Monday, 5 May 2014

"Let them fight!"

Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures have just released their latest international trailer for Gareth Edwards' (Monsters) Godzilla.

There is, of course, Bryan Cranston's (Breaking Bad) physicist Joe Brody battling the authorities to find the truth about the big beast his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Ford's wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and son (Carson Bolde) and scientist Ken Watanabe.

Edwards has also been speaking to Popular Mechanics about the movie, which includes lots of inspiration from a certain Manga anime. "I think one of the most visually breathtaking films ever made is Akira. In terms of films you're jealous you didn't make, Akira is in my top ten for sure," he says. "My concept designer, it's his favorite graphic novel. We pulled all our favorite moments from Akira and had this library of reference, so whenever we got stuck, or we ever felt like a sequence wasn't inspired enough, or we didn't know exactly how to give it that edge to made it feel as epic as we could, we would always thumb through the Akira imagery and suddenly get a wave of excitement or a new direction."

And he was happy to be able to get the support of Godzilla's creators for the new effort. "Toho was a partner on the movie, and I was very lucky that I got to go over there before we started pre-production and meet with the whole studio. I had the whole tour and even got to hold the Oxygen Destroyer, which is what killed Godzilla in the original movie. They even gave us the original sound files for his roar for us to base our roar off."

After the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Lucky Dragon 5 incident still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was conceived as a metaphor for nuclear weapons. As the film series expanded, some stories took on less serious undertones portraying Godzilla as a hero while other plots still portrayed Godzilla as a destructive monster; sometimes the lesser of two threats who plays the defender by default but is still a danger to humanity.

Gojira (a portmanteau of the Japanese words: gorira 'gorilla' and kujira 'whale') first appeared in Ishirō Honda's 1954 film Godzilla. Since then, Godzilla has become a worldwide pop culture icon starring in 28 films produced by Toho Co. Ltd., best known for their Kaiju creature features such as Mothra, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, and Rodan. The monster last appeared on Western screens in Ronald Emmerich's inane reimagining of Gozilla in 1998.

With David Strathairn (Lincoln), Juliette Binoche (Cosmopolis), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Victor Rasuk (Jobs) and Akira Takarada (star of the original 1954 classic) among the cast, Godzilla will menace our cinemas on 16 May.

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