So fingers crossed we can at the very least have a tip of the hat.
Mirjahangir: Do you own the soundtracks?
Dougherty: No, well I own some of them, but yeah it’s still always going to be a complicated rights issue.
Mirjahangir: Yeah, but it’s one that when it comes in at the right time, that’s where you have the audience.
Mirjahangir: That’s fanboy tears, that’s everything.
Dougherty: Yeah, there will be plenty of fanboy tears, I promise you.
Mirjahangir: When you were picking them (the monsters to be in the film), you have Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah. Were you deciding like this one is gonna be an ally with Godzilla, or are they all gonna be enemies?
Dougherty: I mean, I think the lines are all pretty clearly drawn, the only rogue… the wildcard is Rodan. He’s the one that I think his loyalties can sometimes falter. Um, but I think we even acknowledge that fact. You know Mothra for the most part is an ally, King Ghidorah for the most part is always the antagonist. So we pretty much stick to what I think is expected of them.
Mirjahangir: So you did tweet out a picture of the Oxygen Destroyer.
Mirjahangir: Does that come to play in the film, or is that just like…
Mirjahangir: Alright I was like alright, cuz I thought you were just like paying homage to it or something.
Dougherty: It, it plays a role.
Mirjahangir: Ok, yeah.
Dougherty: Definitively… yes.
Mirjahangir: So now practical effects.
Mirjahangir: I saw you had Tom Woodruff, who I’ve seen around Monsterpalooza and everything. He’s part of it. Did you reach out to other people at Toho like Shinichi Wakasa to bring in?
Dougherty: It was, it’s not just Tom, it was a team effort. We had Tom Woodruff, we also had his former colleagues at Legacy Effects. Which was previously Stan Winston’s company. We also had two of my creature designers from Krampus onboard, Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma. It was, I pretty much grabbed the most talented creature designers I knew and sort of assembled a new team and everyone sort of had a crack at a different creature. So Tom and A.D.I., they cracked Rodan… for the most part. Legacy took on Ghidorah and Mothra.
Mirjahangir: What guidelines did you give them?
Dougherty: To look at the original creatures and distill those silhouettes and those key traits into something more modern, but while still also turning to… The two biggest influences were the original designs and nature. So if you’re taking a crack at Rodan, you don’t want to just look at dinosaurs and Pteradons, you want to look at vultures and eagles and the hawks and other birds of prey. Because what we know about flying dinosaurs now is different than we knew back in the 60’s. We now know that dinosaurs and birds are very closely related. So it only makes sense that Rodan might have certain bird-like traits, or body language, for example. Ghidorah, you know we want to create an iconic Asian style dragon, but the scales of that creature can’t look like Godzilla’s; they can’t just be the scales from the old movies. So I had them look at scales from every different kind of reptile imaginable. You know, alligators and cobras and monitor lizards, Komodo dragons, so it was really fun. That was like one of my favorite parts of the process, trying to distill the look of these iconic creatures that we know and love into something that we would believe now. Mothra being the biggest challenge, because you can’t just take a moth and blow it up and call it Mothra. It’s like there are distinct traits that she has, but there are also so many different varieties of moths out there. It was a matter of looking at all of them across the board and trying to figure out, ok, what bits and pieces can we take from all these different kinds of moths to create something that is beautiful and elegant and feminine, but also intimidating and powerful.
Mirjahangir: Did you keep their sounds and roars?
Mirjahangir: Did you bring Eric Aadahl back from the first one?
Dougherty: Yeah, but Eric and his partner Ethan actually. E squared is their company.
Dougherty: So they worked on the first film and same rules applied, I sent them every variation of King Ghidorah’s roar, every variation of Rodan.
Dougherty: Same thing with Mothra and said, ok this is where you start, so then I want the same musicality, the same melody, and essence of these roars translated and updated to something more contemporary. There are so many variations.
Dougherty: And emotional states, so yeah it will be an ongoing process. But I had them even for our previz animation, they layered in certain sounds, and then on set at the soundboard where I was playing different roars depending on the creature that was.
Mirjahangir: So you have Godzilla fighting Kong in the next one.
Dougherty: I don’t. *laughs*
Mirjahangir: No well I’m just saying in the Monsterverse you know, generally.
Mirjahangir: Is it fair to say that one of the enemies or at least a few of them may perish in this film?
Dougherty: Maybe. *laughs*
Mirjahangir: Good enough, that’s fine.
Dougherty: No spoilers. *laughing*
Mirjahangir: Yeah alright, so with Thomas Tull being a massive Godzilla fan… how active was he with helping shape the story and picking the monsters and everything?
Dougherty: I’ve known Thomas for a very long time now, we’ve done three movies going on four movies together now. So he’s a very close collaborator and every chance we had, we would get together and pow wow and kick ideas around. But he was also really respectful in letting me go off and have my time to shape the story and the characters. And then do a proper presentation, a pitch presentation with the artwork and everything else. But yeah, I mean we still text back and forth.
Mirjahangir: Does he um… I mean how big of a fan would you say he is, does he have a big collection?
Dougherty: Yeah, he’s a very big fan, I mean he dreamt of doing a Godzilla film and a Kong film probably as long as I have.
Dougherty: And so fate happened to bring us together, and here we are.
Mirjahangir: So you have Haruo Nakajima and Yoshimitsu Banno who passed away this year.
Mirjahangir: Will you have any sort of homages or anything in like the end credits or…
Dougherty: We’ll see. I’d like to. I think it’s appropriate.
Mirjahangir: How long did it take you to kind of compose the story, crack the story, whatever it is?
Dougherty: It was a process. I mean, I started with like a one-two page treatment. It was very rough, just the basic beats and a very rough sketch of the characters. And then from there we did a writer’s room. My writing partner Zack Shields and I ran a writer’s room. We brought in a group of other writers and then continued to build on that treatment. And then it took about a full year to really to get the script in place and into a proper shape. And then um, you know it’s an ongoing process, we’re still, we’re everyday adding lines. Even in the scene we’re shooting today. Always looking for any opportunity to just make it a little bit better if possible. So the writing process never ends, it’s, you know, you write it once on the page, you write it again when you shoot it, and the again in post. So it’s an ongoing process. But it took about a year to get just the script together.
Mirjahangir: And then you had Max Borenstein working on it for a little bit, is he still active?
Dougherty: He was working on an old draft of the script. And then we pretty much started over from scratch.
Mirjahangir: So what year did you begin everything? You said 2015?
Dougherty: Spring 2016.
Mirjahangir: So the monsters, you know, Rodan, Mothra, they all kind of had their own sort of personalities.
Mirjahangir: You know Rodan, if you look at Ghidorah (1964 film) he’s kind of a prankster and stuff. Will those kind of continue on? Not from those original personalities, but they’ll be individual, they’re not just monsters smashing stuff?
Dougherty: Yeah, no it’s very important to me. I always refer to them as characters, you know. So whether it’s the previz animators or even how the actors think of them. They are characters, that is why they’re on the call sheet. You know, so they have to have distinct personalities and traits and quirks. You know, I think Ghidorah is gonna have a very cruel personality, but there is a sense of humor and mischief. It’s not a comedy by any means, but there’s a certain sense of curiosity. Because in my mind he’s like Rip van Winkle. You know, he wakes up and he doesn’t recognize any of this world. You know, so he’s never seen a jet before, he’s never seen a tank, a ship, human beings with guns. And so there is a certain part of our world that he is curious about and puzzled by. You know, so that has to come across. You know, it’s like Rodan is a very protective, almost divine presence, you know. So it’s important to me that they’re not just treated as monsters. They are just very large animals with a distinct thought process.
Mirjahangir: So no Mothra twins or anything, kind of got rid of that?
Dougherty: There might.
Mirjahangir: Ok, I saw two identical twins kids there, two boys and I’m like hmm.
Mirjahangir: On the set, but I guess one of them is the stunt kid.
Dougherty: Oh, one’s the stunt kid, yeah, yeah.
Mirjahangir: I saw them sitting together and was like, wait a minute.
Dougherty: I’m not gonna turn the Mothra twins to boys, yeah, I would never do that.
Mirjahangir: Ok, so do you see really far ahead down the line, like thinking, ok this probably won’t make it. But this would be really good for an extended cut?
Dougherty: No, not yet, I mean that all depends on where the dust settles with the cut. You just never know, like something that you think could be in the movie ends up on the cutting room floor and vice versa.
Mirjahangir: Yeah, but then it would be just like if I could have a request? Just pile on the deleted scenes. Kong got like four minutes.
Dougherty: Well you know fingers crossed that we don’t really have many.
Mirjahangir: In updating them (the monsters), assuming you went everything Showa and just kind of ignored the 90’s for design or whatever you wanted to.
Dougherty: No, we looked at everything.
Dougherty: Looked at everything across the board. I mean there’s good and bad things about every era.
Mirjahangir: What would you say is the bad thing about say the 90’s versions?
Dougherty: I’m not gonna say anything bad. There are positive aspects of every era. There are bits and pieces of influences that we looked at and carefully thought about including. And what you’ll see is hopefully something that you’ll enjoy and pays proper tribute to the character.Interviews // March 21, 2019
As seen at New York Toy Fair, here are high-quality images for two of NECA’s upcoming figures for their Godzilla: King of the Monsters toy line – Godzilla V2 (2019), and Rodan (2019)! The irradiated blue Godzilla comes with an attachable blast effect piece, while Rodan comes with a support rod and display base. Q3 2019 release for both figures.
Click the thumbnails to see the larger version images. Huge thanks to NECA for sending over these amazing images!
Likewise, NECA’s Godzilla (2019) and Mothra (2019) figures have been consolidated below. Both figures have a Q2 2019 release.
GODZILLA V2 (2019)
MOTHRA (2019)News // February 17, 2019
As shared in an article on Business Wire, the JAKKS Pacific’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) toy line is expected to make its full debut at New York Toy Fair. The event starts today and lasts until February 19th.
While the majority of toys have been previously revealed, price details are now available.
3.5-inch Monster Battlepacks – $9.99
There are three sets available featuring Godzilla and King Ghidorah, Godzilla and Rodan, and Godzilla and Mothra
6-inch Monster Figures – $14.99
Includes the monsters King Ghidorah (with destructible city and Argo Jet accessories) and Rodan (with destructible city and Osprey Helicopter accessories)
12-inch Godzilla Figure – $19.99
This articulated Godzilla figure stands 12 inches tall and is over 20 inches long
Godzilla Electronic Mask – $24.99
A mask that growls when the mouth is partially opened, or roars when fully opened with additional lights
24-inch Godzilla Figure – $59.99
The largest figure this line has to offer, this “giant size” Godzilla has numerous points of articulation and stands 24 inches tall with a length of over 36 inches
The line will be launching worldwide exclusively at Walmart in April 2019.News // February 16, 2019
Included below are several preview images of the box art for NECA’s upcoming Godzilla 1962 figure! The incredibly nostalgic front cover utilizes a modified Japanese poster from King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), while the back and inside covers showcase even more artistic flair.
Godzilla 1962 is expected to be released within the first quarter of 2019. Click the images below to see their full resolution versions. High-resolution images courtesy of NECA.News // January 31, 2019
Jakks Pacific has revealed their, rather expansive, Godzilla King of the Monsters toy line to coincide with the upcoming movie from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. The toy line hits in April, in advance of the May release date of the movie in the United States. Items range from 6 inch figures, to giant 20 inch or 40 inch figures and even an electronic Godzilla mask. The 6 inch figures also come with a military vehicle, which are an Osprey Helicopter and an Argo Jet. The entire line will be a Walmart exclusive. More info to come.
Check out images of the line below. Click the thumbnails to see the larger version images. Huge thanks goes out to Jakks Pacific for sending over these great images!
The following toys are collection packs. Each contains a backdrop, a Godzilla figure and a figure of one of the other monsters from the film: Rodan, King Ghidorah or Mothra. Please note, though, that one of these sets contains, potentially, a large spoiler for the movie. As a result, please view the remaining toy images at your own risk.
Excited for the Jakks Pacific Godzilla King of the Monsters toy line? Have a favorite figure of them? Feel free to leave your comments below talking about the line. Also, note that due to the spoilerish nature of one of these toys, expect comments might similarly also spoil this and read at your own risk as well.News // January 10, 2019
A followup to the interview with Steven DeKnight (Pacific Rim Uprising, Daredevil, Spartacus) from March 2018, this interview covers not only Steven’s earliest Godzilla memories but he also gives a real in-depth look at creating Pacific Rim Uprising and big budget Hollywood films in general. This interview is a real must listen for aspiring film makers and those curious about the film making process.
The file is about 35MB with a length of 38 minutes.
Interview conducted November 14th, 2018 at Steven DeKnight’s office in Hollywood, California.
Special thanks to Brook Worley for securing the interview!
Original article image from Collider.Interviews // December 23, 2018