Excited about the latest Godzilla trailer? Maybe curious how the staff of Toho Kingdom felt as well? If so, read on for the staff’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer reactions, both from those at Comic Con where it was unveiled and those of us who saw it for the first time at home.
Also, be sure to leave your own reactions to the trailer in the comments section.
On July 21st, I was fortunate to be invited to Warner Bros. Hall H panel at San Diego Comic Con with the goal of covering the panel and checking out the new trailer. When the time came and the lights went low, the energy in the room went up and the room was filled with cheers and applause (the guy next to me was going crazy with every reveal) and when the trailer finished, it left everyone in the room hyped up for the film.
The trailer for me was more of a slow burn for me. I had to watch it a few times later to really appreciate how great it was. My initial reaction to Claude Debussy’s Clair De Lune was one of a small groan-not because there’s anything wrong with the piece, it’s just that it’s the “save game” music from games “Evil Within” parts 1 and 2. I heard that music so much when I played the games (which was a lot) that it would just pop into my head at random times when I wasn’t playing.
What I did really enjoy is how the music goes off into majestic epicness which really gets the goosebumps going. It’s pretty cool.
Incidentally, this is NOT the first time the piece has been used in an official capacity. It was also used in a café scene in Terror of MechaGodzilla (1975). Skip to 41:14 to hear it in the film. Here it is by itself (Thank you Spacehunter M!)
I don’t think it was intentional on the part of the marketing dept. Just a happy accident.
Further impressions of the trailer show the movie to be very colorful. Quite a bit of blue in this one and it looks great cinematography wise. Outside of Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah are mostly shown either obscured by water/shadows or in quick flashes to great effect. The film seems to be aimed at the younger fans while keeping a more epic visual style that both current Godzilla fans and future Godzilla fans will greatly enjoy which I feel is the way for this film to go. For any franchise to continue its life, it’s always the younger fan that gets the torch passed to them to carry on and to pass down to future generations.
If there’s one nitpick for the trailer, it’s this mysterious guy with glasses at 1:21 and upon a glance, would look like he was smiling. But, it’s not a “smile” that a living person can do. He even moves a little weird and it’s a little distracting once you notice him. He almost seems like he’s placed in there as an Easter Egg or something. Hopefully I’ll get my answer in the film.
All in all, it’s a great trailer and I’ve seen quite a bit of positiveness and excitement about the film. Awesome job to everyone at Legendary and Warner Bros. and I can’t wait to see the final film!
For me, this trailer couldn’t have come at a better time. Off the heels of the newly released Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (2018) via Netflix, which I had an initially strong mixed reaction on, this SDCC trailer felt like a much needed adrenaline shot in the arm. A reminder that we may have potentially some of the best Godzilla material waiting for us after the release of the last anime movie and that there will be a healthy and diverse future for the King of the Monsters. Needless to say, I’m psyched. The trailer shows just enough, but also leaves a lot open as what exactly will happen, as any good trailer should. The footage shown, the dialogue choice, the music piece… All finely brewed into what I personally consider to be the best (Godzilla) trailer ever made. It’ll be a very interesting beast once it’s released in theaters, and hoping the story is more fleshed out compared to (rumored) initial screenings. I recall hearing back when Legendary had acquired the rights for Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah… I had my worries that putting those three into one movie would be too much of a gamble or too stuffed with plotlines only serving as a means of setting up future entries in the MonsterVerse (worst case examples I can think off of the top of my head are Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the infamous 2017 reboot of The Mummy). But after seeing the trailer, many of those qualms have been put to rest. I now personally have faith in Dougherty that he and his crew will be able to create a balanced movie that offers both the explosive monster action and emotional human drama that ties things together. It’s ambitious, daring even. It’s no easy feat to pull something like that off, so we’ll see what the results will yield come 2019.
Naturally, with the trailers comes what’s shown; and that obviously means monster talk. Already satisfied with the design seen in Godzilla (2014), I was happy to see that most of Godzilla’s base characteristics remained relatively untouched (and any alterations helped improve the design, even if minuscule). I will say, the elongated dorsal spikes really help evoke something seen in a classic Godzilla while still maintaining a fresh look at the same time. The additional blue light around his neck and eyes when charging / firing his atomic breath are also very much welcomed changes.
Rodan, from what can be seen, almost reminds me of his Heisei-era counterpart in a lot of ways, all while being nowhere nearly as stiff and a lot more fleshed out in terms of mobility and ferocity. The glowing embers tattered across his wings are also a superb touch that harks to the volcanic-dwelling nature from the original Showa-era Rodan (maybe even a call-back to Fire Rodan?). But from what’s demonstrated in the trailer, we’re easily looking at a Rodan with the same sense of fear-instilling dread that’s gone unseen since the original Rodan (1956), so it’s incredibly exciting to see Rodan come back, full force in a way that hasn’t been quite seen in any of the Godzilla movies.
Mothra and Ghidorah, admittedly, are harder to comment on in terms of design (as most of their shots have them obscured by a waterfall, mist, or storm clouds), but the silhouettes very much promise a faithful yet Americanized interpretation of these two. Even so, the trailer promises the two are going to see a nice bit of action; for me personally, I’m really curious to see how well Mothra competes with the other three and see if the Larva (seen in the bit where Millie Bobbie Brown’s character, Madison, is about to touch her) gets any significant screen time or not (I personally have doubts, but one can never know for sure).The rest… I already said it. The song choice of Claire de Lune fits perfectly (and an interesting continuation of using classical pieces for the MonsterVerse Godzilla movies, much like how 2014 used Requiem for Soprano famously used in 1968 space epic 2001: A Space Odyssey), the actors are stellar, the imagery is both beautiful and apocalyptic… I’ve already sung my praises for this trailer enough already. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to watch the trailer until the next anime movie comes along!
My initial viewing of the new Godzilla King of the Monsters trailer was actually negative. I was not a big fan of the 2014 Godzilla and given that the new film will be written by the same screenwriter, I immediately felt skeptical when I heard the lines about “rightful rulers” and humans as an infection and so on. Vera Farmiga’s speech just didn’t make any sense. So humans are an infection, and the world has a defense system, and that defense system is the Titans, so we have to wake up the Titans to save everyone? Didn’t you just say that the Titans were going to KILL everyone? Listening to her rant, I was getting flashbacks to the equally nonsensical stuff about Godzilla trying to establish balance in the first movie, and the terrible writing in the Godzilla Awakening graphic novel.
Still, I think it is dangerous to judge the story too hastily from a teaser trailer. Furthermore, as some have pointed out, Vera Farmiga’s character seems to be given a villainous depiction. Perhaps she even wants to destroy all of humankind. I frankly don’t want to guess too much–I would prefer to watch the final film and judge from that.
Perhaps more important than narrative nuggets are the appearances of the monsters. I thought the monster scenes were surprisingly gorgeous. Not just impressive special effects, but truly gorgeous in composition and lighting and angle. The ghostly hues, shimmering lights, sweeping wings, and bursting blasts of energy are fantastic! I remember being impressed by Rodan’s stylish entrance in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), but this new burning Rodan takes the style and ratchets it up with his stunning shot astride an active volcano. Each of the shots of Rodan as well seem to be referencing the classics, from the jet fight to the volcano home. Mothra’s entrance, if anything, seems even more beautiful, and King Ghidorah remains mostly shrouded in shadow and mystery–as he should be this early in the game.
Based on the trailer, Godzilla and Mothra seem to be situated as the hero monsters, with King Ghidorah and Rodan situated as the evil ones (just from the color-coded scenes alone these alliances seem apparent). Personally, I am happy to see Godzilla taking a more direct hero role, and if he is actually using something like Morse code with his backfins–hey, I approve. I love that stuff.
The human characters seem a bit cliched still, as Millie Bobby Brown seems to be playing a special girl who can maybe communicate with Mothra hedging her a bit close to Eleven territory again. I really like Kyle Chandler, but I sure hope his character is more interesting than the one he played in King Kong (2005). I’ve been a minor fan of Chandler’s ever since Early Edition, and while I don’t expect he will be receiving any magical newspapers in this movie (though I would love to see that), I hope to see some likable heroics from him. And I do hope Zhang Ziyi has more than just a glorified cameo and a few awkward scenes to bring in the Chinese audience.
As for the music, at first I hated it. It seemed to contrast too much with the action going on and I just wanted to roll my eyes. Now I can kind of appreciate the music a bit more as it underscores the sense of wonder the monsters create, but the song is not very memorable. The final score, which I hear will incorporate some Ifukube, I trust will be much better..
So far, so good. I can see that Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah are all three really appearing in the movie, which is more than I can say for a particular monster film I won’t name here. I am still worried about the story, but the movie looks really beautiful, and I am hoping for the best. The trailer, I think, puts a pretty good food forward.
Though… am I the only one who kind of wishes the main character from the first movie should make some kind of reappearance here? Ford may have been kind of bland in the first film, but having a bit of human continuity would add interest to the movie I think. Maybe Milly Bobby Brown can add that if she becomes the new Miki Saegusa or something!
Overall, positive, but with my usual set of caveats!
During the build-up to this trailer’s release, there was a lot speculation and rumor. Probably the most interesting information that was found during this time was when people began looking into the official website for Godzilla King of the Monsters, and found a thumbnail for a “redband trailer.” This idea, to me, didn’t seem too far fetched, given Michael Dougherty’s history in the horror genre, and the possibilities of a new R-rated Godzilla had me excited.
Suffice to say though, that isn’t what we got. In fact, I’d say we got the opposite…
This trailer sucks. It opens upon weirdly apocalyptic imagery as a woman rants about how the “Titans” are earth’s rightful rulers. Personally, I find this very tonally clashing, as I felt Godzilla 2014 and Kong Skull Island did a very good job establishing a mysterious, conspiratory tone for the monsters in the Monsterverse. For me personally, that tone was one of the things I liked in those movies.
But hey, this is a different movie that needs to stand on it’s own, right? Right, however any hopes that this film could be interesting are soon thrown out the window with the rest of the trailer… in particular when the little girl says presumably to Vera Farmiga’s character, “you’re a monster!” Implying that the humans were the real monsters all along. Not like we’ve been hearing that moral since the early 1900’s!
One thing that particularly stands out to me is the god awful color palette. Say what you will about Godzilla 2014’s awful DVD transfer, but one of the things that movie did well was its color palette. As I stated above, the film presents the monsters in a very cryptozoological way, and the palette reflects this. Most of the time, we see the monsters at night with a lot of black, and day sequences are usually gray, and very rainy. In addition to being associated with mystery or intrigue, these are very neutral colors that don’t distract from something colorful happening on screen like guns or flares being fired. This film on the other hand? When Godzilla’s on screen EVERYTHING’S BLUE. When Rodan is on screen, EVERYTHING’S RED. Any of the monster shots are monotone, because GODZILLA’S COLOR IS BLUE, DO YOU GET IT? It looks stupid, and actively distracts from something like Godzilla’s atomic ray, which simply blends in with its surroundings. Personally, I think one of the things that makes Godzilla’s ray so cool is how visually exciting it is. It’s sudden burst of neon blue against a mundane city or forestscape. Heck, seeing the tracking shot of blue rising through the darkness as Godzilla unleashed it was what made it so exciting in Godzilla 2014!
I suppose that leads us to the monsters themselves. As far as special effects are concerned, I feel the CGI is average. Nothing bad, but nothing good either. It will probably look dated in a few years. In terms of designs, I can’t say I’m a fan of Godzilla’s beer belly. Mothra looks fine, though I don’t think we see enough of her to judge too concretely. Rodan looks like the Fire Bird from Hanna-Barbera’s which I’m okay with, as I think the Fire Bird is easily the coolest monster from that series.
The music is probably my least favorite thing about the trailer. The trailer is all about how humanity’s at the brink of extinction, and monsters being earth’s rightful rulers, but the music sounds like it’s about the wonder of discovering something bigger than you. To say it clashes is an understatement! Even if taken completely out of context from the film, it just sounds like a sappy soundtrack trying way too hard to be John Williams. It’s composition is uninteresting, and the chorus doesn’t even sound real. Very sad, as I felt Alexandre Desplat’s score was easily a highlight of Godzilla (2014), with an excellent main theme, and eerie foreboding chorus work.
Also, gotta love the Marvel-esque one liner of “Long live the king,” in case you forgot those movies were successful. Shame too, as with better execution that could be an excellent line in a Godzilla film.
Overall, this is just a trailer which doesn’t always represent the final film, and I will not judge the film until I see it. However, as a trailer it has dumb dialogue, awful music, and overall looks far less professional than Godzilla 2014. Couple this with an editing error in a teaser released on twitter where a camera was visible in the background of one shot, and my expectations for this film have plummeted immensely.
After months of anticipation, the trailer for the next Godzilla movie has arrived – and it delivered a visual feast I’ve found myself indulging in over and over again. The haunting tune in the background sets the mood wonderfully as I find myself becoming wholly engrossed in this brief but very effective preview. Seeing familiar actors and actresses alongside their monstrous co-stars put a smile on my face, particularly Millie Bobby Brown and Ken Watanabe, but the monsters themselves easily steal the show. From Godzilla firing his atomic ray skyward, to Mothra spreading her vivid wings, to the giant silhouette of King Ghidorah – I just can’t get enough of it all. Rodan easily stood out among the crowd for me, its fiery wings and teased aerial battles with the military mesmerizing me every time. I feel like I spot something new with every rewatch of this trailer, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what Mike Dougherty and company have in store!
I thought Godzilla (2014) was excellent and I liked Kong: Skull Island (2017) even more. So, when I heard the news that Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat and Krampus) signed on to direct the next installment in the cinematic MonsterVerse, I thought Godzilla was in good hands. I was spending time with my family when this monster-of-a-trailer hit the internet and, no joke, I kept my cool. Seriously. I was perfectly calm and subdued the whole time. I mean, it’s just Godzilla. No big deal, right?
OK, so I made loud, chaotic noises that sounded like one of King Ghidorah’s mad cackles. I have no regrets because what I saw was fantastic.
Where to begin? Let’s start with the implementation of Claude Debussy’s Clair De Lune. It single-handedly elevated the trailer for me. It’s one of those melodies that you never thought would describe the kaiju eiga, yet it does and it’s beautiful. It showed mainstream audiences that there’s more to these giant creatures than being instruments of mindless destruction; it artfully demonstrated that they, like their human counterparts, are important characters, too.
Speaking of Godzilla, he looks fantastic. That part where he lit up the sky with his signature Atomic Breath? Epic. I’m looking forward to seeing my childhood hero show the world what we’ve known most of our lives: Godzilla is awesome.
But he isn’t alone! Godzilla brought friends (and an arch-nemesis). Rodan and Mothra might have stolen the show for me; Rodan, having been described by the film’s director as a “winged A-bomb,” might prove to be more destructive than the King of the Monsters himself. Having been treated to only a few quick cuts of the giant pterodactyl, I have a good feeling about this Rodan. As for Mothra, who has the distinction of being a divine monster, she is treated very well here. Like Rodan, we don’t see as much of her as we’d like, but there’s no question that Mothra will play a unique role in this film.
Then there’s King Ghidorah. His obscured appearance deliberately invoked a feeling of wonder and dread. Though we didn’t see much of him, we could most certainly see the apocalyptic effect he was having on the world.
I’m excited to see the monsters in all their glory; they are the main reason why I’ll be in theaters opening night (and every night, I imagine). But you know what? The human characters are a vital component to the storytelling process. We need them to be play a vital role and, as far as I can tell, they won’t disappoint. I’m thankful to have such a talented group of people share the screen with the King of the Monsters.
As a dinosaur loving child (and later adult), I often searched long and hard for movies about them and their prehistoric ilk. There was just something entrancing about that lost world; there was something new and mysterious to discover each time, some new wonder to bear witness to. And that is what the trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters fills me with: Wonder. The very premise fills me with it! The world has changed, the titans have risen up from the depths and the world is put in danger. Ancient ruins are uncovered, revealing remnants of prehistoric civilizations that worshiped these massive beasts. Worse yet, there are others who are awakening. Fantastical kaiju like Mothra, Rodan, and dreaded Monster Zero… Before this announcement of Kong and Godzilla having a rematch in 2020, this would have been my pick for the culmination of Legendary’s MonsterVerse. Scenes of apocalyptic destruction abound, showing a world reeling from the attacks of Rodan and King Ghidorah, a powerful looking Godzilla advancing into battle followed by human forces.I found it visually stunning, especially thanks to what will surely soon be iconic images (Godzilla firing his atomic breath skyward, Mothra behind the waterfall, etc). I was speechless and teary eyed following the trailer, even after multiple viewings.
In short, the trailer was breathtaking. It cultivated a sense of mystery with its various teases and the spectacular choice of music, feeding into the expanding scope of the MonsterVerse. I am again filled with that same sense of childlike wonder the first Godzilla gave me so long ago. I can’t wait to see where it all goes from here!
After a middling reaction to the latest Anime features with the character, I was ready to get excited for something Godzilla related again… and the trailer delivered. While I wasn’t overly thrilled with the human component, this trailer played to what many stated as a weakness with the 2014 movie by doubling down on the monster action. …and boy did we get monsters. One of my fears is that, with four Toho heavyweights in the same film, some would get treated as minor characters. While that still could be the case, the trailer gave no impression of that. Mothra, King Ghidorah, Godzilla and, most pleasantly for me, Rodan were all highlighted well.
I make it no secret that I love Rodan, one of my all time favorite characters and one who hasn’t been in the limelight in a truly great role since the 1960’s. That’s perhaps what made the trailer all the more memorable, as he got amble screen time here, while it was also great to see his shockwave brought to life in the manner it was.
While there are certain things I didn’t care for, the use of color filters gave me flashbacks to Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), I can say I’m the most excited I have been for something Godzilla related in a long, long time… and that’s a very welcome feeling.
As a member of Tohokingdom, I couldn’t help but take notice of the rumors swirling around a possible Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer. Speculation on what may be teased passed from member to member, but I felt a sense of worry abound as Comic Con neared. Would this movie ruin the classic designs of Ghidorah, Mothra & Rodan? Could the story be compelling? And my biggest fear probably to the shock of many, what overblown action score would surely accompany the trailer? I felt all these worries and more vanish as I watched the trailer.
The biggest take away from this trailer, compared to others, is the sense of beauty and scale associated with every new monster to the Legendary franchise. Each has its own element, figuratively and literally, with a dazzling color scheme to match. Mothra’s mystifying blues contrast the sharp golden flashes of Ghidorah or the fierce fires that linger off of Rodan’s form. While not fully revealing every monster, these flashes help establish the essence of each creature and showcase a relatively new but satisfying modern design. While Ghidorah, Mothra & Rodan steal the show in their own respect, I felt Godzilla was lacking his own unique element. His larger spines and more powerful breath did make me form a grin, but I will admit my excitement for the new trio do far exceed the King of the Monsters himself.
While the monsters and the shots used were overall fantastic, there were plenty of other great aspects across the trailer. The piano, choir and drums used to uplift the action was far from what I expected in regards to score, but in my mind were used fantastically. The suspected plot, one of worshiping the monsters and of the results that follow, looks interesting and the minor dialogue of the characters displayed sounded solid though definitely below Bryan Cranston’s “Stone Age” speech of the first trailer.
Overall, I watched the Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer with major reservations and while my expectations were dashed, I can definitely saw I was surprised and excited by the final result. Compared to the animated Godzilla trilogy we’ve been receiving or Shin Godzilla, I’ve overall felt disappointed with the recent fare of Godzilla media. After watching this trailer, I felt an excitement I haven’t felt in a while, so I can do nothing but look with positive anticipation for when the King of the Monsters returns in May 2019.
Bonus: Jason Liles
Jason Liles, with other credits including a performance as George from 2018’s Rampage, did motion capture work for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In fact, he did performances for both Rodan and King Ghidorah’s central head. To make this article a little unique, below are his thoughts and reactions to the trailer based on the film he himself worked on.
Saturday, July 21st, I was walking down the street to meet up with my publicist when I got a text from Alan Maxson and Richard Dorton, the other two King Ghidorah heads. The trailer was online and Hall H had just exploded from seeing it. The only way I’d be able to watch the trailer until I got home to our TV the following night was going to be on my iPhone with earbuds. It would have to do as there was no way I was waiting to watch this. I had no idea how blown away I was about to be.
I literally had tears in my eyes after seeing it. It was so moving, so beautiful, so epic. I had to watch it again. I was floored. I saw director Mike Dougherty later that night at the EW party. He lovingly gave me crap, “You watched it on your phone?!” But like I said, I wasn’t about to wait 24-48 hours to watch it. I knew once home that I’d watch it dozens of times.
As soon as my girlfriend Allie and I got home to Glendale, we spent a couple hours watching reaction videos on YouTube. We couldn’t get enough of it. It sent chills down my entire body every single time. It’s an emotional, visual, and musical roller coaster edited together perfectly. We wanted to hop back on and ride it just one more time, again and again. It’s like that one song you love that doesn’t ever get old. And to see fans responding so incredibly well to it through these videos? That’s one of the most enjoyable parts of making a film for me, outside of the process of actually being on set making it. To see fans flip out like we were was just amazing. Allie and I have watched reaction videos to it every single day the last week since we got back home. We’ve probably watched about 50 of them. Basically, if you made a reaction to it and put it on YouTube, there’s a great chance that Allie and I have watched it. Or will soon.
It’s rare that I get taken by a trailer in such a way how this trailer has taken me. To see fan polls and articles unanimously agreeing that it’s the best trailer to come out of SDCC 2018 is just surreal. To see the excitement fans have to see these creatures that I was lucky enough to help bring to life return to the big screen is a literal dream come true. This is the kind of project that I dreamt of being a part of when I was a kid. I couldn’t be more proud and more honored to be a part of it all. I’m so so thankful to my fried Mike Dougherty for bringing me on and giving me the chance to play such iconic characters in film history. It’s been at least several years since I’ve been this damn excited for a big summer release and we get to all anticipate it and enjoy the hype together. I’ll be there hiding in plain sight with all my fellow fans on opening night next May and probably at least half a dozen times the following week or two. Can’t wait to scream and cheer on this wild ride in the movie theater with you all!
In case you missed it, you can also check out the highest quality version of the trailer that can be found online below: