It's gotta be big!
This will be the biggest incarnation of Godzilla yet, according to director Gareth Edwards who toyed with the sizings of the kaiju behemoth for sometime before settling on his massive stature.
“We’re going to make the tallest Godzilla ever by far. We started doing bits of animation but if he was too tall – you’d see him straight away so we had to make him smaller. What we settled on he’s just taller than any other one so far. But you have to be able to hide him.” Says Edwards.
There will be monsters
Obviously there’s ‘Zilla but that’s not the only creature we can expect to encounter in Edwards’ movie. Exactly which or what, though, he won’t say.
“He will be meeting other creatures, which people are speculating on, and any more than that I will neither confirm nor deny.” Edwards conceals.
As long as it’s not Minilla or Godzuki we’re fine with it.
Gareth Edwards is cool
This maybe his Hollywood debut, and a massive leap in scale from his low-fi sci-fi Monsters but one thing the cast all agree on is that Edwards took things in his stride.
“It was very open, the camera rolling, no ‘cut’, in your own time. He left it open. It made you feel more relaxed. he’s a real leader and we all looked up to him, he was very calm.” Says Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
“I was more nervous than he was. He keeps a cool head – pleasant and calm and kind.” Agrees Bryan Cranston.
“Because of his background in special FX he can seemlessly communicate what he needs.” Says Elizabeth Olsen. “He did it with a sense of calm.”
Bryan Cranston's not funny
The Malcolm In The Middle and Breaking Bad actor won’t be playing for laughs (much) as the nuclear power plant worker father of Aaron Johnson’ military man.
“He’s a very sincere guy” says Cranston. “There was no room for humour in my character – well, a little bit. But it has to be organic – if it takes you out of the moment you fail.”
“When this guy does something serious he’s going to knock it out the park.” Agrees Edwards.
However, Bryan Cranston at the press conference was very funny.
“I play the title character of Godzilla" was his opening gambit.
Then later “I spoke to Gareth, he said ‘it has a very strong father/son component in it.' I said ‘That’s great, who’s going to play my father...?’"
Aaron Taylor-Johnson's front and centre
The supporting cast is epic – as well as Olsen (as Taylor-Johnson’s wife) and Cranston we’ll see Juliette Binoche and Ken Watanabe talking key supporting roles. But Edwards confirms Taylor-Johnson is very much the lead as the young naval officer trying to get back to his family when the monster strikes.
“He’s got such a soulful quality about him.” Says Edwards.
It's a people piece
Behemoths aside, the cast all insist this is a heavily character driven story, bringing with it some of the heart and sensibilities of Edwards’ sweet debut road movie/love story/creature-feature Monsters .
“If this was just a monster movie I wouldn’t be here.” Says Bryan Cranston. “Because he was able to drive this story into a very well developed character driven saga that's what made me want to be part of it. “
It's an emotional beast
“When we did the presentation to the studio I ended up wrapping it up talking about the emotion of the film. I think if people come out of this movie and haven’t had to stop themselves from nearly crying then I’ve failed. I think we’ve captured something where that could be the case.” Says Edwards.
There's plenty of action!
All the major cast members get involved in some meaty action/peril scenes.
“My role is very physically demanding, there are lots of opportunities to do cool things.” Says Taylor-Johnson.
“I had to be part of a massive group of extras all running in the same direction. There was something about being part of a massive group [that was exciting].” Says Olsen, though both hinted at some serious falling down things/hanging off things moments that they weren't allowed to reveal.
Then of course there’s the monsters. “They’re all performing to creatures.” Says Edwards. “Eyelines become really important.”
It's a natural thing
“The heart of Godzilla is the nuclear thing, the original is an analogy for Hiroshima, we haven’t done anything directly related to Hiroshima but we have addressed it, some of those issues do become part of the movie.” Says Edwards.
But in terms of its core: “Man vs nature is the reoccurring theme. If you’re going to take on nature you will lose.”
The film will be released 60 years after the original 1954 Godzilla , but that wasn’t a calculated thing.
“It’s happy accident that it fell on the 60 th anniversary.” Says Edwards. Still, it does present opportunities for a year of monster celebrations, and plenty of time to revisit ‘zillas old and new. Edwards knows his movies (he actually had the Blu-ray of the original Godzilla on the table in front of him when Legendary rang to offer him the gig) so we’re expecting something contemporary, heart-felt, fresh but with one respectful (giant) foot in the past.