With Bryan Cranston on board, we think 2014's Godzilla will be a credit to the Japanese legend
It’s a risky business, taking a legendary franchise and telling the same story with fancy technology, popular actors and a sky-high budget, and Godzilla’s remake is no different. But there are a number of things working for the 2014 reboot, and here are just 5 of them. Cynics, beware, this article is ?? with buoyant, unspoilt optimism.
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor Johnson in Godzilla
1 - Bryan Cranston
The second, more revealing trailer contains a desperate Bryan Cranston – playing scientist Joe Brody of course – attempting to relay the gravity of the situation and extract the truth from an unknown, presumably governmental body. The timbre of his voice brings back Breaking Bad memories, and with them a reminder of just how powerful an actor Cranston can be. If he can replicate even half of the energy he brought to Walter White, then Godzilla will have a remarkable central performance to complement the well-known story.
2 - Godzilla looks like Godzilla
Roland Emerich’s 1998 Godzilla was too lizard-like for audiences, who didn’t take the bait once Sony had spent most of their marketing campaign hiding the creature all those 16 years ago, only to reveal an oversized house pet; an iguana of epic proportions, treating New York like a toy. Flash forward to the present day, and Godzilla is much more fleshed out. A veritable monolith with craggy spinal protrusions and a terrifying wail sending reverberations through a decrepit city. The titular creature looks, for want of a better word, cooler.
3 - Godzilla 1998 was a flop, but a lucrative one
While many consider the 1998 reboot of Godzilla to have been a flop, it still performed well at the box office. It grabbed $379 million worldwide on a $125 million budget from the global market, which today would grant most films a sequel should a plot lend itself to one. Of course, we don’t want a vapid money guzzling blockbuster without any soul as an audience – we don’t see any of that money ourselves, quite the opposite in fact – but with a pre-established market, and the mistakes of 1998’s movie to go on, 2014 could see a deeper, more rounded attempt at the Japanese legend.
4 - Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. did it with Batman
The Batman franchise was such a hot potato back before The Dark Knight trilogy came along. Such an important character in comic-book folklore, destined to lay dormant on the big screen - in a cesspit of other failed page-to-screen re-imaginings? No. This wasn’t to be. Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros, alongside Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale reinvigorated the franchise for cinemas, offering up three of the finest action films you’ll ever see. Bale has since departed the DC enterprise, but that trilogy – especially the middle film, The Dark Knight – will always be remembered as the rebirth of Batman on the big screen. Now it’s up to them to give Godzilla the same treatment.
These teaser posters allude to the franchise's Japanese origins
5 - Gareth Edwards was a smart choice, and here’s why
Compared to some of the names Godzilla could have attracted, Gareth Edwards is relatively small time. He specializes in sci-fi, with his first real debut, ‘Monsters’ not hated – or indeed particularly loved – by the critics. He then stunned with In The Shadow of The Moon – a documentary about the manned mission to the moon by America, which, some conspiracy theorists might too describe as science fiction. But back to the point at hand: without a big name weighing him down, Edwards can approach Godzilla with less expectations on his shoulders. And considering he’s dealt with city-destroying monsters before, and not disastrously, we’d say Edwards is well placed to make Godzilla a success story.
So there you have 5 considered reasons why Godzilla will be good. If you disagree with them, take issue with our unblemished optimism or think our naivety is tantamount to stupidity, then please let us know in the comments section below. Godzilla, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins hits UK/U.S cinemas on May 16th 2014.
Godzilla - Coming in May