Gareth Edwards

Josh Trank filming Chronicle

The obvious initial reaction to hearing that Josh Trank will direct a standalone Star Wars movie: could it be shot as a found footage film? That’s because we so far only really know him for the found footage superhero film Chronicle. But the guy is now working on the Fantastic Four reboot for Fox, and there’s no way that’ll be in the same style. Neither will his Star Wars spin-off or one-shot or whatever you want to call these side installments. The only way a found footage Star Wars movie would make any sense is if it was released as a feature-length hologram. That said, Trank has actually already made a found footage Star Wars fan film (watch it down below), so maybe Disney and Lucasfilm want him to expand on that. Trank joins Gareth Edwards as the second filmmaker to be assigned one of these movies, and unlike Edwards he’s not been able to prove himself worthy with a major blockbuster-size budget yet. We still have a little over a year before The Fantastic Four comes out, though, and Trank’s entry isn’t due until 2018. Another thing that’s interesting about this announcement is that it looks like Disney is stealing Trank away from helming the Fantastic Four sequel. Claims that Disney and its Marvel subsidiary are plotting against Fox and its reboot of the Marvel comic franchise have been rebuked, but I bet this news will be taken the wrong way as part of that rumored battling between the studios. […]

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Godzilla 2014

In order to convince David Straithairn’s Admiral Stenz not to use nuclear power to annihilate the giant behemoths quickly approaching American soil, Ken Watanabe’s Dr. Serizawa brandishes a deceivingly quotidian object: a stopped pocket watch. It was Dr. Serizawa’s father’s during the bombing of Hiroshima, an instructive moment in history now literally frozen in time as a cautionary token. Though Ken Watanabe looks nowhere near 70, my (I thought, reasonable) assumption during this scene of Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla was that Dr. Serizawa’s father had immediately perished alongside tens of thousands of others during the infamous 1945 atomic bombing. But regardless of this emblem’s status as a memento of death on a massive scale, that Dr. Serizawa’s father survived Hiroshima and Dr. Serizawa is a healthy mid-50s man now seems far more likely considering this film’s view of tragedy. Despite its keeping with the summer movie tradition of mass destruction, despite its conflagration of images evoking recent tragedies from the Fukushima to Katrina, and despite updating a film 60 years its junior that was in no way afraid of dealing with violent devastation head-on, 2014’s Godzilla is not a monster movie about understanding tragedy. It is instead a rather strange film about survivors, and it demonstrates how disingenuously low-stakes studio summer movies have become.

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Rancor from Return of the Jedi

First he made Monsters, then he made Godzilla, so the next logical step is for Gareth Edwards to make a movie about the Rancor creature from Return of the Jedi. Or should he instead give us the origin story of the Sarlacc or maybe the Space Slug from The Empire Strikes Back? The news that Edwards will direct a stand-alone Star Wars spin-off movie has to be about him tackling one of those. The guy doesn’t do movies that don’t involve monsters. Okay, so his venture into a galaxy far, far away will likely involve a more popular character than any of those giants, but I bet we will at least see some kind of monsters in the movie, whether this will be the young Han Solo adventures or a Boba Fett movie or something that more directly spins off from next year’s Star Wars sequel. According to Lucasfilm, the installment from Edwards already has a release date of December 16, 2016. That’s almost exactly twelve months to the day after the release of Episode VII. Joining Edwards is screenwriter Gary Whitta, who last gave us the disappointing outer space adventure After Earth, which was directed by M. Night Shyamalan. You may remember that that movie also was based around a giant monster. Are we sure this new Star Wars movie won’t be a monster movie? The origin story of the Acklay from Attack of the Clones, maybe? No, let’s say that Edwards is set on delivering his biggest creature yet. That means […]

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Vertigo FIlms

Gareth Edwards‘ Godzilla is currently stomping and chomping its way through multiplexes around the world, and it was his feature debut four years ago that played a big part in getting him the gig. Monsters is an unassuming little film that cost less than 1/160th the budget of Edwards’ follow-up while dealing with some similar dynamics — namely very big monsters and very small people. They’re different beasts though as Monsters is a more intimate tale featuring just two people for most of its running time and only revealing its titular creatures with any degree of clarity in the third act. The film didn’t make much of a splash at the box office, but beyond catching the attention of the right people it also showed Edwards to be a highly capable and multi-talented filmmaker — in addition to writing and directing he also handled visual effects, production design and cinematography. A sequel seemed like a no-brainer, but Godzilla meant it would have to go forward without its creator. Monsters: Dark Continent retains Edwards as an executive producer, but Tom Green (“Misfits”) is directing from a script by Jay Basu (Dante’s Inferno). The action leaves the first film’s US/Mexico border behind for more monstrous shenanigans in the Middle East, the cast has increased from two to what looks like dozens and the long silences have been replaced by some rough rap lyrics. Check out the trailer for Monsters: Dark Continent below.

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Warner Bros./Legendary

Gareth Edwards‘ Godzilla is this summer’s second wannabe blockbuster chronologically, but on a more qualitative scale it’s a hell of a lot better (and on its way to being more successful) than The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It’s a solid piece of summer entertainment that satisfies the senses with breathtaking visuals, tremendous sound design and a true sense of scale and power. It’s also dumb as Godzooky. (Well, almost.) Awesome parts aside, the film features several moments and scenes that left us bewildered and scratching our heads. Of course it’s a summer movie, a monster movie to boot, but the argument that a movie can’t be both fun and smart is a non-starter. This one leaves a lot of unanswered questions behind — admittedly far fewer than the hilarious Pacific Rim did — so we’re here to ask them. To be clear, this isn’t where I ask why the film repeatedly cut away from the massive monster destruction happening in Honolulu and Las Vegas just to follow the lame human stories. Or why the Brody family was conveniently located at the center of each and every monster attack. Or how Godzilla, a 300 foot-tall monster, manages to sneak up on anyone. Or why a certain character billed as a lead– well, let’s get to the actual unanswered questions about Godzilla. Spoilers below obviously.

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Godzilla Watanabe and Strathairn

The following is a discussion of where the Godzilla franchise could go now that a sequel has been announced. There are some minor spoilers for the reboot currently in theaters, so you might not want to read this until you’ve seen it.  It’s already been given the green light, and now it’s time to speculate what we’ll be seeing in a sequel to Godzilla. According to Deadline, the follow-up will be back at Warner Bros., the studio that put out this past weekend’s $93m-grossing blockbuster, even though now the film’s production company, Legendary Pictures, is working with Universal as its primary distributor. There’s also mention of an ongoing legal dispute, but that probably won’t be enough to keep Godzilla 2 from stomping into theaters in the summer of 2017. The first question on most people’s minds is who or what will the King of the Monsters fight next. Apparently, Legendary only has the rights to the title character, so there’s a possibility that we won’t be seeing any of the other giant creatures (or robots or, thankfully, offspring) from the Toho franchise. Of course, Legendary could dole out more money for use of Mothra if that’s the case, but is that really want we want, a rehash of stuff seen before?

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Godzilla Through Goggles

Godzilla isn’t just a monster. He’s more than just an ancient Japanese movie god. He is an icon of science fiction, more responsible than any other creature for bringing kaiju films to the awareness of the world. Sure, Gamera is cool too, but the international cinematic community hasn’t quite embraced the giant turtle the way they have this giant lizard. Since his debut in 1954, Godzilla has become a household name, and his appearance is legendary. Even with the hiccup that was Roland Emmerich’s 1998 attempt (resulting in a creature that is rejected as proper canon to the series), Godzilla has remained the king of the monsters, literally getting bigger and bigger every year. (Seriously, he’s now more than twice as tall as the original from 1954.) These films sure are fun to watch, but when you see enough of them, you can’t help but wonder: Could a creature the size of Godzilla actually exist? Could we make our own?

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind gas masks

When there’s a new remake out in theaters, the most obvious instruction I can have for you is to watch the original. Unless it’s a remake of something bad, I guess, but even then I think it’s necessary to go back and see the previous effort, for historical sake. With Godzilla, there are tons of predecessors. There’s another list to be written — and I think a few sites already have done so — recommending which past movies starring the King of the Monsters are worth seeing. I’ve actually only seen the first one from 1954, so I couldn’t be the authority on that anyway. As far as I know, there might even be something worthwhile in the 1998 remake that everyone hates. I never saw it (though I did see a bit being filmed when I lived near one of the locations) so I can’t argue for or against it. Instead, this week’s recommendations consist of other movies that clearly influenced the newest version (and some, the original), as well as some necessary earlier films of talent involved in the remake, plus a few titles that I was reminded of while watching that I think are relevant. And to make it easy on you, to ensure that you catch up with all of these titles  I’ve chosen, I note the easiest way for you to check out these films right now, thanks to the website Can I Stream.it?. As always, this list contains spoilers for the movie in focus, so only read […]

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Bryan Cranston in Godzilla

It’s obvious why director Gareth Edwards was chosen to helm another American reboot of Godzilla. His feature debut Monsters showed he could achieve spectacle on the cheap, build a convincing world inhabited by monsters, and, best of all, fill that world with compelling characters. It was a human story that happened to have monsters looming in the background. With Godzilla, it’s a shame it’s not the other away around, because the stunning CG creatures are far more entertaining than the humans they play second fiddle to. That’s unfortunate for many reasons, including the film’s very promising prologue. Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche play Joe and Sandra Brody (in what’s likely a nice nod to Jaws), a married team who work together in a Japanese power plant. Sandra is checking on an electrical problem when a massive accident happens, causing the destruction of the power plant, the evacuation of the city, and her death. Fifteen years later, their son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is living in San Francisco with his wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen). He’s in the military, so he’s been away from home for a little while, but he returns only to learn that his father has been arrested in Japan, which means reluctantly flying across the world to help. When Ford gets there, Joe strikes him as the same paranoid lunatic he remembers from growing up, but this time his father has proof there was a cover-up of the real cause of the disaster that killed Ford’s mother. That cause? Monsters. Not Godzilla, though, who the film wisely plays as the misunderstood hero he is.

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Godzilla Hand

If you’ve appreciated the tact taken with the Godzilla marketing so far, how we haven’t really seen much of the monster, you might not want to watch the new international trailer. If you want to know as little as possible before the remake arrives in theaters, just close this post and go read about our favorite movies of the Tribeca Film Festival (or jump over to Nonfics for the documentary version of that list) or anything else. But if you’ve been dying to see some prehistoric giant monster action, then today is your lucky day. If you aren’t afraid to know what this new Godzilla is all about, keep on reading this post until you get to that embedded motion picture box and click on the play icon. I’ll join you again on the other side. 

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Blurry Godzilla

Just show us the monster already! I believe I’ve seen this in a number of comment threads below articles about Warner Bros.’ upcoming Godzilla reboot. People want to see the big guy, standing out in the open, in the light of day. But up to this point the best look we’ve received is the one above from the latest extended look trailer (seen below). Nerds don’t want to be teased only to find themselves watching a movie where all the best stuff happens at night in the rain (ahem, Pacific Rim). Yet while the marketing department is playing mostly coy with the beast, there’s a heavily understated reason why you don’t need to see a lot of Godzilla and whatever other monsters exist in this movie. And it’s all tied to the film’s ambitious director Gareth Edwards.

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Godzilla

How do Americans always lose track of Godzilla? Back in ’98, the big guy could slip behind a couple skyscrapers and the entire military would just stand around scratching their heads, despite the existence of planes and satellites and so, so much equipment that is perfectly useful for keeping tabs of a giant green dinosaur. Well, he’s slipped out of our fingers again. Judging from Bryan Cranston‘s powerful, shouty voiceover at the start of this new Godzilla trailer, it sounds like the government had themselves a slight Godzilla problem back in 1954, but they were able to sweep all that nonsense under the rug. From the looks of it, it somehow involved reducing him to a skeleton, which make the modern day monster Godzilla #2. And the American people never had a clue. Unlikely as it may be, it’s a neat conceit for a Godzilla movie and a clever little way of paying homage to Ishiro Honda‘s original film. It’s also an excuse to see a skyscraper-sized lizard stomp across human civilization, which is really all anyone cares about.

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Godzilla 2014

Check out the new Godzilla. You’ve already seen some of his destruction in the first trailer for the Godzilla remake, but we haven’t yet seen the big monster or heard him roar. Some may scoff at this kind of thing because, who cares really? It’s just another sound effect from yet another rehash straight out of the Hollywood remake market. Or is it? With director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) on the job, we’ve got plenty of reasons to be interested. It’s an American retelling of a monster classic, a guerrilla director given a studio budget and from what we’ve seen so far, it’s faithful as all hell. Now we get a peek at the big guy’s full design courtesy of Empire and an official soundbite of the roar. If you’re gaining interest in this Godzilla reboot, today is a big day for you.

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Godzilla and Hollywood never really gelled in the way you’d expect. One’s a skyscraper-sized dinosaur with a penchant for punching other monsters in the face; the other’s an industry that adores skyscraper-sized dinosaur punches. Somehow, the two never had that perfect meet-cute. And the one time Hollywood (and Roland Emmerich) got a shot at the big green guy, the results were, well, less than stellar. As it stands, our greatest contribution to Godzilla lore is probably the 1992 Nike ad, “Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley,” and the later comic book adaptation that followed. But all that will change (hopefully) with Gareth Edwards‘ reboot of the classic monster franchise, the simply titled Godzilla, which today gets its very first teaser trailer. As a tease, everything comes together in a concise, 500-foot tall package. It may be a little lengthy as far as teasers go, clocking in at two minutes and twenty-one seconds, but the majority of the trailer is a single sequence – a group of soldiers making a HALO jump (think military parachuting) and promptly freaking the hell out as they see how much destruction a single Godzilla can wreak. From there, we’ve got quick cuts of each cast member looking up in horror at something off-screen, and then…well, just see for yourself.

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vertigo-shoots-monsters-dark-continent

Gareth Edwards is hard at work demolishing most of Hawaii for his upcoming Godzilla reboot, but it was his first feature, Monsters, that gave him the monster movie street cred to earn a shot at Japan’s premiere giant lizard. And it seems that Monsters is continuing without him. What made the first Monsters so special was Edwards’ deft touch with the beasties that bear the film’s name. Shot with less than $500,000, Monsters used that shoestring budget to accomplish the feat all creature features aspire to: the alien menace (in the form of glow-in-the-dark space octopuses) was rarely ever glimpsed onscreen, but its presence was felt throughout the entire film. And though Edwards will only contribute to Monsters: The Dark Continent as an executive producer, the film’s first teaser trailer demonstrates that his sparing use of monster madness will live on. All we see here is a single shot (which is impressive in its own right), giving us a slight glimpse at the space octopus menace, and illustrating that even the most hardened of combat troops are seriously freaked out by whatever was left in their wake. Check it out after the break.

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god

Roland Emmerich‘s Godzilla was somewhat of a disaster. Not in how it was another “disaster movie” from Emmerich, but in terms of pure banality. With such a wonderfully iconic monster, the end result wasn’t what it should’ve been. Even the design of the creature felt all wrong. It’s been 15 years since we’ve seen Godzilla on a canvas that big and, despite the box office success of Emmerich’s film, we (thankfully) haven’t had to sit through more of that Godzilla interpretation. With next summer’s reboot, director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) doesn’t want to simply make another piece of disaster porn. He’ll have Godzilla, and plenty of other monsters, roaming the world, but during the film’s Comic-Con preview over the weekend, Edwards appeared far more interested in the characters we’ll see played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, and Elizabeth Olsen. For Edwards, in addition some realistic camerawork, the three of them are what will ground this movie. If you want to know more about how Edwards grounded this monster pic and what to expect come next summer, here’s what Edwards and the cast had to say about the film at Comic-Con:

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Godzilla Remake Poster

Everybody knows what Godzilla looks like, and it’s been pretty clear that Gareth Edwards and the rest of the minds behind the upcoming remake won’t be straying too far from the big guy’s iconic design. Even so, any glimpses at the newest incarnation are sure to leave monster fans shaking in anticipation. Today we can begin the shaking. The official Twitter account for Godzilla just gave us a look at a new poster for the film, and it’s more than a little impressive. Just from the tail we can infer the sheer size of the beast, and how utterly unconcerned he seems with a trio of helicopters moving in for the attack. It’s quite literally a tease of the new Godzilla design, taunting us all by keeping the juicier details just out of view.

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Frank Darabont

Though Frank Darabont’s translation of Robert Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead” comic book from the page to the small screen for AMC was a process full of tumult—given that Darabont famously fired his whole writing staff after the first season and was eventually replaced as show runner himself—it’s hard to argue the fact that the foundation he laid in creating that show was a solid one, and has resulted in a huge hit for AMC that has captured the attention of horror fans all over the world. So it should come as no surprise that his next project is going to involve working with genre-heavy material once again. Deadline is reporting that he’s just been brought on board Legendary’s upcoming reboot of the Godzilla franchise to give their script a final rewrite. The script, as it currently stands, was written by The Seventh Son scribe, Max Berenstein. Darabont’s hiring is coming at the same time that Legendary is having disagreements with two of the producers on the film, Dan Lin and Roy Lee. The basis of the disagreement seems to be that Lin and Lee were two of the people at the beginning of Legendary’s deal to license the Godzilla rights from Japanese production company Toho, so they feel that they should be getting more money than Legendary is giving them, and Legendary feels like they’re in their rights to drop Lin and Lee, which would still leave three of their people on the project with producers’ credits as well as […]

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Despite its slim runtime (93 minutes) and bare bones cast (it essentially starred just two people, including rising star Scoot McNairy), Gareth Edwards’ remarkable 2010 indie, Monsters, didn’t balk at crafting a mythology that’s primed for expansion (and, in Hollywood-speak, primed for sequels). And though Edwards will not be returning for the film’s sequel, Monsters: The Dark Continent, his structure and ideas appear to be quite present in the new film. At least, if the project’s first synopsis is to be believed. ShockTillYouDrop (via ComingSoon) has reportedly gotten a hold of the official synopsis for Monsters: The Dark Continent, and it tells us in no uncertain terms that the film will see a return to the “Infected Zone.” The first film introduced us to the area – nearly one half of Mexico bordering the United States – as our protagonists journeyed through it, encountering terrifying creatures who apparently came to Earth six years prior, thanks to a NASA probe that went awry. The film ended, however, with (spoiler alert!) both our heroes and the electricity-hungry creatures reaching American soil. So, if our “monsters” have broken free of their zone (and, indeed, they have), why head right back into the place it all began?

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What is Movie News After Dark? First, it is hoping that you had a great weekend. Because it did. It went to the drive-in, had great movie discussions and watched a Michael Bay film about ‘splosions. It looks forward to spending the week sharing with you the hottest tids and bits of the movie news world. Second, it’s not a person. It knows this. This makes it sort of sad. Christian Annyas has curated a very interesting gallery of prints by Saul Bass (a personal favorite of mine), and the DVD covers that have come from his work. It’s sad to see so many companies ditch the poster designs and opt for simpler DVD cover designs, is it not?

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