Godzilla (2014)

Fast and Furious 7 PosterRelease Date: May 16, 2014

Directed by: Gareth Edwards

Written by: Max Borenstein, David Callaham

Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Sally Hawkins

Synopsis:

A giant radioactive monster called Godzilla appears to wreak destruction on mankind.

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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Original

Godzilla movies are considered to be something of a joke to mainstream audiences in the States. Most people here probably haven’t even seen the original Godzilla from 1954, and only get their knowledge of the character from watching bits and pieces of the cheesy and innumerable sequels that used to get constant play on late night cable — and some people might even only know the radioactive monster from that abysmal reboot that Roland Emmerich made in the late nineties. God forbid. Because of all this, when you mention Godzilla to most people in Middle America, the first things that pops into their heads are actors in cumbersome rubber suits stumbling around in ridiculous-looking models of cityscapes, and cutaways to overly acted reaction shots from shrieking citizens inserted here and there. And heck, even people in the U.S. who have seen the original Godzilla from 1954 probably haven’t seen the actual Japanese version (called Gojira). Because, when it was released over here, they cut out 40 minutes of footage and inserted a subplot where Raymond Burr played a journalist caught up in all of the destruction, so that American audiences wouldn’t be asked to have to identify with people of another culture or something.

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aboutlastnight1

You’ve seen our preview of our most anticipated movies of 2014. Now put away those expectations for a bit and be patient, because it’s homework time. As you may know, each weekend I offer some recommendations for movies, both well-known and obscure, to see after you’ve watched that latest hot new release. I’ll be continuing this feature into the new year, so you can look forward to adding more to your backlog queue with titles tied to everything from The Legend of Hercules to Night at the Museum 3. First, though, I want to get a jump on some of the most obvious movies of the past related to the upcoming movies of the near future. These are primarily the original works receiving remakes in the first half of 2014 — or older works based on the same stories. And as usual, some are more popular and familiar than others. Couldn’t you just skip the old versions and go blindly into the new as if it’s a fresh property? Of course, and you can keep on listening to cover songs, too. And always see the movie instead of reading a book. However, if you’re interested in knowing your history and also being able to judge something with proper awareness of what came before, whether you want to make comparisons or not, read ahead and prepare yourself for the next six months of moviegoing.

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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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pacific_rim_thorp_Kaiju

Pacific Rim really screwed up the kaiju. I don’t mean that the way you think. The CGI in this film was beautiful — the meticulously crafted combat sequences reignited an excitement for computer generated nonsense that I’d not felt since I first watched Jurassic Park. The creatures themselves are majestic, inventive, and captivating, especially when they’re getting punched by gigantic walking nuclear cooling towers. I could’ve watched them wreak havoc for another two hours — easily — and not gotten bored. But as kaiju, an important archetype in 20th Century Japanese storytelling, they’re borderline offensive. To explain why I need to go back a bit.

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Marvel Studios Panel At Comic-Con

San Diego Comic-Con is a massive journey of discovery. Over the course of four days and five nights, people from all over the world converge on one spot to overload the tram system, punish the sewage system, hemorrhage hard earned cash for colorful plastic and printed pages, and take pictures of each other. In the midst of all that, we also find time to attend panels, catch up with creators, meet new people, reconnect with old friends, find the hottest upcoming trends, and get the early scoop on breaking news. This year the Film School Rejects were represented by two intrepid slack-jawed comic fans: interview specialist Jack Giroux and anger guru Robert Fure. We walked miles, spent hours in lines, followed CosPlay girls around the floor, and harassed the talent into giving us top secret information. After four days, two blackouts, a fist fight, and a cuddle session, here are our 12 favorite discoveries at San Diego Comic Con 2013.

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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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Pacific Rim Arm Mechanics

The dynamite is going boom this weekend with Pacific Rim, so we’ve got an interview with screenwriter Travis Beacham about building monsters with his brain. Plus, we present a handy pop quiz on earth-threatening, stories-tall beasts and some of the most ridiculous examples of them in movie history. You can play along at home, but just know that if you lose, Godzilla will find you and smash your house. And as a magical bonus, Geoff has some advice about how to approach working screenwriters on Twitter for advice. Speaking of which, you can follow Travis Beacham (@travisbeacham), interviewer Jack Giroux (@jackgi), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #24 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Godzilla Encounter

Although Godzilla won’t be terrorizing any Japanese cities for about 10 more months, the marketing team behind the reboot is already hard at work attempting to launch a viral media attack. With Comic Con mere days away, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. has set up camp in a warehouse in downtown San Diego, prepping for the convention. No details exist about what’s inside the building, but from the looks of the giant claw marks on the exterior, my guess is a prehistoric monster awakened from the depths of the sea by the power of nuclear radiation?

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Sally Hawkins

What is Casting Couch? It’s starting off the week right with a new round of casting announcements. Read on to find out which project is going to unite the dream team of Ellen Burstyn and Luis Guzman. Godzilla has found another puny human to knock over a building onto. Deadline is reporting that Happy Go Lucky star Sally Hawkins has just been hired to take what is being described as the last lead role in Gareth Edwards’ currently-filming Godzilla. Though Hawkins has become something of a big name in the indie world over the last decade or so, this will be her first role in a blockbuster film that utilizes big action and effects work and whatnot, so it should be interesting to see if she’s one of those actors who transitions well into doing larger scale work, or if she’s one of those actors who looks disengaged and out of place whenever they’re involved in something with a big studio label on it. You know, like James Franco.

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dashes

What is Casting Couch? It’s a roundup of all the day’s casting developments that are fit to print. Read on to find out about a cool cameo Gareth Edwards set up for Godzilla. Though she’s still in the early stages of her directing career, Lynn Shelton (Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister) has already proven that all she really needs is a couple of good actors and a room to shoot in, and she’ll be able to make a good movie. It stands to reason, then, that her next project could be the biggest thing she’s ever done, because Deadline is reporting that it’s close to landing a trio of high profile and extremely talented actors. Anne Hathaway, Chloe Moretz, and Sam Rockwell are all close to signing on for Laggies, which sees Hathaway playing an immature twenty-something who hides from her life for a week with her new teenage best friend (Moretz) after she’s spooked by a marriage proposal. Rockwell is reportedly up for the role of some old dude named Craig.

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tom-cruise

What is Casting Couch? An attempted rounding up of all the casting news that’s running loose out there in the wilds of cyberspace (does anyone still say cyberspace?). Read on to find out which big-name actor has become the cherry on top of the sundae that is Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla cast. Can Tom Cruise carry yet another franchise? Despite the fact that he’s already the face of the Mission: Impossible films, where he does the secret agent thing, and the fact that there are plans for him to do more Jack Reacher movies, which see him doing the private detective thing, director Guy Ritchie has decided to go after the veteran movie star to play the lead in his upcoming The Man From U.N.C.L.E. feature anyway. Deadline reports that the actor is currently negotiating to star in the project, which was once upon a time going to star George Clooney and be directed by Steven Soderbergh. Given U.N.C.L.E.’s history of problems, only time will tell if this possible Ritchie/Cruise pairing actually bears fruit. You have to see casting the guy who already launched an old spy show into a successful movie franchise as the new guy trying to launch an old spy show into a successful movie franchise as something of a desperate move though, don’t you?

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Horrible Bosses

What is Casting Couch? It’s here to help you keep abreast of which projects are appearing on your favorite actors’ upcoming calendars. Today we have news about who the latest talent to play Liam Neeson’s kid in a movie where Liam Neeson kills people is going to be. Hint: he’s part man, part machine, all cop. Despite the fact that the 2011 comedy Horrible Bosses took a talented ensemble of actors and generally failed to do anything funny with them, it’s looking like enough people paid to watch it that it’s going to be getting a sequel. THR is reporting that all three of its stars, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, have signed on to appear in a second go around. And, in addition to that, Jamie Foxx is said to be likely to return as the trio’s murder consultant—and there even might be room for Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey’s characters to return in cameo roles. Horrible Bosses writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have returned to pen the sequel, and Seth Gordon will return to direct. This would all sound like an incredible amount of fan-service, if I had ever met anyone who was a fan of Horrible Bosses. Oh well, maybe this one will be better?

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Tom Hardy

What is Casting Couch? It’s feeling a little left out this week since casting agents seem to be focused on getting their clients pilots for the next TV season, but it’s got a couple pieces of big movie casting news anyway. Chances are, as much as Tom Hardy’s face shows up in these casting updates, you assumed that he already had enough jobs to last him for the next decade or so. Turns out this isn’t the case. Whether or not Hardy actually gets around to starring in all of the projects he has in development will remain to be seen, but for now he has another gig to add to the pile. Deadline is reporting that he’s developing a new film with first time feature director Greg Williams called Samarkand. Much like the short film that Williams and Hardy collaborated on, Sergeant Slaughter, My Big Brother, this one will be dealing with the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental disorder that often plagues post-war combat soldiers. Williams co-wrote the script with his brother Olly, who reportedly has some real-life experience dealing with the issue. It will see Hardy portraying an SAS soldier returning from a tour in the Middle East and having trouble reintegrating with society. This is good news, because Hardy is even dreamier when he gets to keep his English accent.

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s the whitest casting round-up you know. Even though everyone knows that Godzilla is the true star of any Godzilla movie, there usually has to be some sort of human element on the ground to give the fire-breathing lizard’s destruction some sort of context. So Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla reboot is in the need of a principal actor, presumably a young and fresh-faced one, because Deadline is reporting that the newest actor they’re courting for the job is Aaron Taylor-Johnson. In addition to having the whitest name on the planet, you know Taylor-Johnson from recently blending into the wallpaper in Savages and shrinking into the background of Anna Karenina. Let’s hope that if he gets the Godzilla gig he’s able to rekindle a little bit of that spark he showed in Kick-Ass, because he certainly didn’t come out of 2012 looking like the next big thing.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Today was basically Godzilla day on the Internet. All sorts of news regarding Legendary Pictures’ reboot of the big green guy’s film series broke, and some of it involves casting. THR broke the news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was being looked at to star, but one of their writers, Borys Kit, was then quick to point out that his potential involvement in the film is long dead. Variety writer Justin Kroll then jumped in with the news that a few names that are still possibilities for the project are Henry Cavill, Scoot McNairy, and Caleb Landry Jones. All of this news comes with a special thanks to /Film, who compiled all the chatter into a tight little narrative. Even though things between Gordon-Levitt and Godzilla didn’t work out, don’t let that make you think that he’s going to go an entire week without being attached to a high profile project. In more Gordon-Levitt news, Deadline has word that the in-demand actor has just signed on to play a big role in Robert Rodriguez‘s Sin City sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Apparently he’s going to be playing Johnny, a role that was meant to go to Johnny Depp at one point, and that is said to be a core character in the overlapping parts of the film’s story lines. This comes at the same time as news that Gordon-Levitt’s possible involvement in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t going to end up happening, which is essential information if you happen to be exhaustively journaling all […]

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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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